Winnipeg Architecture Foundation



Polson School

Address:491 Munroe Avenue
Original Use:Educational
Other Work:Additions in 1959-1960, 1969, 1981
Architects:Prain and Ward
Smith Carter Searle (1959-1960)
Ward and Macdonald and Partners (1969, 1981)

More Information

Although the current Polson School opened in 1953, the original Polson School was built in 1910 across the street on the site of the present day Holy Eurcharist Hall and parking lot. The original Polson School existed until 1960, so for seven years there were two elementary schools across the street from each other. A vote to build the new school carried 38-0 in favor and $13,000 was budgeted, including $2,000 for the land. Peter McCalman was contracted to construct the new school, which was to be named Munroe School.

The original building sold for $62,295 to Watt and Janzen Builders who intended to put in three apartment blocks. The school division's maintenance department was housed in the old Polson building until it was sold. In 1960 an addition was put on the newer Polson School so the original Polson School could be closed. The school division voted to change the name from Munroe School back to Polson that same year to avoid confusion with the new Munroe Junior High that was built in 1958, and to preserve the Polson name.

Design Characteristics

Suburb:Munroe West
  • Although the school has had more than its share of change, the two early portions manage to lend definition to the overall look of the building: Edgar Prain's original small boxy rectangle, reduced to un-ornamented stucco, is prominent at the front and rear.
  • The Smith Carter Searle addition of 1959-60 retains much more of its integrity; it is a signature design in steel and concrete with raftered eaves and brown brick covering its external fins; many of the original windows can be seen here, which greatly boosts the quality of the design as well as its integrity.
  • A charming diminutive link with many of its original windows brings the two older sections of the facade together.
  • Newer additions on each side and at the rear are respectful in the use of light brown brick and give the school the facilities it needs to remain vibrant and viable