schools king-george king-george 82 82

School History

By name, King George is the oldest secondary school in Vancouver. The original building opened in 1915. 

Written by Emma Hughson, 1974-75; Revised by William Davison, 1990

Final revision by Chris Lee, 2011

 Although the first school in the community which was to become Vancouver was a private school built by the Hastings Sawmill in 1872, the first public school was not opened until 1888, two years after the city’s incorporation. By this time the wooden city had been destroyed by fire and the first transcontinental train had arrived a year earlier.

The WestEnd had become a social and economic district of a city of 5,000 and an elementary school which became overcrowded very quickly, was built at the corner of Burrard and Barclay Streets. When Sir William Dawson school was constructed on Nelson Street in 1892 to meet the demands of a growing student population, the school board was criticized for building a school too far into the woods. The student demands on this building, however, necessitated the addition of another wing the following     year.

On August 24, 1914, this building was turned into a much needed high school and renamed King George High School after King George V. The school enrolled 196 pupils its first year. Thirty-two of these pupils along with one teacher were to lose their lives in World War I.

From the beginning, the school stressed scholarship, but during these troubled years the staff and students were also involved in many worthy projects such as the sale of Victory Bonds, aid to Belgium and relief for the school children displaced by the Halifax Explosion. During these early years, King George was also very successful in the sporting arena, in particular track and field, rugby and ice hockey, winning many prestigious awards.

During the 1930s, the school population increased to 525 students taught by a staff of 18 teachers. In 1939, the social hall and the library were opened. During the Second World War, King George was alive with activities which reflected this state of affairs. The fields became drill grounds and parade squares and the attic became a rifle range. Small portable units were added to accommodate soldiers in training. The school even owned a small plane donated by a West End man.

In the 1950′s an Official King George Song was produced that came from the tune Anchors Aweigh.

Check out the past principals of KG!

Mr. Johnston  1917-1937

Mr. Wood


Mr. Corkum 


Mr. Mercer


Mr. Alsbury  1952-1953

Mr. Wiedrick  1953-1954 

Mr. Thomas 1954-1955

Mr. Cameron  1955-1962

Mr. Brown  1962-1968

Mr. Blake 1968-1972 

Mr. Dawding 1972-1974

Mr. Duncan  1974-1982

Mr. Lafavor  1982-1988

Mr. Lyster 1988-1990

Mr. Mcintyre  1990-1992

Mrs. Wareing 1992-1996

Mr. Gregory  1996-2000

Mrs. Jones  2000-2002

Mr. Howe 2002-2009

Mr. Moro  2009-2013

Mr. Wiebe


Mr. Lauzon


Mr. Taylor


 Mr. Evans



Article from KG Archives : Jesse Coomes & Jim Bradbury

To tell the story of King George High School we have to go back the beginning of the Vancouver School Board, which was formed just after the fire of 1886 and the building of some of Vancouver’s first schools.  

In 1888 a four-room building was built at Burrard and Barclay streets which would become the “West End’s“ first school and was called West School.  

In 1889 a larger brick building was built at Pender and Cambie streets that would be known as  Central school and because the Vancouver public schools had passed the requisite number of pupils to entitle the city to a High School, one room in the new building would be utilized for High School purposes.

In 1890 Vancouver’s first permanent high school was built at Pender and Cambie. The eight room structure would be called “Vancouver High School” This is where the “West End “ students would go for the senior classes. Back in the “West End”, West School is overcrowded and in 1892 a new eight room brick building is constructed at Burrard and Nelson streets.

The following year they added another eight rooms due to rapidly increasing student population. In 1900 they changed the name of the school to Sir William Dawson.