Patterson Collegiate Institute

A few shots of Windsor’s first secondary school. Located on Goyeau and Elliot, directly across the street from where today you will find the Central Fire Hall. The site today is unsurprisingly a parking lot.

The photo above was taken around 1920, while below is a postcard view from around the same era.

The school was built in 1880, and designed by local architect James G McLean. A few of McLean’s residential works still stand in Walkerville, along with the old S.W. & A streetcar barns on University & Wellington. To the rear of the building a more modern wing known as the “Annex” was built in 1917, that section of the school was designed by J.C. Patterson. The school was closed in 1973, and the building was demolished in 1979.


  1. Another Windsor Ex-Pat

    Remember a janitor at Commerce telling us when it closed, that it would never be demolished, as it was so solidly built. He said the exterior walls were four feet thick!Unfortunately, he was wrong. Cool building!

  2. Our good family friend ED who owned Fast Eddy’s and Spats right around the corner had some of the timber wood that was in the school used has ceiling beams down in the restaraunt, my dad and him went into the school and removed them, I remember my dad telling me how heavy they were.

  3. This one was demo’ed because (the tactics used today and then) they brought the chief of the fire dept in and he said it was a fire hazard and to make it code it would have cost too much money- or so the story goes…I’ve heard this used on other buildings that have been demo’ed by this city as well.

  4. My father attended Pattersin Collegiate around 1912 tol abpput 1916 and I did also from 1940 to 1942 before swithing over to Business College. Some of the teachers I remember were: Mr Mencel,Nr. Hallam, Mr. Pentland,Miss Brien. Miss Hancock,and Mr. Newman, I don’t remember the Principal’s name but I remember we call the vice principal “Buttercup” Why I don’t know.

  5. Patterson merged with W.D. Lowe in the early 70s. I think 1974. Only the newer section was still there at that time (where Metro is now).

  6. Richard McIntyre

    Metro was never on that site, A & P closed in 2002 and was converted to Food Basic.

  7. Although closed as an operating school, parts of the building remained open and functional until at least 1977. Our elementary school attended a musical in their auditorium, performed by some travelling theatre troupe, in the spring of 1977.

  8. I loved Patterson, or at least stories of it. My father taught there until it closed in 1973. He met my mother there when she was working as a junior secretary and they started to date at the suggestion of the principal when my dad, who was 10 years older then my mother, needed a date for the christmas banquet.

  9. When I was in sea cadets in the 1970’s, the corps would sometimes march from HMCS Hunter and practice marching in the back of the school. The present day Food Basics building and the south part of the parking lot occupy the area where we marched.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *