University Planning: University of Manitoba


“There was little direct government involvement in higher education until the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when disputes between and within denominational groups, the influence of United Empire Loyalists, and a fear of American  republicanism began to politicize Canadian higher education.” (Jones, 6)

“The increasing government interest in and support of higher education raised the
question of how these publicly-funded institutions should be governed.”

“The University of Toronto Act of 1906 established a structural framework that was quickly adopted by the four provincial universities in the West, and eventually adopted by almost every university in the country.”  “Their final report recommended the establishment of a bicameral governing structure with authority divided between a board of governors, the corporate board based on the American tradition, and a senate, an academic body based on the British tradition.” (Jones, 7)

General Organizations of Corporation (Jones, 35)
General Organizations of Corporation (Jones, 35)

The three founding affiliate colleges has long influences on the university planing as they insists to control over their finance and administration independently. The final location of the campus was first owned by the Manitoba Agriculture College that later became affiliated with the university.

After the war the increasing in student enrollment required major expansions to both the university buildings and faculty members and staffs. However funding and the independent colleges are not in the fostering position for a well designed campus plan. The state was in refusal of the university’s financial responsibility untill the 60s, therefore the funding mainly came from donations of the residence and the investment of the received funding.

The university has developed into a corporate operation mode to better manage and maintain the income for the expenses. Researches done in the medical and agricultural realms directly benefit the local hospital and farming industry.


“Gloom is very much in fashion in the Western world. Economists predict that the
current recession will develop into a catastrophic world depression.” “In retrospect, it is apparent that the academic profession is at the end of an exhilarating fifteen-year power trip. The landing was rough. The survivors are shaken and suitably nervous about their future.” (Jones, 45)

“Across Canada, provincial Governments are looking for ways to limit public spending on an unpopular cause. In Manitoba, Premier Ed Schreyer warned protesting university students that he would prefer to spend extra tax dollars on installing municipal water systems than on granting them free tuition.” (Jones, 47)

“Provincial governments in Canada are estimated to have paid out some $7.7 billion in grants to universities in 1987-1988 (Statistics Canada, 1987), and this figure does not include all provincial payments for student aid, research, and special programs of various kinds or direct federal support of various forms. That this level of funding can be talked about as a crisis, or commonly referred to as ‘chronic underfunding,’ says something about the nature of governments and university relationships in Canada today.” (Jones, 91)

”The University of Manitoba is the Province’s single most valuable human
resource for economic growth,” said a recent document produced by The University of Manitoba. “As the University’s budget is ever-increasingly constrained, its role as the Province’s major engine of economic growth will be weakened. The more the University is weakened, the more the economy will suffer” (University of Manitoba, 1987).


The Tuxedo Park company offered 150 acres land for the university site. The Manitoba Agriculture College (became affliated in 1907) purchased the Fort Gary site for its possibility for expansion.

In 1912 after the completion of administration building and Tache Hall for the Manitoba Agriculture College the province offered 137 acres land at Fort Gary site for university campus.

Designed by Olmsted Brothers.
Designed by Olmsted Brothers

Due to the lack of state support, the Depression in economics in the 30s and the effect of the Great War, the campus of the university remained scattered around the city. Broadway site still remained as the main campus for the undergraduate studies in science and also housing the student activities.

In the Dean of Women Students first report a survey is done that shows the university was a commuter campus and the students support their own education.(Bumsted, 54)

In 1929 large body of students paraded to the Legislative Building for the request of new buildings. (Bumsted, 64) The decision was made to keep the Broadway campus but construct new buildings on the Fort Gary site.

1932 John A Machray was arrested for embezzling from university funds. He had lost about 1.9 million of university funds and grants and only about 40 thousands dollars was recovered. This tragedy caused the incompletion of the relocation of the campus and the construction of new buildings. Only the Arts and Science department were moved to new building at Fort Garry Campus and the new campus was denoted to house senior years education.

The new campus planning guideline was absence since the expansion and relocation of the university. “From the beginning of expansion, there was no attempt to ensure a congruity of architectural styles on the Fort Garry Campus.” (Bumsted, 77) During the World War II the campus was adapted as military training facility thus many temporary camps was built.

In 1945 the debates on the final campus was brought up and student voted on to keep the downtown campus and against the remote Fort Garry Campus. The returning veterans address great pressure on the physical capacity of the university. In 1946 the “Veteran’s Village” construction began on the Fort Garry campus with 72 huts and 30 huts added later. This promotes the construction of the engineer building and the new library. However the great flood in 1950 again delayed the process of the new buildings.

The province was in refusal to fund the university until 1951 the Canadian government gave $7 million for higher education. Also till 1950s the affiliated colleges are still independently scattered in downtown where they are not connected to the university.

In 1952  the completion of the new bookstore marked the new “building boom” at the Fort Garry campus.

In 1966 the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science “… insisted that the colleges made it impossible to conduct rational academic planning, claiming that what was needed was ‘one Board. one President, one Dean. one Department head’. ” (Bumsted, 172) It was difficult to conduct the expansion plan for the university without the unified budget and financial organization.

The enrollment increased drastically in the 70s lead to another major expansion.The new fine arts, pharmacy, music and architecture buildings was constructed. Also the art, law and education got their own buildings. The expansion also took place in the downtown medical campus with additions to the old buildings and new dental and immunology building.

On-going Development:

The University of Manitoba is continuing to grow and as a successful provincial higher education institution it is recognized worldwide.  It houses over 29,000 students, 8,500 faculty and staff, and 190,000 alumni. About 11.2% of the current student are from abroad (104 countries). The university is currently looking for a brand new vision for the international high standard campus.

Visionary - International  Competition for New CampusVisionary – International Competition for New Campus

aerial ledger

Criteria of New Development
Bumsted, J. M. The University of Manitoba: An Illustrated History. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 2001. Print.
Jones, Glen Alan. The University and the State: Reflections on the Canadian Experience. Winnipeg, Man.: University of Manitoba, 1998. Print.
University of Manitoba International Competition:

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