Lansdowne Public School as it Looked in 1929
Lansdowne Public School GSPL MK1600

So much has changed! Lansdowne Public School after construction was complete in 1929. The road you see leading to the school is what we know as Frood Road today. Greater Sudbury Public Library MK1600.

This photo from Greater Sudbury Public Library really highlights the changes in Greater Sudbury, especially The Donovan where it’s located. The landscape looks bleak yet the school looks so imposing up on the hill. Technically when Lansdowne Public School was built it was located on the corner of Monck Street (which was later changed to Frood Road) and Baker Street – today the school is located on Lansdowne Street.

Last spike CPR

Governor-General Lansdowne was supposed to be the person who was wielding the spike maul.

Lansdowne Public School was built in 1929 on the corner of Frood Road and Baker Street. It was named for Lord Henry Lansdowne who was Canada’s fifth Governor-General. (He became Governor-General in 1883, the year Sudbury came to be.) Incidentally, he was a very hands-on Governor-General. He was in Canada numerous times and travelled our country. He was the one chosen to drive the last spike in the railway in British Columbia when the CPR was complete – weather delayed him so he was replaced by CPR financier Donald Alexander Smith instead as you can see in this iconic photo.

The school was designed by local architect Peter James (P.J.) O’Gorman who designed so many of Greater Sudbury’s schools, churches and other familiar buildings in our downtown core including the Mackey Building, Sudbury Mining and Technical School and Christ the King Church. He was considered the top architect of Northern Ontario travelling all over to design buildings in neighbouring communities.

The school originally had eight classrooms, library and offices for the principal, teachers and a nurse. The basement had girls’ and boys’ playrooms and the area could easily be converted into an auditorium for events. The cost to build at the time was $51,899.96 with an additional $9,665 for plumbing, electrical and wiring. Its construction, back then was, touted as “semi-fire-proof”.

Lansdowne Public School taken a few years after it was built – Greater Sudbury Public Library MK4118 – and as it looks today after a few additions through the years.

Today Lansdowne Public School is part of Rainbow Schools and offers classes in English and French Immersion school as well as an Ojibwe Language Program. Classes range from kindergarten to grade 8 and the school has an enrolment of 265 kids.

At one point Junction Creek ran through downtown, giving Sudbury the name "Venice of the North".
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In March 1956, Sudbury Aviation Limited inaugurated its flying school on Whitewater Lake in Azilda. At the time, it was the only school authorized by the government to train pilots in Northern Ontario.

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