Mennonite Travel Guide

If you’re interested in learning more about the Mennonites of Manitoba, here are a few places you could start.

Altona area: Check out Neubergthal, near Altona, which is one of the few remaining traditional Mennonite villages in Western Canada. It’s also the only Mennonite-related national historic site in Western Canada. Neubergthal is not a museum. It’s a real town with real people, so be polite. You’ll find beautiful Mennonite housebarns and other historic buildings. Nearby villages of South Blumenort and Reinland are also worth a visit. In Altona itself, visit the monument to Mennonite settlers before checking out the world’s largest Van Gogh and the lovely Gallery in the Park.

Mitchell: Just west of Steinbach is the town of Mitchell, where you will find a small historic cemetery on the site of the former Mennonite settlement of Vollwerk. Here you will find a cairn and gravesite of Jacob Peters, one of the original Russian Mennonite delegates to Canada. Near Mitchell, you should also seek out the Randolph Chortitzer Church and historic gravesite.

Niverville: Just outside of Niverville on the Rat River, you will find the Mennonite Memorial Landing Site. It’s a beautiful spot to fish and also contemplate the journey of the Russian Mennonites to Manitoba. Nearby, you will also find a cairn marking the location of the Schantz Immigration sheds.

Steinbach area: Perhaps the most significant Mennonite tourist attraction in Canada is the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach. The indoor galleries document the story of the Russian Mennonites, while the outdoor village (open seasonly) preserves many historic Mennonite buildings. You could spend an entire day here. If you want to learn more about the history of Steinbach, in particular, you could do the Heritage Walking Tour, a self-guided tour of historic locations in Steinbach. Miriam Toews fans will want to stop at the Jake Epp Library to see the spot that honours her father Melvin Toews (the subject of Swing Low). Many other historic sites in the area, including gravesites and cairns, can be found in the Historical Atlas of the East Reserve.

Winkler: Visitors to Winkler should seek out the beautiful Bethel Heritage Park, which honours Winklers Jewish and Mennonite heritage. Included in the park is the Wall of Remembrance, which honours Mennonite Conscientious Objectors. A visit to the Pembina Threshermens Museum allows visitors to learn about the agricultural traditions of the Pembina Valley. The museum contains a few buildings related to the area’s Mennonite heritage including the Reimer House and the Braun log house. The small Winkler Heritage Museum in the Southland Mall is also worth a visit. A historic marker on the spot of the first Mennonite Brethren church in Canada is just outside the city of Winkler.

Winnipeg: Winnipeg is the largest city in Manitoba, with many non-Mennonite-related attractions. However, if you want to explore Menno Winnipeg, a stop at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, is worth your time. The Heritage Centre, on the campus of Canadian Mennonite University, features a gallery and extensive Mennonite archives. The Mennonite Mecca of North Kildonan has a small monument to Mennonite settlers. Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the first national museum outside Ottawa, also features the Mennonites along side many other groups who have been victims of human rights violations over the years. You will also find a few mentions of Mennonites at the excellent Manitoba Museum.

This list is a work in progress: Our goal is to list every Mennonite-related attraction in Manitoba. If you have any additions for us, let us know: