University College, University of Toronto

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University College

University act of 1853 established University College as a separate coorporation, given the responsibility for teaching the Arts. The fundamental principle of the University Act passed by Mr. Hincks was the removal of the University of Toronto's responsibility of teaching. All teaching from this point onward was to be done by its separate, but affiliate colleges. University College was the University of Toronto's first affiliated college and was granted under this bill representation in the Senate, and the admission of students to examinations, and competition for honours and scholarships. This bill would put the curriculum and examinations of all the colleges under the control of one central university.

Bissell, Claude T., ed. University College: A portrait, 1853-1953. Totonto: University of Toronto Press, 1953.

Rynor, Michah. ‘Looking back: Key witness,’ University of Toronto Magazine, 25, 2 (Winter 1997) 34. Key to one of the doors of University College that was recovered from the ruins after the fire of 14 February 1890.

Douglas Richardson, A Not Unsightly Building: University College and Its History. Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press for University College, 1990

Principals of University College

The Principals of University College
University College was established in 1853. Until 1901, Presidents of
the University of Toronto were also Presidents of University College.
1853 – 1880 John McCaul
1880 – 1892 Sir Daniel Wilson
1892 – 1901 James Loudon
1901 – 1928 Maurice Hutton
1928 – 1944 Malcolm William Wallace
1944 – 1945 Sidney Earle Smith
1945 – 1951 William Robert Taylor
1951 – 1959 Francois Charles Achille Jeanneret
1959 – 1963 Moffat St Andrew Woodside
1964 – 1970 Douglas Valentine LePan
1970 – 1977 Archibald Cameron Hollis Hallett
1977 – 1989 George Peter Richardson
1989 – 1997 Lynd Wilks Forguson
1997 – 2005 Paul Joseph Perron
2005 – 2011 Sylvia Beth Bashevkin
2011 –         Donald C. Ainslie

The Arbor (undergraduate magazine)

Le Cercle Français


Modern Letters Club

Music Club

The Undergrad

Players’ Guild

University College Alumnae Association (November 1898)

University College Literary and Scientific Society,_University_of_Toronto

Board of Student Control (1907)

University College Literary and Athletic Society

Bell, R.A. The Lit: 1854-1934

U.C. Parliament

Winett, Frederick Victor, McCullough, Stewart W.. A Brief History of the Department of Near Eastern Studies.


- Creation
University College was established on April 22, 1853. On that day, the college was created and joined the University of Toronto as the first constituent college of the university. At this point, it was the only member college within the university, until Knox and Victoria College joined in the following year. As a secularist college, it contrasted with other highly religious colleges of the time. In the same year of its founding, 1853, the University Act declared that the college (and other subsequent colleges) would be responsible for teaching functions, freeing the university from that responsibility, to focus on examination.

- Buildings and Architecture
The main University College building was built between 1856 and 1859. It was designed by Frederick William Cumberland, and William George Storm. The design was largely influenced by the college’s insistent secularism. The design committee was spearheaded by Cumberland, who used his travels in Europe as inspiration for the designs. The initial design was for a Gothic structure, but the Governor General, Edmund Walker Head, wanted Italian instead, and later changed his mind to the Byzantine style. The final product was unconventional, with asymmetrical architectural expression, Norman Romanesque Revival, and hints of Byzantium and Italian palazzo. The building’s main characteristics include: partial stone exterior, the rest being pale yellow brick, arched and rounded windows, cavernous facades, plentiful ornamentation (carved images of nature, mysterious creatures, and the college shield/motto), and stained glass windows.

But while the core architectural plans remain at University College, much of the original work was destroyed by a fire in 1890. The fire was started by two kerosene lamps, which were accidentally dropped on a wooden staircase. The fire consumed the entire east wing and library of University College. When the college was rebuilt, the access to Convocation Hall and the University College quadrangle through East Hall was cut off. Also, the chemistry laboratory was moved to the Croft Chapter House, and the West Wing is no longer used as a residence.

- Notable Alumni
Some famous alumni from University College include: Paul Shaffer, musician on Saturday Night Live and The Late Show with David Letterman; John McCrae, author of “In Flanders Fields”; Michael Ondaatje, author; and The Hon. Edward Blake, former Premier of Ontario.,_Toronto