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Manitoba History No. 89

No. 89

Fall Field Trip 2019
Field Trip

War Memorials in Manitoba
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old

Abandoned Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Home for Incurables / Manitoba School for Mentally Defective Persons / Manitoba Development Centre (3rd Street NE, Portage la Prairie)

Link to:
Medical Superintendents | Photos & Maps | Sources

Designed and built between 1889 and 1890 on a design by Winnipeg architect Charles H. Wheeler, the facility in Portage la Prairie housed patients with with a wide variety of ailments that at the time would not be treated in a general hospital. A report in 1918 by two Ontario physicians reported:

“The name, Home for Incurables, is misleading, and the institution has become a reception house for every kind of ailment—as one of our party expressed it—“from eczema to dementia.” Apparently any family in Manitoba which had a troublesome member, either old or young, simply passed it on to the Home for Incurables, until this institution possessed an unhappy conglomeration of idiots, imbeciles, epileptics, insane, seniles and mentally normal people suffering from incurable diseases.”

It later developed into a large facility that is now known as the Manitoba Development Centre.

Medical Superintendents




Thomas Mcketchie Milroy (1859-1947)


John Pringle Young (1845-1918)


William Patterson Smith (1850-1937)




Henry Sheridan Atkinson (1901-1965)


Glen Harrison Lowther (1926-2019)

Photos & Coordinates

Postcard view of Home for Incurables

Postcard view of Home for Incurables (no date)
Source: Rob McInnes, PP0020

Postcard view of Home for Incurables

Postcard view of Home for Incurables (circa 1905) by G. A. Barrowclough
Source: Rob McInnes, PP0031

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.98586, W98.28390
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Development Centre Cemetery (RM of Portage la Prairie)


“Report of the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene,” by Drs. C. K. Clarke and C. M. Hincks, Public Welfare Commission of Manitoba, Second Interim Report, February 1919, page 106. [Manitoba Legislative Library, SpR 1917]

We thank James Kostuchuk and Rob McInnes for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 June 2019

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.

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