Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Home for Girls (290 Drury Avenue, West St. Paul)
Located in West St. Paul, this correctional facility for non-Catholic female youth, aged 12 to 17 years, was commissioned by the Manitoba government in 1959, with architectural designs provided by Smith Carter Searle & Associates. Construction began that spring and it was completed at a cost of $500,000. The cottage-style complex had an auditorium, kitchen, infirmary, dining room, administrative space, and accommodation for a total capacity of 30-45 inmates across several residential blocks. The grounds were used for recreational activities and physical education. A school hosted classes up to grade ten, along with instruction in home economics, sewing, and hair dressing.
On 14 May 1960, the Manitoba Home for Girls was officially opened by Premier Duff Roblin, assisted by Juvenile Court Judge Alex Stringer, Superintendent Douglas Lawrence, Reverend Ted Scott, Reeve Arthur Christensen, Attorney-General Sterling Lyon, Director of Corrections A. J. Kitchen, and the Most Reverend Philip Francis Pocock.
In 1976, overcrowding at the Manitoba Home for Boys, along with below-capacity enrollment here, led to conversation one of the dormitories here for use by male youth, who were otherwise segregated from the female quarters.
The complex was vacated before the late 1990s and put up for sale. The full site was demolished between 2004 and 2010 to make way for a residential development.
Photos & Coordinates
Information Section, Province to build new home for girls, 20 February 1959, Government of Manitoba.
Department of Health and Social Development, Annual Report 1976, Government of Manitoba.
Government Photographs (CH 0276), 71-2926 through 71-2941; Interiors - Manitoba Home for Girls, GR3552, Archives of Manitoba.
“Estimates approved,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 April 1959, page 2.
“Only Tories can give leadership, Cowan claims,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 May 1959, page 4.
“Man takes over Home for Girls,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 November 1959, page 3.
“The Province of Manitoba requires social workers [...],” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 November 1959, page 34.
“New hope for delinquent girls,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 May 1960, page 19.
“Girls’ Home to open Saturday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 May 1960, page 3.
“Photo caption,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 1960, page 4.
“Delinquent girls home is opened,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 May 1960, page 5.
“The Province of Manitoba requires for the Manitoba Home for Girls [...],” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 December 1960, page 30.
“Home for girls to house 18 Portage boys as well,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1976, page 62.
“Co-ed home working well, says head,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 April 1976, page 3.
“Province of Manitoba - Department of Public Works,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 July 1978, page 77.
“Solitary confinement allegation sparks probe,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 September 1982, page 4.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 11 September 2021