Ellen Douglass School / Children Guidance Clinic

Address:700 Elgin Avenue
Original Use:Educational
Architects:Winnipeg School Division, In-house
Contractors:Arlington Brothers

More Information

The signifiance in this building lies not only with its pristine period design of great integrity but with its role in the development of education in the province. The cornerstone was laid in 1960 by the current Governor-General Georges Vanier, whose legacy with handicapped children has resonated around the world through the l'Arche program. Ellen Douglass, herself a pioneer in education of mentally handicapped children, was instrumental in developing the Child Guidance Clinic, a support network for mentally and physically challenged students from all urban school divisions that was first opened in 1941; it was in her honour that the school was named.

Design Characteristics

Suburb:West Alexander
  • This new facilities opened on January 20th 1960. It contained six classrooms specially designed for the various disabilities such as a ramp and room for a wheelchair to turn around, an elevator as well as a multi-purpose room, space for a physiotherapy clinic, a home-ec room and speech therapy space; while these are services that we take for granted now, it was ground-breaking at the time
  • In 1980, students with disabilities were integrated into mainstream classrooms but the Child Guidance Clinic remains here for the Winnipeg
  • School Division and each other division has its own resource centre; there is a French immersion school operating within as well
  • Ellen Douglass School is quite large, two storeys, with a curtain wall of windows on the north and south sides, wide classrooms and wide corridors but essentially a rectangle with a flat roof, flat facades and end walls of red brick
  • The openings are original and the windows and turquoise spandrel panels all seem unaltered from the originals; the windows, panels and red brick base all run in continuous horizontal bands of colour for a lively effect that is unmistakably modern