Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lakeside Fresh Air Camp for Children (RM of Gimli)

This site on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, south of Camp Morton, was the location of the Lakeside Fresh Air Camp. Established in 1921 using the former summer residence of deceased banker Norman Leslie, and sometimes referred to as Camp M’Elheran in commemoration of cleric R. B. McElheran, it provided an outdoor experience for poor, urban children. Its founding directors were George M. Black, William H. Carter, M. F. Christie, David N. Finnie, James William Hamilton, George Arthur Howson, William George McMahon, Louis Harold Northrop, Hugh F. Osler, and Harold Balfour Shaw.

Long-standing donors and supporters of the camp were commemorated by the names of buildings at the site: Ethel Victoria Brown (1896-1982), Alexander Latimer Denison (1884-1955), James Albert DeWolfe (1884-1964), Elbert Walter Kneeland, Murray-Ross (?-?), Charles Frederick Pentland, Frederick William Ross, Harry Eugene Sellers, Harold Balfour Shaw, Jeannette Elizabeth Turnbull (1870-1938), and the Winnipeg Gyro Club.

In 1968 the camp property was sold to the Province of Manitoba, which in turn leased it back to the camp. In 1975, the land was leased by the Society for Crippled Children and Adults, which had been using the camp for its programs for several years by that time. Two years later, the camp ceased operations. The site has since been abandoned and no buildings remain there. A war memorial erected at the site in July 1922 by the Union Bank of Canada, in commemoration of its employees killed during the First World War, was later moved to Camp Morton.

Remains of a building foundation at the former camp site

Remains of a building foundation at the former camp site (May 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Map of Lakeside Fresh Air Camp for Children

Site Map of Lakeside Fresh Air Camp for Children (1960s)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Lakeside Fresh Air Camp Fonds

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.69555, W96.99472
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Camp Morton (RM of Gimli)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lakeside Fresh Air Camp War Memorial (RM of Gimli)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba


“Fresh air for kiddies at Camp M’Elheran”, Manitoba Free Press, 18 June 1921, page 2.

Lakeside Fresh Air Camp for Children Fonds, Archives of Manitoba.

“Fresh Air for Kiddies”: The Fresh Air Camps of Lake Winnipeg by James Burns and Gordon Goldsborough, Manitoba History, Number 66, Spring 2011.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 September 2019

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