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Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 143 years


Historic Sites of Manitoba: Wesley College / United College / University of Winnipeg (505 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

In 1888, Wesley College was established as a facility of the Methodist faith in Manitoba, in affiliation with the University of Manitoba, in a building on Main Street. Eight years later, a two-storey stone college building was erected along Portage Avenue and officially opened at a ceremony on 3 June 1896. An annex, designed by architect J. H. G. Russell and built in 1912, was later renamed Sparling Hall in commemoration of founding college Principal J. W. Sparling.

In 1971 a granite boulder was brought from Lake Agassiz to commemorate the Centenary of the institution that is now the University of Manitoba that was founded as Manitoba College in 1871.

In 2007, the restoration project for the old Wesley College building, a municipally-designated historic site that is now Wesley Hall at the University of Winnipeg, received a Conservation Award from Heritage Winnipeg. In 2018, the Leatherdale Hall construction project received a Conservation Award from Heritage Winnipeg.

Principals

Period

Principal

1888-1912

Joseph Walter Sparling (1843-1912)

1912-1915

Andrew Stewart (1851-1925) - Acting

1917-1938

John Henry Riddell (1863-1952)

Deans

Period

Dean

1924-1956

Carl Nelson Halstead (1896-1957)

1956-1958

Olafur Thordur Anderson (c1891-1958)

1958-?

Gordon Blake

Photos & Coordinates

Postcard view of Wesley College

Postcard view of Wesley College (circa 1910)
Source: Rob McInnes, WP0832.

Wesley College building

Wesley College building (2007)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Wesley College Building from the front with the University of Winnipeg Sign

Wesley College Building from the front with the University of Winnipeg Sign (May 2019)
Source: George Penner

Granite boulder from Lake Agassiz and plaque used to commemorate the centenary of the University of Manitoba in 1971

Granite boulder from Lake Agassiz and plaque used to commemorate the centenary of the University of Manitoba in 1971 (May 2019)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89073, W97.15332
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

MHS Centennial Organization: University of Winnipeg

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Wesley College War Memorial

Historic Sites of Manitoba: United College War Memorial

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba College / St. Paul’s College (Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. John’s College (University of Manitoba)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Some Old Winnipeg Buildings by Randy Rostecki
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 29, 1972-1973 Season

Sources:

“Opened with éclat,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 June 1896, page 1.

Wesley Hall, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, October 1997.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and S. Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 September 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
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Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

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


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