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Heritage Site

Dr. Carruthers Public School

Site 3:
Dr. Carruthers Public School
380 McPhail Street
Date Originally Built:
Present Use:
Apartment Building
Evaluation Score:
Priority One

Dr. Carruthers Public School first opened in January of 1922. It was named in honour of Dr. J.B. Carruthers, one of the city’s pioneer medical doctors. He was an avid musician and during his spare time he visited the local schools to teach the students music. Unfortunately, he passed away before the school on McPhail Street was constructed.

Mary Collins was the first principal of Dr. Carruthers, where she remained until 1934. The school was constructed in four different stages between 1921 and 1963. The first three sections were completed by 1928. The newer addition at the south end of the school, built in 1963, was the fourth and last section to be constructed. It consisted of four classrooms, a pair of washrooms, and a gymnasium with a stage.

The exterior of the original three brick sections of the school have significant architectural features such as a continuous cornice, a varied parapet, and a triangular pediment canopy suspended above the front entrance. While it was still functioning as a school, the interior of the building remained in good condition and featured several original details including high ceilings, hardwood floors in hallways and classrooms, raised panel doors with wide wood trim and transom windows, and narrow cloakrooms connected to the classrooms.

The school closed in 2002 and was subsequently transformed into an apartment building. Many of the original interior features were lost during this transformation and renovation. However, the exterior of the building retains its school character. Dr. Carruthers Public School had a rich history and strong family ties as it served a local neighbourhood for over 75 years.