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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Portage Collegiate Institute (Saskatchewan Avenue West, Portage la Prairie)

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

The cornerstone for the Portage Collegiate was laid in 1904 but the construction of the building was not completed until the next year. The eight-classroom brick structure was built by contractors F. G. Humber and W. J. Simmons at a cost of $21,400. Its five teachers, under the principalship of George Young, then assumed responsibility for the education of older children, formerly done at the Central School across the street. Over the years, eight more classrooms were added. The building and all its contents were destroyed by fire in May 1954 and a replacement school was erected on the same site.

Notable students of the Portage Collegiate included artist and writer Jackson Beardy, community activist Joseph Irvine Keeper, hockey player John Sherratt “Black Jack” Stewart, and four Premiers of Manitoba: Douglas Lloyd Campbell, Sterling Rufus Lyon, Walter Cox-Smith Weir, and Brian William Pallister.





Mr. S. Phillips BA


John Houston (1848-1938)


School closed due to town bankruptcy


William Piritte Argue (1868-1965)


Herbert William Baker (1869-1959)


George Young (1865-?)


Samuel Carson Lee (1872-1926)


James Reid Hamilton (1861-1954)


George Isaac Herman Garrett (1884-1977)


Peter Renwick Stewart (1902-1974)


William Charles Taylor (1914-2004)


Gudjon Ray Johnson


James W. “Jim” Pehura


Gregg Waldvogel


School Year



Miss Lillian P. Strom, A. D. Brady, Miss Etta Crewson, George Gordon Grigg, Mrs. M. Lazowska, Miss Edith MacDonald, F. C. Metcalfe, W. Moskal, Miss Frances McColl, Miss Agnes Souter, Mrs. Eva Sykes, W. C. Taylor

Photos & Coordinates

Portage Collegiate Building

Portage Collegiate Building (1905)
Source: Education Department Report, 1905, Manitoba Legislative Library.

Postcard view of the Portage Collegiate

Postcard view of the Portage Collegiate (no date)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2013-0086

Portage Collegiate

Portage Collegiate (no date) by A. B. Fallis
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 5.

Portage Collegiate

Portage Collegiate (March 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.97253, W98.29723
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

MHS Centennial Organization: Portage Collegiate Institute

Lansdowne College - A Product of the Depression of 1885 by Norman J. Williamson
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 21, Number 4, Summer 1976

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lansdowne College (Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Arthur Meighen High School (201 River Road, Portage la Prairie)

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


“Portage la Prairie,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 21 December 1882, page 8.

“Educational [Protestant Public Schools],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 30 December 1882, page 5.

“Portage la Prairie [Successor to Mr. Phillips],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 11 April 1883, page 1.

“Reportorial round [Mr. W. S. Argue],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 3 August 1895, page 8.

“Reportorial round [William P. Argue],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 26 December 1895, page 8.

“Portage lists teaching staff as school opens,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 September 1951, page 34.

“$355,000 blaze destroys collegiate at Portage,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 May 1954, page 1.

A History of Portage la Prairie and Surrounding District by Anne M. Collier, 1970, pages 146-7.

We thank Nathan Kramer, James Kostuchuk, and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 August 2021

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