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 and 22 cadets of The Heralds of the Good News session began their training in Winnipeg at 290 Vaughan Street. Twenty cadets, along with their children, arrived in Winnipeg while two cadets were pursuing their tailored training in Zimbabwe. In September 2006 the Heralds were joined by a second session of cadets, nine God’s Fellow Workers. These sessions have been followed by the Witnesses for Christ (2007-2009), The Prayer Warriors (2008-2010), The Ambassadors of Holiness (2009-2011), The Friends of Christ (2010-2012), The Proclaimers of the Resurrection (2011-2013) , The Disciples of the Cross (2012-2014), The Heralds of Grace (2013-2015) and The Messengers of Light (2014-2016). In addition to these sessions, CFOT also has three Auxiliary Captains who are training for officership, while serving in ministry units throughout the Territory. All cadet training in the Canada and Bermuda territory is now facilitated out of Winnipeg.