History & Heritage

CPR Station and Heritage Park

Incorporated in 1992, Portage Heritage Inc. was established to promote the legacy of the region and to assist in the preservation of historic places. Their most significant project has been the  CPR Station and Heritage Park on the south side of the current CP Rail line at Third Street NW which began in 2003. The building is home to the local model railroad club and work continues to provide a lasting showcase of the significance of the railroad industry in the area as part of their display development. Portage Heritage Inc. has also developed a series of self-guided Historic Tours which include routes in both the City and the Rural Municipality to allow visitors to retrace the steps of some of the most significant moments in our region’s history. Their website www.cprstationportage.ca shares more about the group that their initiatives.

Fort la Reine Museum

Within minutes of your arrival, you will recognize why Fort la Reine Museum holds distinction in the Province as a Manitoba Star Attraction. The site celebrates the heritage of the Canadian prairies and the history of both the City and Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie. Visitors find themselves immersed in another time in an environment that includes 23 different buildings and thousands of artifacts to discover. The five-acre site takes you into the lives of the early settlers – their homes, their schools, and their business and trade. The museum also pays homage to the nationwide development of rail and features ‘Le Rideau’, the personal business rail car of Sir William Van Horne.

Open seasonally from May to October, the museum continues to further develop its displays and site as well as hosting a variety of travelling exhibits as well in addition to their permanent collection. Special events that celebrate local culture and allow for a more interactive connection to our past also highlight the venue’s annual schedule. There is much to share, learn and discover at Fort La Reine and you can find more at


National Indigenous Residential School Museum

The National Indigenous Residential School Museum is located along the boundary of the City of Portage la Prairie, centrally located in the province of Manitoba and Canada. Formally the site of one of seventeen Indian Residential Schools in Manitoba, the Rufus Prince building is now home to one of Canada’s National Indigenous Residential School museums. The building holds a substantial amount of history and experiences that have become an invaluable part of Canada’s history and heritage that needs to be preserved.  Children from Long Plain First Nation, as well as students from northern communities and Inuit children, attended this residential school.  The effects and its impact still affect present-day Indigenous culture and the lives of Indigenous peoples, their families and communities.

Through resolutions and expressions of support from all levels, from survivors to community, regional and national leadership, the mandate is clear. Aboriginal people need to have their stories told about the Residential School System in Canada and it is here at the National Indigenous Residential School Museum that we are creating a space to do so.

To book a tour, please call the office at 204-239-6464, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Historic Architecture

One thing you’ll notice as you explore Portage la Prairie is that the city is home to some well- maintained historic architecture and many designated heritage buildings. From the home of former Canadian Prime Minister Arthur Meighen, to other residential and commercial properties, the elegance from the era of stone architecture can be admired and celebrated in many neighborhoods, especially near the City’s core. The Portage la Prairie area is home to 139 designated heritage sites, easily located on the Manitoba Historical Society database at http://www.mb1870.org/mhs-map/search