Photo of the entrance to Beautiful Saviour Lutheran School at 52 Birchdale Avenue
Detail image of Beautiful Saviour Lutheran School at 52 Birchdale Avenue

Beautiful Saviour Lutheran School

Formerly:H.L. Softley School
St. Thomas More School
Address:52 Birchdale Avenue
Other Work:1962 chapel addition
Architects:Nikola Mathew Zunic
Victor Sobkowich
Firms:Zunic & Sobkowich, Architects

More Information

The building at 52 Birchdale Avenue opened in 1955 as St. Thomas More Catholic School, a subdivision of the St. Boniface diocese run by Manitoba Provincial Council Catholic Women's League of Canada president D.M. Alexander. The school's original design and all subsequent additions were completed by local architects Nikola Zunic and Victor Sobkowich. The first addition was a chapel to the east of the building in 1962 and was followed by the construction of an entirely separate church next door and second wing on the west side. All of the additions up until the final one to the west of the building maintained the exterior style of the original construction; the west wing of the school exhibits a more modern design. However, for consistency the wings are similar in dimension, plan, and materials.

H.L. Softley School replaced St. Thomas More Catholic School in 1970 as an educational facility designed specifically for special needs students, although in its last nine years was a school for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students. The school's closure in 1998 came with the dissolution of the small Norwood school division in the same year, after which the building was sold to Beautiful Saviour Lutheran Church.

Beautiful Saviour Lutheran School, first established in 1983, is a small independent elementary school affiliated with the church by the same name located on St. Mary's Road. The school was able to expand and occupy the school at 52 Birchdale Avenue after the church and schools' respective expansions. Currently, Beautiful Saviour Lutheran Church is a private religious institution offering enrolment for Kindergarten to Grade 8 students.

Design Characteristics

Suburb:Norwood West
  • Simple modern design
  • Flat roof
  • White stucco exterior
  • Chapel
  • West wing has brutalist design elements
  • Fenced yard to the west


  • "'Best School in the World' closes to end an era of education in Norwood," Winnipeg Free Press, June 27, 1998.
  • "Chapel Blessing," Winnipeg Free Press, April 7, 1962.
  • "H.L. Softley School," Manitoba Historical Society.
  • "Mrs. D.M. Alexander Away to CWL Meet in Moncton," Winnipeg Tribune, October 12, 1955.
  • "Notice: The City of St. Boniface Advisory Planning Commission," Winnipeg Tribune, March 24, 1961.