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Earl Grey School

340 Cockburn Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/04/21

Primary elevations, from the southeast, of Earl Grey School, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2005
Primary Elevations
Entrance tower of Earl Grey School, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2005
Interior view of Earl Grey School, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1914/01/01 to 1914/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/10/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Earl Grey School, constructed in 1914 in a residential district of south-central Winnipeg, is an imposing three-storey brick and stone structure. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

Earl Grey School is an excellent example of a substantial Queen Anne Revival-style institutional structure in Winnipeg, one also noted for other aspects of its design and for its historically innovative programming. Within a few years of its completion, the school became the site of an experimental junior high aimed at reducing the number of dropouts by offering elective courses and rotating classes in specialized rooms. The program, one of the progressive reforms promoted by Winnipeg School Division Superintendent Daniel McIntyre, was hugely successful and adopted nationwide by 1935. The structure itself, based loosely on large, well-lit British boarding schools, is an impressive example of designs developed by the division's Commissioner of School Buildings, James B. Mitchell, to provide comfortable, safe and uplifting learning environments.

Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Environment Meeting Minutes, April 21, 1981

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Earl Grey School site include:
- its prominent location encompassing more than two blocks in a residential neighbourhood, with the building placed in one corner of the site, facing northeast, set back somewhat from the property line

Key elements that define the school's exterior heritage character and exceptional Queen Anne Revival style include:
- the three-storey U-shaped form composed of a rectangular main volume crossed by end wings projecting at the rear (west), with salmon-coloured brick walls rising from a high rusticated limestone foundation and low-pitched hip roofs punctuated by numerous, variously sized bonneted and pedimented dormers
- the multiple banks of windows on all elevations, including high segmental-arched and lintelled basement openings and tall rectangular single and paired windows with transoms
- the asymmetrical front dominated by two projecting four-storey square towers and a mid-section adorned with stone-capped pilasters, spandrel accents and a second-floor entablature
- the tower details, including rusticated stone porches with elevated round-arched openings and recessed doors; middle stages in pedimented stone Gibbs surrounds; upper stages lit by segmental-arched windows and capped by modest cornices and parapet gables; the taller north tower's stone balustrade, rusticated brick corners and corbelled brickwork; the south tower's upper brick parapet with oculi; etc.
- the large arched and recessed volumes above the side entrances, each containing paired stairwell windows, including an upper round-arched set with a fanlight
- details such as stone stringcourses, voussoirs, keystones, sills and coping, brick corbelling, egg-and-dart beading, ornamental eaves, decorative metal downspouts, etc.
- the institutional inscriptions, including a front stone tablet reading 'THE EARL GREY SCHOOL' inset in floral medallions, etc.

Key elements that define the school's durable interior layout, finishes and details include:
- the formal U-shaped plan composed of double-loaded central hallways
- some classrooms with intact cloakrooms, slate boards, wooden instructor stations, plank wood flooring, etc.
- details and finishes such as plaster and lath walls with rounded corners; elegant inner Palladian-style entrance doors in dark wood surrounds; wooden doors with transoms and dark wood frames, including many in pairs flanked by sidelights; concrete staircases with ornate cast-iron railings; copper utility doors on the service staircase; etc.




Recognition Authority

City of Winnipeg

Recognition Statute

City of Winnipeg Act

Recognition Type

Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Primary or Secondary School


Architect / Designer

J.B. Mitchell



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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