North of Winnipeg is Lower Fort Garry, an important historical site where Treaty No. 1, the first of Canada’s several treaties with indigenous peoples was signed. The Fort was constructed by the Hudson’s Bay Company and was an important trading post in the 1830s. It was intended to be an administrative center, though due to its remote location, it never fully developed.
The site was moved after the original headquarters in Winnipeg flooded in 1826. While the Hudson’s Bay Company only operated from this location for a few years, the site has been used consistently by authorities for various purposes. Hudson’s Bay gave the site to the federal government in the 1950s, and Lower Fort Garry received National Historic Site status in 1958.
The site was built of Manitoba limestone and intended to last. It serves as the oldest collection of 19th-century buildings built for the fur trade still remaining in Canada.
During the summer season, Lower Fort Garry features numerous opportunities to learn about historical practices and skills such as wood carving and sash weaving through demonstrations and interactive exhibits.
The whole site takes about 90 minutes to visit.
Know Before You Go
The site takes about 90 minutes to visit and is open year-round, although the interactive exhibits are only available during the summer season. To get there, follow Highway 9 north of Winnipeg for about 20 minutes towards Selkirk.