Manitoba Organization: Manitoba Technical Institute / Red River College

The forerunner of today’s Red River College was the Industrial Vocational Education Centre, established at 331 Henry Avenue in the mid-1930s to train trades to unskilled and unemployed youth. In 1938, the federal Department of Labour began supporting the centre, enabling it to offer programs in carpentry, sheet metal working, machining, needle trades, welding and forging, power engineering, and radio maintenance. With the beginning of the Second World War, it began to offer technical training to servicemen going overseas.

With its enrollment growing, the facility needed more space so, in 1942, it moved into the newly vacated Ford Motor Company’s assembly plant at 1181 Portage Avenue. Initially occupying the top three floors, by 1944 it had spread into the entire five-storey building. With the majority of veterans retrained for peacetime occupations by 1948, entrance was offered to the general public under the name Manitoba Technical Institute. It was the first permanent, public, post-secondary vocational school in Manitoba.

In 1963, to meet the growing demand for technical and vocational training, a new campus was constructed at the corner of King Edward Street and Notre Dame Avenue, and the facility was renamed the Manitoba Institute of Technology. An arts and science complex, called the Manitoba Institute of Applied Arts, opened in 1968. It became the Red River Community College in 1969, with a student population of about 10,000 annually.

In October 1998, it became the Red River College of Applied Arts, Science, and Technology, or Red River College for short.





Bertram Frederick “Fred” Addy (1909-1979)


James C. Wakefield (1918-2011)





Stephanie Forsyth


David Rew (Acting)


Paul E. Vogt

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Robert Fletcher Building (1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Tees and Persse Building (315 William Avenue, Winnipeg)


“Province appoints 2 to education staff,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 May 1949, page 17.

RRC History, Red River College.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 April 2018