Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba College / St. Paul’s High School and College (Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Principals | Vice-Principals | Teachers | Photos & Coordinates | Sources

Manitoba College was founded in 1871 by Reverend George Bryce. Affiliated with the Presbyterian church in Manitoba, the College was one of the founding colleges making up the University of Manitoba. On 6 November 1871, instruction began at a building in Kildonan constructed by John Hedley Bell.

In 1882, the college occupied an elaborate building on Ellice Avenue in Winnipeg designed by architect Charles Arnold Barber and built by Robert Drummond Paterson. Following unification of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist faiths in 1925, it cooperated more closely with its Methodist counterpart, Wesley College.

In 1931, the college building was sold to the Roman Catholic Church and became the home of St. Paul’s High School and College (now situated at the University of Manitoba’s main campus in Fort Garry). Needing more space, in 1932 a two-storey brick and stone addition designed by architects Arthur Edward Cubbidge and Edward Parkinson was constructed by the firm of Couture and Toupin on the north side of the original College building. Facing Kennedy Street and named Paul Shea Hall (commemorating the late son of brewer Patrick Shea and his wife Margaret Byrne Shea, who bankrolled the construction project), it contained classrooms and a 600-seat auditorium.

The facility was demolished in late 1964.

Principals (Manitoba College)




George Bryce (1844-1931)


John Mark King (1829-1899)


William Patrick (1852-1911)


Andrew Browning Baird (1855-1940) - Acting


John Alexander Mackay (1870-1938)

Teachers (Manitoba College)

School Year



John Hedley Bell (business instructor), John Black (classical tutor)

Photos & Coordinates

Manitoba College

Manitoba College (circa 1882)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Manitoba College 5-1, N10851

Postcard view of Manitoba College

Postcard view of Manitoba College (1905)
Source: Rob McInnes, WP3218

Manitoba College

Manitoba College (circa 1910)
Source: Winnipeg Illustrated, Peels Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta

Postcard view of Manitoba College

Postcard view of Manitoba College (circa 1910)
Source: Rob McInnes, WP1884

St. Paul’s High School and College

St. Paul’s High School and College (no date)
Source: St. Paul’s High School Archive

The newly constructed Paul Shea Hall

The newly constructed Paul Shea Hall (1932)
Source: Winnipeg Tribune, 15 September 1932, page 4.

St. Paul’s High School and College with Paul Shea Hall at right

St. Paul’s High School and College with Paul Shea Hall at right (March 1960)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, George Harris Fonds, Acc. 1979-141, P7451, Album 15, Page 13.

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89405, W97.15115
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Charles Arnold Barber (1848-1915)

Memorable Manitobans: Robert Drummond Paterson [Patterson] (1835-1928)

Memorable Manitobans: Arthur Edward Cubbidge (1881-1952)

Memorable Manitobans: Edward Parkinson (1878-1953)

Manitoba Business: Couture and Toupin

A Memoir of Old St. Paul’s College by Fred McGuiness
Manitoba History, Number 58, June 2008

Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. John’s College (University of Manitoba)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Wesley College / University of Winnipeg (505 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba College War Memorial

Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Paul's High School (2200 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg)

MHS Centennial Organization: University of Manitoba

Manitoba Organization: St. Paul’s College


“Manitoba College at Kildonan,” Manitoba Liberal, 3 November 1871, page 2.

“Corner stone is laid,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 July 1905, page 5.

“Two pastors given honorary degrees,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 April 1914, page 4.

“Wins gold medal in oratory contest,” Manitoba Free Press, 26 February 1915, page 16.

“Induction of Principal MacKay takes place tonight,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 October 1919, page 3.

“Dr. M’Kay is guest of honor at banquet,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 October 1919, page 4.

“Archbishop lays corner stone,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 July 1932, page 3.

“St. Paul's College has new and improved buildings,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 September 1932, page 4.

“Last of Manitoba College” by T. C. B. Boon, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 November 1964, page 27.

We thank Rob McInnes, Glen Toews, and Samantha Eadie (St. Paul's High School) for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 19 May 2024

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