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