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Maple Leaf School

555 Thornhill Avenue, Morden, Manitoba, R6M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/09/13

View of main entrance of Maple Leaf School, Morden, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Front Entrance
Context view from the south of Maple Leaf School, Morden 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Context View
View of main elevation from the southwest of Maple Leaf School, Morden, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
View from the Southwest Corner

Other Name(s)

Old Maple Leaf School
Ancienne école Maple Leaf
Maple Leaf School

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1928/01/01 to 1928/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Maple Leaf School consists of a long one-storey brick structure constructed in 1928, juxtaposed with a modern concrete-block addition attached to the northwest corner. Set back from Morden's Thornhill Street, the school and its sprawling yard, surrounded by residences, are adjacent to the Western School Division offices. The municipal designation applies to the school and the lot it occupies.

Heritage Value

The low-profile Maple Leaf School, with its decorative brick bands, slight crenellations and large windows creating light-filled classrooms, is an excellent example of the bungalow-style schools developed in Manitoba after World War I. These squat, horizontal structures, which departed from previous two- and three-storey designs, were economical and capable of quick emergency evacuation. They also had aesthetic appeal, in part because their scale was welcoming and more compatible with the residential neighbourhoods in which they were located. The Morden school, with its basic Art Deco styling, retains its original function on a site that has been continuously occupied by schools since 1894.

Source: Town of Morden By-law No. 28-88, September 13, 1988

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Maple Leaf School site include:
- the school's location on the north side of Thornhill Street at the top of the stunted 11th Street
- the spacious lot, with the large, grassed schoolyard bordered on the north and east sides by mature trees

Key elements that define the school's basic Art Deco style include:
- the elongated rectangular form with a flat roof and smooth, symmetrical facades of buff brick contrasted with geometric red brick detailing
- the pavilion massing with projecting entrance and end towers featuring pedimented parapets
- the tall, rectangular openings throughout, commonly paired in large banks of three lights and featuring transoms, glazing bars, slightly protruding concrete sills with ornamental support blocks and red brick surrounds with ornamental concrete squares in the corners
- the main and east entrances with double doors encased in elaborate sidelights and large striking transoms, all with glazing bars, and flanked by windows
- the details, including red brick accents on all facades in horizontal bands or geometric patterns of squares and rectangles; the corners and length of the parapet punctuated by blocky capitals featuring centred concrete diamonds surrounded by red brick; the sign above the front doors reading '1928 MAPLE LEAF SCHOOL'; etc.

Key elements that define the school's functional interior layout, finishes and details include:
- the intact interior configurations featuring a central corridor with six classrooms and a vestibule running off it
- each classroom with an adjoining cloakroom, vestibules with 3.66-metre ceilings
- practical, yet playful details, including some mouldings, light fixtures, some classroom entrances set back in deep arched entrances, etc.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

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




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Morden Box 2440 Morden MB R0G 1J0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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