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Wolseley School

511 Clifton Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/09/04

Primary elevation, from the southeast, of Wolseley School, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2006
Primary Elevation
Contextual view, from the south, of Wolseley School, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2006
Contextual View
Wall detail of Wolseley School, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2006
Wall Detail

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1921/01/01 to 1921/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/11/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Wolseley School in west Winnipeg is a one-storey red brick structure erected in 1921. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

Wolseley School, a long, low Collegiate Gothic-style building, is an excellent and rare example of the one-storey structures built in 1918-21 by the Winnipeg School Division to meet soaring demand for new classroom space. The division turned to the bungalow model as a quick and cost-effective way to expand capacity yet maintain high quality at a time of rising construction costs and war-induced labour and material shortages. Designed by Col. J.N. Semmens, Wolseley School satisfied cost constraints by following a standardized plan, but it also incorporated a greater degree of ornamentation compared to earlier buildings in the series. The result is a handsome, subtly detailed structure, finished in red brick with light stone accents, that aesthetically complements its residential setting. Recently renovated and expanded, the school continues to serve as an integral part of its neighbourhood.

Source: City of Winnipeg Standing Committee on Property and Development Meeting Minutes, September 4, 2001

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Wolseley School site include:
- the school's location in Winnipeg's West End, amidst residences in the Wolseley neighbourhood, conspicuous in its scale and central siting on a slight rise adjacent to a large open space

Key elements that define the school's exterior heritage character and modest Collegiate Gothic Revival styling include:
- the elongated one-storey massing with facades of red tapestry brick, flat roof and concrete foundation
- the two, slightly projecting south entrances featuring buttresses and modest stone detailing, including compound pointed arches holding recessed double doors with pointed arched transoms, rectangular tablets depicting shields inset with Latin crosses, tapered decorative parapets with offsets and end battlements, etc.
- the southwest bay with a medieval tower-inspired jog on the west side, a gable parapet and detailing that mimics the entrance pavilions
- the large multi-paned rectangular windows throughout, many with six-over-six sashes with transoms, set in banks of three or as singles, with smooth-cut limestone sills and soldier-coursed brick lintels
- the restrained smooth-cut limestone details, including a belt course above the windows, the coping with pinnacles, a tablet inscribed with 'WOLSELEY SCHOOL A.D. 1921', etc.; also a low flat brick band at sill level

Key elements that define the school's interior layout, finishes and details include:
- the formal L-shaped plan and wide double-loaded central corridor, classrooms with cloakrooms and French doors with transoms, and maple flooring and tall ceilings throughout
- the details, including washrooms with mosaic tiling and wooden stalls, durable finishes (including wood trim and accents), 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

Col. J.N. Semmens



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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