Remembering the original Aunt Sally


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 01/04/2021 (672 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I hope this publication finds you and yours staying safe and enjoying the early spring weather. It’s inspiring us to get out and shake off the winter blues.

Speaking of getting outdoors, I am so excited about the re-opening of Aunt Sally’s Farm at Assiniboine Park Zoo. Some of you will fondly remember this attraction, while others will have the opportunity to experience it for the first time.

The original Aunt Sally’s Farm opened in August 1959. It was built on the site of the zoo’s original aviaries and featured a large picnic hut, a wishing well, a miller’s wheel and a central lawn area. The animal enclosures were home to a variety of small animals including geese, goats, donkeys, pigs and sheep that children could visit up close and interact with. The farm hosted thousands of visitors of all ages over its years of operation before it was closed in the summer of 1986 to make way for the construction of a new children’s attraction, the Kinsman Discovery Centre.

Supplied photo Sally Warnock is the woman for whom Aunt Sally’s Farm was originally named in 1959. She was one of Winnipeg’s best-known animal advocates and was a founding member of what eventually became the Winnipeg Humane Society.

I would be remiss to not mention the great lady for whom Aunt Sally’s Farm was named after and inspired by. Sally Warnock came to Winnipeg in 1911 from Ireland to visit her brother and ended up staying. Her life and diverse career in Winnipeg is well documented and recognized. Over her lifetime of tireless dedication to domestic and wild animals she established herself as the city’s best-known animal rights campaigner. Her many accomplishments include being one of the founding members of the Winnipeg branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, now the Winnipeg Humane Society.

The new Aunt Sally’s Farm reflects the commitment to animal care and welfare that Sally Warnock stood so passionately for. It features a barn and barnyard with a menagerie of animals including goats, llamas, donkeys, pot-bellied pigs and chickens. Parallel playgrounds offer the opportunity for children (and adults) to explore and interact with the animals at the farm. And if you’re planning a visit be sure to bring some pocket change; the original wishing well is open for business.

I encourage everyone to rediscover or discover this historic Winnipeg attraction that celebrates learning and creates lifelong memories for visitors. For more information, please visit the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s website to plan your visit.

Heather Stefanson

Heather Stefanson
Tuxedo constituency report

Heather Stefanson is the PC MLA for Tuxedo and the premier of Manitoba.

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