Fort La Reine National Historic Site of Canada
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
(© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Blair Philpott, 2008.)
130 Yellowquill Trail, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
1738 to 1738
1658 to 1690
1738 to 1759
Event, Person, Organization:
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de La Vérendrye
Fort La Reine
Research Report Number:
Existing plaque: 130 Yellowquill Trail, Manitoba
Near here, in October 1738, Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye built the fourth and most important of his western posts, which he named Fort La Reine. The site was chosen, in part, to intercept the trade of Indians crossing the portage to Lake Manitoba en route to the English posts on Hudson Bay. Fort La Reine served as the base for the explorations of La Vérendrye and his sons south to the Missouri and north to the Saskatchewan. Ordered abandoned in 17|9, the post was reconstructed by Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre in 1751. During his absence in 1752 it was burnt by Indians, and was probably not rebuilt.
*Note: This designation has been identified for review. A review can be triggered for one of the following reasons - outdated language or terminology, absence of a significant layer of history, factual errors, controversial beliefs and behaviour, or significant new knowledge.
Description of Historic Place
Fort La Reine National Historic Site of Canada is located on the north bank of the Assiniboine River, on the eastern edge of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. There are no known remains relating to Fort La Reine, but a stone cairn and plaque have been erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) to commemorate the site. Official recognition refers to the plot of land on which the HSMBC cairn is located on the north bank of the Assiniboine River, west of Yellowquill Trail.
Fort La Reine was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1925. It is designated because of: its association with the early exploration of the West during the French Regime.
The heritage value of Fort La Reine resides in its historical associations with the early exploration of the West during the French Regime. The first Europeans to visit this area were probably the French explorers Radisson and Groseillers who explored the region between 1658 and 1690 in search of furs. In October 1738, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de La Vérendrye, established Fort La Reine on the Assiniboine River. The fort was used as a base for further exploration of the Canadian prairies and as one of the chief French trading posts until the end of France’s influence in 1759. There is evidence to suggest that Fort La Reine was abandoned, burned and rebuilt several times, although its exact locations and dates are unknown.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, February 2010.
The key elements relating to the heritage value of the site include: its location on the eastern edge of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba; its siting on the north bank of the Assiniboine River, west of Yellowquill Trail; the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains, which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent; the stone cairn and plaque erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to commemorate the site; viewscapes from the site across the Assiniboine river and the surrounding flat landscape.