The Winnipeg Free Press reports that Canada will soon have a fourth province with an Amish presence.
Amish from Ontario are buying land and planning to settle in Manitoba, about 100 miles south of province capital Winnipeg, in the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn:
Swidersky estimated about 100 Amish may settle there, mostly young families starting out. There are already highway signs featuring a horse and buggy along Highway 201 to warn motorists to beware when driving in the area.
Only a handful of Amish families have purchased land so far, totalling about a dozen quarter sections (160 acres each), Swidersky said.
Those families went back home to Ontario about two weeks ago to spend the winter there, and plan to return in the spring to build homesteads.
Before leaving, they did some preliminary work to make the land ready for settlement, including drilling wells, obtaining building permits and constructing pole sheds for their horse and wagons.
They also brought out horses and wagons to be boarded in Manitoba over the winter. They used transport trucks and trailers for the move, operated by non-Amish drivers.
This will be the fourth Canadian province with an Amish presence. Amish have long lived in Ontario (since 1824). Small communities were established in the past several years in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The articles states these Amish come from places including Port Elgin, Salford, and Middlesex County. I believe Port Elgin is a mistake however, and the location is probably Mt. Elgin, which is the same area as Salford.
This will be the westernmost Canadian settlement, and pretty distant, as far as proximity to other Amish settlements. It appears the nearest Amish will be those in northwestern Minnesota (for instance, the Fertile Amish community, which we’ve covered here before, is a 2+ hour drive away).
According to Royden Loewen of the University of Winnipeg, land prices are what’s driving the move. Farmland is expensive in Ontario, and were also a factor in the Amish move to Prince Edward Island.
According to Wikipedia, Stuartburn was originally settled by Ukrainian immigrants, and is considered the first Ukrainian community in Western Canada.
In an interesting side note, this article claims that there is a small Amish community outside Cork in Ireland. This could be referring to the Dunmore East community, which is an Amish-Mennonite community and not Old Order Amish (though that community is over 2 hours away from Cork).
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Snow, Snow and More Snow
The Amish Turkey must love the snow! There’s a lot more of it in Manitoba than there is in Ontario.
Meant truly not turkey. Kindle fire has its own mind.
Amish turkey may very well love snow Shirley 🙂 Maybe your Kindle Fire has Thanksgiving in mind!
Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonites, Hutterites etc.
Manitoba is the home of thousands of Anabaptists. Winnipeg, the capital, has more Mennonites than any other major city in the world. There are over 100 Hutterites colonies here averaging over 100 souls each. Just about every type of Mennonite known to man lives here, from ultra conservative to ultra liberal. The huge majority are probably somewhere in the middle. Most do not dress plain. Also coming here from Ontario, the Old Order horse and buggy Mennonites have a community at Gladstone, but it has been riddled with scandal (abuse etc.) and one of the leaders is serving time in prison. They are trying to regroup now. The Old Order Amish will find themselves welcome in Manitoba. The Hutterites, in particular, have a healthy respect for their Anabaptist “cousins”.
Hutterites in Manitoba
Thanks for mentioning the Hutterites Terry. Looks like next year is the 100-year anniversary of their presence in the province.
After Alberta, Manitoba has the second-largest Hutterite population:
And for anyone curious, a couple years ago Linda Maendel, member of a Manitoba colony, answered several questions for us on Hutterite life:
The 4th Largest City Steinbach in Manitoba was founded by Mennonites in 1874 and they are still one of the largest pop. in the city and area. They moved here from Russia and are a different group of Mennonites (Northern Germany and area) then the Amish (which came from Switzerland and Southern Germany, and French)
Anabaptists in Manitoba
In 1978, some Ontario Mennonites (car driving Old Orders) made an exploratory trip to the area near where the Gladstone Mennonites are located now. At the time I felt that Manitoba had enough different kinds of Mennonites without our group adding to the confusion. We ended up finding a new location in Ontario.
I am waiting to see Amish or Mennonites moving to a 5th Canadian province, Quebec.
Mennos and Amish-Mennos already in 10 Canadian Provinces (and 3 Northern Territories!)
Pretty sure there already are Mennonites and even Amish-Mennonites in all of the provinces and territories and have been for some time;) Maybe not in large numbers and not too visible in some places, but you will find them if you know where to look.
Just kidding – I know you mean Old Order groups.