Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Vital Library (6 Fermor Avenue, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Photos & Coordinates | Sources

The groundwork for a local public library in St. Vital was initiated at a public meeting held at Glenlawn Collegiate on 17 September 1953. Speakers at the meeting included John S. Russell of the Norwood Public Library and George C. Nobel, Director of Manitoba Libraries.

In February 1954, the first public library in St. Vital was established at 584 St. Mary’s Road, with a kickoff book drive held on 19-26 February. The facility opened to the public on 11 September 1954. At first, hours of operation were 2:00 PM to 8:30 PM on weekdays and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturdays.

In 1962, 26% of eligible local voters approved plans for a new $150,000 library to be built off Fermor Avenue (first addressed as 36 Fermor) by a margin of 1755 to 865. A sod-turning ceremony was held on 8 September 1962 and, based on designs of local architect George A. Stewart, construction of the two-storey building ensued. With the opening of the new facility, on 1 April 1963, the former library was closed. An official opening ceremony was later held on 9 June 1963, with Premier Duff Roblin cutting the ribbon in the presence of other dignitaries including Mayor Harry Collins, Library Board Secretary Mrs. Harold Moore, and Library Board Chairman Eric G. Rogerson. Membership grew to 10,247 by March 1966, representing 35% of the local populace. By 1969, that proportion had increased to 40%, placing it among the highest in Canada.

The facility, a municipally-designated historic site, is now a branch of the Winnipeg Public Library. In 2019, it received a Preservation Award from Heritage Winnipeg.

Board Chairs


Board Chair


Frederick “Fred” Groves (1924-1995)




Eric Graham Rogerson (c1907-1999)




Arthur Alvin Winslow (1905-1987)

Photos & Coordinates

St. Vital Library

St. Vital Library (July 2015)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.85185, W97.11351
denoted by symbol on the map above


“St. Vital Library,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 September 1953, page 3.

“British Book Exhibit,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 1954, page 36.

“Week long books drive to stock St. Vital Library,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 February 1954, page 3.

“St. Vital Library opening date set,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 August 1954, page 3.

“St. Vital Library announces autumn program,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 September 1954, page 3.

“Lions Club gives $2,000 to libraries,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 May 1955, page 11.

“Library tea slated by St. Vital group,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 May 1961, page 17.

“St. Vital Library vote seen,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 March 1962, page 13.

[Photo caption], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1963, page 7.

“St. Vital Library vote Wednesday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 April 1962, page 3.

“St. Vital okays new library,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 April 1962, page 43.

“Library start,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 September 1962, page 3.

“St. Vital Library,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1963, page 6.

“St Vital Library will open June 9,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 June 1963, page 12.

“St. Vital Library,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 March 1966, page 5.

“St. Vital Library seeks $$,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 January 1970, page 15.

Obituary [Eric Graham Rogerson (c1907-1999)], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 December 1999, page C8.

6 Fermore Avenue - St. Vital Library, List of Historical Resources, Municipally Designated Sites in Winnipeg.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 11 January 2020

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