UPDATE June 28, 2015 The remains of the residential school and the land it sits on have been put up for sale on Kijiji. Price reduced from $99,000 to $79,000 CDN. Here’s the link
Perched on the edge of the Birdtail River valley above Birtle, MB stands the ruins of an Indian residential school. Built in 1930, this two- and three-storey red brick and limestone building was the third residential school in the town. The 1882 school burned down in 1895. The 1895 school, near this site, was demolished and replaced with the present building. Closed in 1972 and largely abandoned to the elements since, today the place is a fascinating shambles. In June 2014 I took pictures and video of the school inside and out. Smashed glass brick basement windows. Thoroughly vandalized, there are few unbroken panes of glass left on the building. Rear view of the building. Appropriate graffiti on old shed next to school. The facade of the three-storey section of school. Smooth limestone pointed arch over the front entrance. Just inside the front door looking out. Remains of a colourful mural on the wall inside the front door. Hallway to large auditorium. Ice cube trays on a decomposing couch with evidence of fire on the floor. Several small areas in the building have been blackened by fire but it’s mostly masonry with little to burn. Well-graffitied auditorium. Ruined elegance. Once-stylish over-stuffed armchair now oversees the peeling of the floor tiles.Bird’s nest atop hanging metal ceiling fragment. Pigeons, robins and swallows use the place to roost and nest.The one remaining unbroken urinal in the building. View out third floor window of pretty little Birtle in the valley below.
This archival picture shows the school not long after it was built in 1930.
Click here to view my five and half minute video tour of the school.