Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 144 years

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. A four-classroom addition, designed by the architectural firm of Smith Carter and Katelnikoff, was constructed in 1957.

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



Alice Mary Ham, ?


Alice Mary Ham, ?


Alice Mary Ham, ?


Alice Mary Ham, ?




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)

Manitoba Business: Smith Carter and Katelnikoff / Smith Carter Architects and Engineers / Architecture49


“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.

“School addition tender notice [Portage la Prairie Collegiate],” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 January 1957, page 17.

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

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 December 2022

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. The information is offered for historical interest only.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Inclusion in this collection does not confer special status or protection. Official heritage designation may only come from municipal, provincial, or federal governments. Some sites are on private property and permission to visit must be secured from the owner.

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

Send corrections and additions to this page
to the MHS Webmaster at

Search Tips | Suggest an Historic Site | FAQ

Help us keep history alive!

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2023 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.