Historic Sites of Manitoba: La Verendrye School (290 Lilac Street, Winnipeg)
La Verendrye School, one of Winnipeg’s grandest old schools from the boomtown era, is set perfectly between Jessie Avenue and Warsaw Avenue on Lilac Street. Though residential and business areas quickly grew up around it, when it opened in 1909 La Verendrye School was on the outskirts of the developing city. Reporting on the school’s cornerstone laying on 8 July 1909 by Ward 1 Trustee F. C. Hubbard, the Manitoba Free Press wrote, “Yesterday visitors journeyed to the ground or within 100 yards of it by electric car and found there was still something of Winnipeg beyond them, though the streets lose some of their garb of traffic and dwellings are hidden in areas of native bush.”
Based on a design by School Division Architect and Commissioner of School Buildings J. B. Mitchell and constructed of local brick and limestone, La Verendrye School is a commingling of Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival and Classical Revival architectural styles. Among La Verendrye School’s near-century of alumni, you will find Terry Fox’s father, Rolly and artist Nathan Carlson. The centennial of La Verendrye School, now a French immersion elementary school, occurred in 2009. To prepare, the school is involved in a major history project. They are setting up a historical classroom, as it would have appeared in the early 1900s, complete with teaching aids of the era. This will enable children to live their history.
Photos & Maps
“Teachers named for all schools,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 September 1910, page 3.
“Assignment of teachers for Winnipeg Schools which open on Sept. 15,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 September 1911, page 9.
“City schools staff assembling in Sept.,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1912, page 8.
“Opening of the Winnipeg public schools has been set for Monday next,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 August 1913, pages 1 and 2.
“Here’s your teacher!” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 August 1914, page 6.
“School Board assigns teachers,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 August 1915, page 9.
“Reduce staff of teachers at high schools Monday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 August 1916, pages 1 & 12.
“Boundaries of schools are named,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 24 August 1917, page 9.
“Complete plans to open schools Tuesday for 30,000 children,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 30 August 1918, page 14.
“Teachers are selected for various grades,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1919, page 3.
“Winnipeg schools, No. 23—La Verendrye,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 November 1922, page 5.
“School posts filled,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 May 1973, page 74.
“New Principals named for five city schools,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 June 2005, page B6.
Page revised: 17 February 2015
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