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Memorable Manitobans: Edgar Prain (1881-1958)

Architect.

Born at Broughty Ferry, Scotland on 21 March 1881, he trained as a draftsman in Scotland before moving to England where he worked as an architect from 1902 to 1907. He emigrated to Winnipeg in 1908, working briefly for architect Hugh Gordon Holman then forming a partnership with him from 1909 to 1910. He designed apartment blocks, private residences, and educational buildings. His best known work is St. John’s Anglican Cathedral (1925-1926) done collaboratively with Gilbert C. Parfitt. After 1950, he was partner in the architectural firm of Prain and Ward, and later consultant to its successor, Ward and McDonald. On 30 September 1909, he married Elizabeth Jane Williamson (1879-1962) and they had a son, Frederick Kennedy Prain (1910-1910), who died at their apartment in Victoria Court. He retired in December 1957 and died at his Winnipeg home, 126 Mossdale Avenue, on 29 January 1958. He was buried in the Old Kildonan Cemetery.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Scott House

190 Kingsway Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Acadia Apartments

590 Victor Street, Winnipeg

1911

 

Verona Apartments

730 Victor Street, Winnipeg

1911

 

Scott Apartments

426 Maryland Street, Winnipeg

1912

Demolished (2020)

Lanark Apartments

693 Maryland Street, Winnipeg

1912

 

Reliance Block

480 Young Street, Winnipeg

1912

 

Governor Semple School

Jefferson Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Centennial School

Royal Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Westholme Apartments

729 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Elvira Court

116 Emily Street, Winnipeg

1914

Demolished (?)

Salisbury School No. 2

795 Prince Rupert Avenue, Winnipeg

1920

 

Cathedral Church of St. John

135 Anderson Avenue, Winnipeg

1926

 

St. Patrick’s and St. Jude’s Anglican Church

612 Valour Road, Winnipeg

1926

 

St. John’s Presbyterian Church

251 Bannerman Avenue, Winnipeg

1928

 

Donald McLeod School No. 2221

270 Wallace Avenue, RM of East St. Paul

1930

 

Deer Lodge United Church

2093 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

1947

 

Lord Kitchener School / John Pritchard School (expansion)

1490 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg

1947

 

Charleswood School (renovations)

Roblin Boulevard, RM of Charleswood

1947

 

West St. Paul School

3740 Main Street, RM of West St. Paul

1947

 

Centennial School (expansion)

240 Royal Avenue, Winnipeg

c1948

 

Rosedale United Church

525 Beresford Avenue, Winnipeg

1949

 

Salisbury School No. 1 (renovations)

795 Prince Rupert Avenue, Winnipeg

1949

 

Daerwood School

211 Main Street, Selkirk

1949

 

Governor Semple School

150 Hartford Avenue, Winnipeg

1950

 

Lord Wolseley School (four-classroom brick and concrete addition)

939 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg

1950

 

New Rosewell School

1455 Molson Street, Winnipeg

1950

 

Victory School (six-classroom expansion)

395 Jefferson Avenue, Winnipeg

1950

 

After 1950, see Prain and Ward

Sources:

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Fredrick Kennedy Prain], Winnipeg Tribune, 27 December 1910, page 5.

“Deer Lodge United to dedicate church,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 January 1947, page 10.

“Tenders,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 January 1947, page 16.

“Tenders [Lord Kitchener School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 April 1947, page 2.

“Tenders [Charleswood School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 June 1947, page 22.

“Tenders [Libau School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 September 1947, page 24.

“School District of West Kildonan No. 8,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 August 1948, page 19.

“Tenders [Selkirk School District No. 69],” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 January 1949, page 17.

“Old and new churches filled at Rosedale United dedication,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 1949, page 7.

“Tenders [Victory School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 October 1949, page 6.

“Tenders [Salisbury School No. 1],” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 October 1949, page 52.

“Tenders [Lord Wolseley School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 1950, page 27.

“Tenders [North Kildonan School District No. 2116],” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 March 1950, page 29.

Winnipeg Building Index.

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Gail Singleton for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 8 August 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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