Henteleff Park is located along the banks of the Red River and Normand Creek in south St. Vital at 1964 St. Mary’s Road — where natural beauty and rich historical traditions thrive in perfect harmony.
This unique park has preserved the rural character of a landscape that nurtured early Métis culture, Winnipeg’s budding market garden industry and the Henteleff family.
To pay tribute to the area’s history and in keeping with its overall objective to be a place of both serenity and learning, the Henteleff Park Foundation opened an Interpretive Centre in the park on August 27, 2016.
Located at the park’s entrance and near the original homestead of the Henteleff family, the Interpretive Centre features a Shelter Building that displays panels of information that leads to a circular pathway with additional information panels, all-weather notebooks, bench seating and landscaping. The Interpretive Centre is a beautiful place to relax, explore and appreciate the significance of the land that forms the roots of our community through four themes:
The 40-acre park nestled against the eastern bank of the Red River is a natural urban oasis with diverse plant and wildlife. It is a refuge for more than 150 different species of songbirds that nest and use the park during their migration. It is an important backwater and spawning area for at least 10 fish species that swim up Normand Creek from the Red River. It is a serene sanctuary for community residents to enjoy a quiet respite from the bustle of the city life all around.
The roots of our city and our province stretch back to the banks of the Red River of two centuries ago. The first Métis families settled here shortly after the Selkirk Settlers arrived in 1812. Since 1822, the nutrient-rich soil of what is now Henteleff Park was the ideal setting for the farms of several Métis families. The river provided the water for their crops, the fish to supplement their diets, and the transportation to move their harvest.
The Frobisher, Lacoste and Normand families thrived along the riverbank. The market garden community was a diverse ethnic mix of nationalities, in addition to the Métis families and the Henteleffs. Métis farms were the foundation of the Market Gardeners’ Society, formed in 1903.
Garden Market Roots
The Red River is the cultural and historical hub of western Canada, the site of early trading posts that spurred European settlement in the area. When the Red River Settlement was established in 1812, the river became the centre of agricultural development. The river that brought the people here also provided the rich soil and water that nourished market gardens along its banks.
Out of these market garden operations evolved the Manitoba Vegetable Growers Association, now known as Peak of the Market.
Henteleff Family Roots
In 1924 the Henteleff family bought 40 acres of riverfront land and launched a thriving market garden operation in St. Vital, Manitoba. Nathan and Rose and their family were one of the first Jewish market gardeners in western Canada. Nathan’s resourcefulness and innovations helped the family’s market garden operation to thrive. The family initially sold their produce from a roadside stand on St. Mary’s Road, and later at the farmers’ market on Main Street and throughout small grocery stores in Winnipeg.
Nathan and Rose lived and worked on the land until their retirement in 1967, when it was expropriated by the City of Winnipeg in 2002, designated as a public park and named Henteleff Park in honour of Nathan, Rose and their family.
Volunteers & Supporters
In that same year, the Henteleff Park Foundation was established with a mandate to enhance and protect the park. Since its inception, a city-wide network of dedicated volunteers have worked tirelessly to make the Henteleff Park dream happen.
Volunteers over the last 10 years have planted over 5000 trees and shrubs, have established 3 km of trails, have raised funds to rehabilitate Normand Creek so it is now an excellent spawning creek and have sustained the efforts of the Henteleff Park Foundation.
To this we also acknowledge the significant financial assistance provided by donors from across Canada, the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba who collectively have helped the dream become a reality.