Historic Sites of Manitoba: Jewish Orphanage and Children’s Aid of Western Canada Park and Plaque (133 Matheson Avenue East, Winnipeg)
On this five-acre site on Matheson Avenue East in Winnipeg, a 3½-storey orphanage building, designed by local architects John Woodman and Arthur Edward Cubbidge, was erected between 1919 and 1920 by the Sutherland Construction Company.
Surrounded by fruit trees, a two-acre garden, a playground, and a skating rink, the orphanage was home for 150 children at any one time. They attended public school, supplemented by daily instruction in Hebrew and Jewish traditions including daily religious services with a children’s choir. Improvement in economic conditions and new trends in social services caused the orphanage to close in late 1947.
The building was initially converted to a Jewish Youth Centre but was demolished in 1962. Twenty-seven years later, its cornerstone was discovered in a field north of Winnipeg. A park and monument at the site was dedicated at a ceremony on 12 July 1992.
Photos & Coordinates
“Prize plan selected for Jewish Orphanage,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 March 1919, page 31.
“Jewish Orphanage construction starts,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 July 1919, page 8.
“New Jewish Orphanage is modern home,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 February 1920, page 2.
“Former Jewish Orphanage now youth culture club” by Val Werier, Winnipeg Tribune, 16 January 1948, page 13.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
Information for this page was provided by The City of Winnipeg’s Planning, Property and Development Department, which acknowledges the contribution of the Government of Manitoba through its Heritage Grants Program.
We thank Harriet Lehrbaum and Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 27 December 2022