Detailed History of Training Sites
The training of officers in Canada has been a mobile and flexible task, with training schools, garrisons and colleges (there have been various names) through the years being located strategically to help in the salvation war. For Salvation Army training purposes in Canada, the three major locations have been Newfoundland, Toronto and Winnipeg, though there has been cadet training in other locations as well.
In Newfoundland, officer training facilities sprang up in such places as Harbour Grace and Bay Roberts before being centred in St. John's. For a time, in 1887, there was a women's training home in Saint John, New Brunswick and, in the same year, one in Brantford, Ontario, while men were trained in Toronto. A year later there is reference, in Army publications, to the "Ottawa Training Depot". In 1900, Central Canada training was consolidated at the Territorial Training Garrison in Toronto.
The Canada West Territory was established in 1915, and a year later the first training school was opened, at 241 Balmoral Street, in Winnipeg. In 1919 a Training Garrison was launched at 259 Fountain Street, with 43 cadets. For eight years this two-storey red brick building served the training needs of the Canada West Territory.
When a new Territorial Headquarters was opened in 1927, at 1091 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, the training college was part of the complex, but the shadow of the economic depression soon fell across The Salvation Army. With the closure of the Territory in 1931, because of financial pressures brought on by the depression, the last western session of cadets was commissioned just four years after the opening of the new college.
Until recently two Training Colleges (Toronto, Ontario and St. John's, Newfoundland), plus a small satellite campus in Montreal, Quebec for French-speaking cadets, were operational. As part of its territorial training strategy the Army closed the Toronto college in June 2004 and the St. John's and Montreal satellite campuses two years later.
In September 2005, the training of cadets returned to Winnipeg, where, for almost two decades, the College for Officer Training has embraced, encouraged and nurtured cadets, playing a pivotal role in preparing them for ministry and for serving communities in Canada and around the world.
In September 2023, to support a new training model with a greater focus on field training experiences and provide cadets with exposure to a wide variety of Salvation Army ministries and services, the College relocated from Winnipeg to Toronto.