Winnipeg Architecture Foundation



l'Institut Collégial Vincent Massey Collegiate

Address:975 Dowker Avenue
Other Work:Additions in 1968, 1985 and 1989
Architects:Smith Carter Searle and Associates (1959-1960, 1968, and smaller additions and alterations in the 1970s and 1980s); MCM Architects have handled more recent work
Firms:Smith Carter Searle and Associates, MCM Architects

More Information

Named for the popular first native-born governor-general of Canada, l'Institut Collégial Vincent Massey Collegiate is a large dual-track high school that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.

There is no question that the building has seen significant alteration, yet the core integrity of the original school segment remains extant through careful handling of its public face.

Design Characteristics

Suburb:Fort Garry
  • The three-storey section facing south on Dowker Avenue dates to 1959-60; the floor slabs jut out to form sunshades as the distinctive feature of the period design; windows run horizontally in unbroken lengths along the three layers, adding to the strongly horizontal line, with remaining lower wall space covered with a light brown brick
  • In the plans, the classrooms were in this front area, followed by shops space in the centre and the auditorium followed the floor plan back to the north side; the administrative wing is the low section on the west side and it is also original
  • All sides except the front have been added to but one interesting part is on the west side where a link was used to push back, but a small open area was kept as a courtyard and has a large tree in it
  • Although somewhat rambling, additions to the rear have respected the established height limit, materials and trim detail of the 1959 portion and cannot be seen from head-on