Historic Sites of Manitoba: East Ward School / Victoria School (32 Fifth Street SE, Portage la Prairie)

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

The Victoria School was built in Portage la Prairie in 1916, replacing the East Ward School (built in 1894 on a design by architect George Browne, destroyed by fire on 30 December 1915). Designed by architect Frank Robert Evans, it had ten classrooms and was built at a cost of about $65,000.

A two-storey, eight-classroom designed by the architectural firm of Smith Carter and Katelnikoff was constructed in 1957. An auditorium-gymnasium was added later.

The school closed in June 2007. The building was sold by the Portage la Prairie School Division to the Red River College.





Duncan Alexander Baxter (1872-1964)


Edgar Kenny Marshall (c1876-1956)




Mr. Craig


Agnes Bannerman (1879-1970)


Rose Marie Connelly


George Holmes




William Charles “Bill” Taylor (1914-2004)




Peter Renwick Stewart (1902-1974)


William Henry “Bill” Bradley (1909-1977)




Bruce Buschau


Rod Brownlee


School Year



Mrs. Opal Cheater, Mrs. Kathleen Gosman, Miss Clarice Linden, Miss Joyce McCutheon, Miss Theresa O’Neil, Mrs. Florence Rae, Mrs. Winnifred Reid, Miss Bessie Robinson, Miss Jessie Wallace

Photos & Coordinates

Postcard view of East Ward School, destroyed by fire in December 1915

Postcard view of East Ward School, destroyed by fire in December 1915 (circa 1908)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2012-0168

East Ward School after the fire

East Ward School after the fire (December 1915)
Source: Jean Hamilton-Young Collection, PCI Archive

Postcard view of Victoria School

Postcard view of Victoria School (no date)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 5.

Victoria School

Victoria School (no date)
Source: PCI Archive, Vopni Press Collection, 0262d.

Victoria School

Victoria School (circa 1986)
Source: Historic Resources Branch, Public School Buildings Inventory, slide 904

The former Victoria School

The former Victoria School (March 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.97187, W98.28222
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Victoria Union School No. 302 (Municipality of Grassland)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Victoria-Albert School (Ellen Street, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Victoria School No. 49 (RM of Rockwood)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: North Ward School (535 Third Street NW, Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: West Ward School (Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Central School / Portage Normal School (Portage la Prairie)

Manitoba Business: Smith Carter and Katelnikoff / Smith Carter Architects and Engineers / Architecture49


“Students’ holidays are nearing the end. Schools re-open next Tuesday,” Portage la Prairie Weekly Review, 28 August 1912, page 1.

“Portage school destroyed by fire,” Manitoba Free Press, 31 December 1915, page 2.

“Portage lists teaching staff as school opens,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 September 1951, page 34.

“School addition tender notice [Victoria School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 January 1957, page 17.

A History of Portage la Prairie and Surrounding District by Anne M. Collier, 1970, page 147.

A Study of Public School Buildings in Manitoba by David Butterfield, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 1994, 230 pages.

“Schools may be closed in rural areas,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 June 2007, page A6.

Our Dear Old Victoria School, 1917-2007: 90 Years of Excellence by the Victoria Home and School Association, 2007. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5649.P77Arn]

We thank Nathan Kramer, Rose Kuzina, and James Kostuchuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 December 2022

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