This photograph caught my eye while I was waiting for my sister to arrive for our lunch date at Resto Gare in St. Boniface. When I asked the staff about it I was told it showed Winnipeg residents waiting at the St. Boniface train station to be evacuated from the city during the 1950 flood. The St. Boniface train station in the photo is now the Resto Gare eating establishment, still, in the very same location, it was during the flood. The original building is over a hundred years old.
It was built in 1913. In 1983 the building became a restaurant called La Vieille Gare and in 2008 the name was changed to Resto Gare Bistro. They have a bell in their dining room from a locomotive that used to pull into the St. Boniface Station. My sister and I sat in an old observation train car built in 1914 that has been attached to the station house. The restaurant serves meals with a definite French flavor and in the background as you eat you will hear the latest Montreal francophone music. I tried in vain to find some photos of the train station in the late 1950s because during the 1958-1959 school year I was attending classes at Marion School right across the street from the station. I must have seen the old train station every day when I arrived at school.
My family lived in Winnipeg’s French Quarter the year I was in grade one because my father was an intern at St. Boniface Hospital. Marion School was built in 1950 and is still in use today.
Having lunch at Resto Gare with my sister was a chance for a lovely visit but also a way to learn some history and take me on a bit of trip down memory lane.