With the cornerstone laid September 28, 1907, Luxton School was officially opened early the following year. Around the same time, the need for more accommodation for high school academic courses was becoming more urgent, and in 1909, Luxton was one of three schools in which temporary high school departments were placed.
Increasing student population led to an eight-room addition to Luxton School in 1915. That same year, the school division’s first Home and School Associations were formed in two schools: Luxton and Wellington. In 1948, two more rooms and a gymnasium were added to Luxton School. Fourteen years later, in 1962, a public address system was completed in the school. During 1950, Winnipeg’s “year of the flood”, Luxton School was among the many school buildings which played useful roles. It became a headquarters for the police, the navy and the Scotia Street Flood Sufferer’s Association, with the navy docking its boats at the school’s door.
In 1988, a new gymnasium with equipment storage space, change rooms, showers, an office for the physical education teacher and a kitchen were built onto the west side of the school. An enclosed atrium walkway joined the old building and the new gymnasium. The design of the walkway incorporated the old tyndall stone entrance way. Luxton School has always had an immediate reminder of the beginnings of education in Winnipeg. It was named in memory of W. F. Luxton, the city’s first public school teacher who had died the year the school was built, and ever since the school opened, a large portrait of Mr. Luxton has hung in the main hall. Luxton students, staff and the community celebrated the school’s 100th anniversary with a week of festivities, May 14-18, 2007.
William Fisher Luxton
Born on December 12, 1844 in Devonshire, England, William Fisher Luxton came to Canada with his parents when he was just a young boy. He attended school in St. Thomas, Ontario, and, following graduation, taught school for several years.
In 1966, Mr. Luxton, in partnership with G. W. Ross, purchased the “Strathroy Age” newspaper. Subsequently, he purchased the “Seaforth Expositor” and founded “The Daily Home Journal” at Goderich. When these ventures proved unprofitable, he joined “The Globe” and in 1871 he was sent to the Northwest as a special correspondent. In Winnipeg as a correspondent, Mr. Luxton was persuaded to accept an appointment as a teacher at Winnipeg’s first public school (a log shanty between Henry Avenue and Maple Street, now renamed Higgins Avenue) which was opened on October 31, 1871. Although he taught at this school for only one year, he remained actively interested in education as a member of the Board of School Trustees, then as a member of the Provincial Board of Education. Making Winnipeg his home, Mr. Luxton soon became interested in the possibilities of producing a newspaper in Western Canada. He formed a partnership with John. A. Kenny and on November 9, 1872, the first issue of the “Manitoba Weekly Free Press” appeared.
With the establishment of the Free Press, Mr. Luxton became a leading figure in the city and was active in many civic enterprises. He was a charter member of the Winnipeg Board of Trade and a founder of the Winnipeg General Hospital. In 1874 to 1888, Mr. Luxton extended his activities to include involvment in provincial and federal politics.
• Contractors: John Saul
• Contract: $86,000 (actual cost $86,167)
• Cornerstone: September 28, 1907
• Opened: 1908
• No. of rooms: 12
• Contractors: Worwick Bros.
• Actual cost: $50,479
• Opened: February, 1916
• Contractors: Peter Leitch
• Contract: $64,600 (actual cost $72,150)
• Opened: January 3, 1949
• No. of rooms: 2 plus a gymnasium
• Contract: $457,410
• Opened: February 2, 1989
• Contractor: Westland Construction
• Architect: Stechesen Katz Architects
• No. of rooms: 1 gymnasium plus related rooms (equipment storage, change rooms, showers, an office for physical education teacher, and a kitchen)