University of Victoria College, University of Toronto

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Founded in 1836 as the Upper Canada Academy, by the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The Upper Canadian government was hesitant about providing a charter for a Methodist institution (at first, the college functioned as an unofficially Methodist seminary), but King William IV granted Egerton Ryerson a royal charter for the institution in 1836. A church committee had decided earlier, in 1831, that the institution would be located in Cobourg, Ontario, and opened the school officially on October 12, 1836. In 1841 it received a charter from the Upper Canadian government, and renamed itself Victoria College, in honor of Queen Victoria. The college federated with Albert University in 1884, creating Victoria University, and in 1890 federated with the University of Toronto. Shortly after in 1892, Victoria University relocated to its current Charles Street West location, south of Bloor Street, from Cobourg.

Buildings and Architecture
The main Victoria College building, “Old Vic,” was designed by W.G. Storm. The architecture is of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, which incorporates 11th and 12th century European characteristics. The main Victoria college campus is centered around the main quadrangle, which is outlined by the upper and lower houses of Burwash Hall.
The residence buildings of Victoria College are Annesley Hall, Burwash Hall (split into Upper and Lower Houses, with their own sub-houses), Rowell Jackman Hall, and Margaret Addison Hall. Annesley Hall is the oldest of the residence buildings, and is a National Historic Site of Canada. It was the first residence in Canada built for only females.

Notable Alumni
Some famous alumni from Victoria College include: Margaret Atwood, author; Northrop Frye, literary critic; Lester B. Pearson, 14th Prime Minister of Canada and Nobel Laureate; and Donald Sutherland, actor.

See: Presidents of Victoria University

Principals of Victoria College

Edward Wilson Wallace (1930-1932)

Walter T. Brown (1932-1941)

Harold Bennett (1941-1959)

H. Northrop Frye (1959-1966)

John Edwin Hodgetts (1967-1970)

John Mercel Robson (1971-1976)

Gordon Lincoln Keyes (1976-1981)

William J. Callahan (1991-2000)

Bavid B. Cook (2000-present}

Student Groups

Victoria College Students’ Society & Evangelical Department of the Mission Board

Fred Victor Mission

Victoria College Students’ Christian Social Union (1909-1910)

Victoria College Theological Club

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

Arthur H. Burnett


The Original Building

 Harris, Robin S. ‘Victoria in federation with the University of Toronto,’ in From Cobourg to Toronto: Victoria University in retrospect: the sesquicentennial lectures, 1986. Toronto: Chartes, 1989, 31-55

Ibronyi, Barbara, ed. Early Voices: Women at Victoria. Toronto, 1984.

McKillop, A. Brian. ‘The founding of Victoria,’ in From Cobourg to Toronto: Victoria University in retrospect: the sesquicentennial lectures, 1986. Toronto: Chartres, 1989, 11-30

Sissons, C.B. A history of Victoria University. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1952)

Semple, Neil. Faithful Intellect: Samuel S. Nelles and Victoria University. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005

From Cobourg to Toronto: Victoria College in retrospect: the sesquicentennial lectures, 1986. Toronto: Chartes, 1989

Student awards and benefactors, Victoria College, University of Toronto. Toronto: Victoria College, 2002.