Although Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1973, the school noted that the date could equally well have been called its 91st anniversary. When the school opened in 1923 it was simply a case of a new name being given to a new building which was to be the home for an old institution, the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute. Thus, Daniel’s history can be legitimately traced back in a direct line to 1882 when eight students assembled in the upper room of the Louise Street School. With that group of students began the Winnipeg Collegiate department. But that winter they nearly froze in the Louise Street School and the group was moved to a room in Central School, which remained the collegiate department for nine years. Then the Board built Winnipeg’s first high school at William and Kate, where Hugh John Macdonald School now stands, and in 1892 the longhoped-for Winnipeg Collegiate Institute, the ancestor of the Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute began it history. The new Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, named in honour of long-time school district superintendent, opened in 1923 with only about half of the proposed plans implemented. These plans included a large wing facing Wellington Avenue (which was not built, and then in a different form, until 1958). This wing was to have included two gymnasia, a library, swimming pool, equipment rooms and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,200. The Wellington and Alverstone corner of the building was to take the form of a tower in which would be offices and teachers’ rooms and through which would be the entrance to the school. The tower was never built and the school thus never did have its planned entrance. The original plans also called for industrial arts shops which would be set somewhat apart from the rest of the building but connected with it by corridors. Meant to house a variety of shops, the only one built was the erection shed which had huge doors - it had been intended as a house-building shop (now used as the auto shop). Other amenities of the school were to be a lecture theatre and lunchrooms. Although the Board had instructed the architect, Colonel J.N. Semmens, to prepare plans “in accordance with all the latest ideas in such a class of building”, it was shocked when the tenders were submitted. Plans were scaled down to suit the $600,000 budget allotted for the construction of the school. It was hoped that the additional features and Wellington wing would be completed after a few years. The Depression, followed by World War II saw to it that the Board’s plans for the school went unfulfilled. In fact, in one form or another the absence of certain facilities has been one of the characteristics of the school’s history. It was in the first few years in the new building that the school’s strong musical tradition may be said to have really begun. Over the years, Daniel McIntyre’s choirs and orchestra have captured numerous musical awards. The school also established itself athletically, accomplishments which were impressive because of the lack of proper facilities for both endeavours. If people’s memories are an accurate guide, discipline in the school was strict but generally accepted by the students. Teaching seems to have been very much geared to preparing students for the departmental exams, however, school life was not all dull and bookish, recalled Fred Gilbert, a caretaker who had been with the school from its opening in 1923 until his retirement in 1955. He remembered that when the first student president was elected in 1923 “the students collected garbage cans and lids and paraded up and down the streets making all the noise they could with them. The people thought they were crazy and came over to see what kind of a school we were running”.
During the period 1925 to 1941, the school established a system of student government, and in 1929 to 1930, the Senior Council drew up a constitution which was claimed to be the first in any Winnipeg high school. Like any other school, Daniel McIntyre was inevitably affected by developments in the world outside. The budget slashing of the dirty thirties, for example, saw the disappearance of Grade 12 from the school. The Board instituted a Grade 11 Extension class which gave students another year in school but which carried no formal credit and, for this reason, was never very popular. Throughout the war the school continued its annual “At Home” which had been started on April 16, 1939, the 16th anniversary of the opening of the building. On these occasions parents and others were given the chance to inspect the work of the school by examining displays of work the students had done. It was also during the war years that the school obtained the portrait of Dr. Daniel McIntyre that now hangs in the south-east of the building. It was presented to the school by Mr. Adam Beck, chairman of the School Board, at the graduation exercises in June, 1940.
In 1944, Loren Ross, the Governor General’s medallist, presented the school with the plaque that records the names of the winners of the Governor General’s Medal, thus beginning another tradition that the school has continued. The years 1945 to 1973 were years of expansion and change for the school. By the spring of 1951 an inter-com system had been installed and it had a major impact upon school life.
In 1955, the first addition to the building occurred when the gymnasium/auditorium was completed at a cost of $237,953.58. Another major change in the physical appearance of the school occurred with the completion of the Wellington Avenue wing. Opened in September, 1958, the wing contained new offices and 14 classrooms which included two laboratories and two typing rooms. The same year, the Memorial Alcove was opened. Money for the stained glass window was raised by staff and students and the cost of installation were borne by the School Board. The Honour Rolls were placed in the Alcove. In 1964, a new wing was built at the south-west corner of the school. The addition included seven new classrooms, a slightly bigger library, a new music room and a new lunchroom, for a total cost of $188,015.
Also in the 1960s, a fire detection system was installed in the school. The system, sensitive to heat or smoke, was linked directly to the fire station. Another notable change in the early sixties was in the teaching staff. Until then, it had not been unusual for teachers to come to Winnipeg from Britain or the United States, and these two areas continued to provide staff, but, at the same time, teachers now came to Daniel McIntyre from other parts of the world: South Africa, India, Australia, West Indies. Such teachers brought with them new perspectives and enriched both staff and students with their conversation and teaching.
Dr. Daniel McIntyre
Dr. Daniel McIntyre was born in 1852 on a farm near Dalhousie, New Brunswick. After attending school in that province, he went to Halifax to study at Dalhousie University from which he graduated in 1875. For some years, he taught school in New Brunswick and then decided to study law. He was called to the Bar in 1882. In the same year Dr. McIntyre, a young man filled with enthusiasm and the spirit of adventure, arrived in Winnipeg. In this frontier community among pioneers who were striving to build a prairie city, he saw a great opportunity for the future of education. He was appointed to the staff of the Winnipeg Schools. He was principal of Carlton School until 1885 when he was promoted to the position of Superintendent of Schools. “Under his direction the school organization of Winnipeg grew from the simple and limited one of a small town to the large complex system of a modern city. In building up its physical equipment, developing its personnel, and creating its traditions and character Dr. McIntyre was the central figure.” He spent 46 years in the service of the Winnipeg School Board, 43 of them as superintendent. During his term of office he visited other Canadian and American cities to observe how their schools were built. He brought back many helpful ideas, and when new schools were built in Winnipeg, many of Dr. McIntyre’s ideas were incorporated in their planning. Dr. McIntyre’s influence extended beyond the Winnipeg schools. He was for many years active in formulating educational policy, not only in Manitoba, but in the whole of Canada. “His acumen, strength, and sincerity were recognized not only in the field of formal education but in many institutions and organizations that affect the lives of people. Dr. McIntyre was long recognized as a great administrator and a great citizen.”
Formal recognition of his devotion and service came from the University of Manitoba with the degree of Honourary Doctor of Laws and with an O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire) from the government. At the end of 1928 Dr. McIntyre asked to be relieved of his arduous responsibilities; but until the time of his death on December 14, 1946, at the age of 94, he continued to show keen interest in whatever concerned Winnipeg schools. The portrait in oils of the esteemed Doctor, a gift of the Winnipeg teachers, hangs in a place of honour in the Daniel McIntyre Collegiate. Here the name of a man of wide knowledge, sound judgement, and scholarly idealism is kept alive.
• Contractors: Thos. E. Sharpe
• Architect: Colonel J. N. Semmens
• Cost: $555,535 ($7,800 per room)
• Opened: April 1923
• No. of rooms: 26 including library
Addition: 1954 - Auditorium-gymnasium
• Contractors: Wallace & Akins
• Contract: $215,680 (actual cost $237,953)
• Opened: April 27, 1955
• Contractors: Conito Construction Ltd.
• Cost: $21,000
Addition: 1956 - 1957
• Contractors: Arlington Builders Ltd.
• Architects: Semmen & Allison
• Contract: $198,383 (actual cost $217,367)
• Completed: January, 1958
• No. of rooms: 12 plus two science rooms (6 rooms on first
floor; 8 rooms on second floor)
Alterations: Language laboratory completed August 17, 1962
• Cost: $9,833.81
• Conversion to gas: 1961
September 1963: Two vending machines (soup) installed by Dawson Richardson Publications Ltd.
• Contractors: John Miller & Sons Ltd.
• Cost: $188,015
• No. of rooms: 7 classrooms, science lab, luncheon room
• Completed: August 28, 1964
• Industrial arts area added, including automotive, wood, metals and electrical shops; a new gymnasium was also added.
• Underground running track and exercise area developed underneath the 1976 addition.