Lower Fort Garry | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Lower Fort Garry

Little Britain, Manitoba, Canada

Peta Stamper

24 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Lower Fort Garry

Lower Fort Garry is a well preserved 19th century fur trading post in Canada and was also the site of the signing of Treaty Number 1 between the First Nation people and the Crown in 1871. The first buildings at the fort in 1830 were a ‘fur loft’ as well as the ‘Big House’ – a residence for the governor of the Hudson Bay Company.

Lower Fort Garry history

Built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1830s, Lower Fort Garry was intended as a fur trading post to replace the company’s previous headquarters in Winnipeg. It served in this capacity for a short time before undertaking a series of other roles including as a garrisoned British fort at the time of the Oregon Question, also known as the boundary dispute.

On 3 August 1871, Lower Fort Garry took on another important role as the signing place of Treat Number 1, an agreement between the Crown and the Ojibway and Swampy Cree people relating to the area now known as Manitoba. The treaty intended to ensure peace between the European immigrants and the indigenous peoples who would still have access to their natural resources and land.

Lower Fort Garry today

Today, Lower Fort Garry remains beautifully intact and is said to be Canada’s largest complex of 19th century buildings of the fur trade. Lower Fort Garry still has much of its original architecture, from ramparts and batteries to walls and homes, and you can see a plaque marking where the Treaty Number 1 was signed by the west gate.

The site is very young-person friendly, with lots of different activities on offer including hands-on tasks those at the Fort would have done and hearing indigenous storytelling. You can also see Lower Fort Garry as part of a 90-minute driving tour of the Red River Valley’s history, which starts at St. Andrew’s Rectory and ends at Lower Fort Garry.

Getting to Lower Fort Garry

Lower Fort Garry is just a half-hour drive 20 miles north from downtown Winnipeg and a few minutes south of Selkirk on Highway 9 on Main Street.

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