Historic Sites of Manitoba: Central Normal School (442 William Avenue, Winnipeg)

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

The former Central Normal School at 442 William Avenue in Winnipeg was one of six Normal Schools in Manitoba, along with Brandon, Dauphin, Manitou, Portage la Prairie, and St. Boniface. It served as the headquarters for teacher training for more than forty years. Before its construction, classes were held on the second floor of the vacant Stobart Block on Portage Avenue near Main Street or in the Central School No. 1 building.

Designed by provincial architect Samuel Hooper, it was constructed in 1905-1906 by Kelly Brothers and Mitchell at a cost of about $100,000. The Neo-Classical structure was made of Tyndall limestone with interior wood work of oak and fir. The basement featured classrooms, recreation room, gymnasium, lavatories, kitchen, and mechanical rooms. On the main floor were classrooms and offices, a model room and library, and large halls. The second floor had more classrooms, laboratory, museum and art room. An apartment of the resident caretaker and storerooms were in the attic.

In 1912, Otto Klotz, the federal government’s astronomer, arranged for a laboratory to be constructed three storeys below the basement of the building. Its purpose was to study the deformation of the Earth’s crust by the gravitational forces of the moon. Unfortunately, the new laboratory was prone to flooding so, before it was equipped, it was abandoned in favour of another underground lab built in Ottawa.

In 1942, the building was taken over by the Canadian military and staff and students of the Normal School moved to temporary facilities near Gimli. In September 1946, the Normal School moved to a facility in southwest Winnipeg then, in the autumn of 1958, it was renamed the Manitoba Teachers’ College. The facility was moved to the University of Manitoba in 1965, becoming its Faculty of Education.

The building was renovated for residential use in 1992, for which it received a Heritage Winnipeg Conservation Award. A plaque was placed in front of it by the Manitoba Heritage Council on 12 May 1994. It is a municipally-designated historic site.





Edwin Lee Byington (1852-1891)


David James Goggin (1848-1935)


William Albert McIntyre (1859-1937)


Herbert McIntosh (1888-1953)


William Arthur Cowperthwaite (1874-1949)


Robert McKay Stevenson (1882-1970)


Duncan Bruce Moorhead (1889-1951)

Assistant-Principals / Vice-Principals


Assistant-Principal / Vice-Principal


Hugh S. MacLean [McLean] (1858-1924)


Alexander McIntyre (1861-1928)


Archibald Wesley Hooper (1868-1941)


Robert McKay Stevenson (1882-1970)




School Year



J. E. Carroll (physical training), Lucy Cooper (music), Miss Hodgson (art), Harold McIntosh (psychology), Miss Kate McLeod (primary methods), Harold Elwin Riter (mathematics), Miss Shirriff (drama and speech)

Among those who taught at Central Normal School were Miss Kate N. McLeod (?-1937) and Morag Kathrina Lorimer “Mora” Harpley (1937-1938).

Photos & Coordinates

Architectural drawing of the Central Normal School

Architectural drawing of the Central Normal School (1905)
Source: Winnipeg Tribune, 16 December 1905, page 20.

Central Normal School

Central Normal School (c1910)
Source: Winnipeg Illustrated, Peels Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta

Postcard view of the Central Normal School

Postcard view of the Central Normal School (no date)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2012-0060

The former Central Normal School building

The former Central Normal School building (June 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former Central Normal School building

The former Central Normal School building (July 2020)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.90142, W97.14758
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Samuel Hooper (1851-1911)

Manitoba Business: Kelly Brothers / Manitoba Construction Company / Kelly Brothers and Mitchell / Thomas Kelly and Sons

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brandon Normal School / Model Room School / Agricultural Extension Centre (1129 Queens Street, Brandon)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Dauphin Normal School / Whitmore School (First Street SW, Dauphin)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitou Normal School (Main Street, Manitou, Municipality of Pembina)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Central School / Portage Normal School / Prince Charles School (Third Street Southwest, Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Boniface Normal School (210 rue Masson, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba School for the Deaf (500 Shaftesbury, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Mulvey School (750 Wolseley Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Central School No. 944 (1899-1954)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Old Central School (Tenth Street, Brandon)

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

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba / Manitoba Heritage Council


Public Buildings Erected and Improved by the Government of Manitoba during the Years 1900-1906, Government of Manitoba, December 1906. [Copy at Archives of Manitoba]

“Normal School teachers,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 25 August 1893, page 8.

“The Normal School,” Manitoba Free Press, 11 April 1901, page 7.

“Reportorial round [Mr. A. McIntyre ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 18 May 1901, page 16.

“Kelly Bros. & Mitchell, Ltd. [Central Normal School],” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 December 1905, page 5.

“Kelly Bros., Mitchell Limited,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 December 1905, page 34.

“Dr. A. M’Intyre dies from sudden attack,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 February 1928, page 2.

“City and district [Succeeds McIntyre],” Manitoba Free Press, 28 Apri 1928, page 6.

“Normal School staff honor Dr. M’Intyre,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 November 1929, page 47.

“Inspectors are appointed for school areas,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 4 September 1937, page 10.

“Next Normal School classes to start at Tuxedo Sept. 9,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 April 1946, page 21.

Central Normal School, Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Central Normal School, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch

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.

With the West in Her Eyes: Nellie Hislop’s Story by E. W. Nuffield, Winnipeg: Hyperion Press Limited, 1987, page 102.

Manitoba Normal School Principals, 1939-1965, Manitoba Education Library Archives.

Give Me This Mountain by Mary Kornelsen, Steinbach: Derksen Printers, 1975.

Over the Rainbow: Memories of a Country School Teacher by Ruth Emisch, 1993.

Provincial Normal School (442 William Avenue), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings and Resources Committee, April 1980.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 June 2024

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