Saturday, September 5, 2015Partly Cloudy 28°C

What university campuses used to look like in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 5, 2015

toronto university archivesSummer is almost over, and for thousands of people in Toronto, that means retreating back into another year of post-secondary education. This city has long been a magnet for students: what would later become the University of Toronto dates back to the 1820s and the founding of King's College, a religious university aligned with the Church of England.

In 2015, Toronto is home to four universities (U of T, Ryerson, York, and OCAD U) and four colleges (Humber, Seneca, George Brown, and Centennial) with somewhere in the region of 200,000 combined students.

Here's a look back at what university campuses (and students) used to look like in Toronto.

toronto university archivesUniversity of Toronto students at Annesley Hall, 1907.

toronto university archivesStudents in the Wood House women's residence in 1907.

toronto university archivesArt students in an unidentified university studying in an empty swimming pool, c. 1908.

toronto university archivesA life drawing class at the Central Ontario School of Art, a precursor to OCAD University, at the Grange in 1911.

toronto university archivesTwo residents of Burwash Hall at the University of Toronto in 1911.

toronto university archivesStudents in the halls of residence at U of T's Knox College, c. 1911.

toronto university archivesGraduates of U of T some time between 1912 and 1916.

toronto university archivesThe University of Toronto women's hockey team in 1912.

toronto university archivesMilitary students at the University of Toronto learn airframe repair on an early aircraft, c. 1914.

toronto university archivesUniversity of Toronto's Hart House, c. 1920.

toronto university archivesUniversity College, 1923.

toronto university archivesStudents on the lawn outside University College in 1928.

toronto university archivesTrinity College in what is now Trinity-Bellwoods Park in 1929.

toronto university archivesGeorge Brown architecture students at drafting tables, 1950-1970.

toronto university archivesTelevision repair at George Brown.

toronto university archivesGeorge Brown students learning typewriter repairs at 37 Dartnell Ave.

toronto university archivesVanier College residence at York University in the 1960s.

toronto university archivesKnox College, now under renovations, on Spadina in the 1970s.

toronto university archivesThe York University library under construction in 1970.

toronto university archivesView across the newly-completed Devonian Pond at the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, 1978.

toronto university archivesAerial view of the Ryerson Campus from Yonge St. in the 1980s or 1990s.

toronto university archivesYonge and Gould looking into the Ryerson Campus c. 1980s.

toronto university archivesSt. James campus during renos.

toronto university archivesGeorge Brown's St. James campus shortly after opening.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: City of Toronto Archives (as marked.)



Wonderful!!! / September 5, 2015 at 01:15 am
Thanks, Chris! I find your articles consistently the most interesting on BlogTO. Wonderful old photos. UofT is the most beautiful campus in all of Canada, imo.
mckenzie george / September 5, 2015 at 09:39 am
Great article with some very cool photos!

However, I thought I'd flag that the photo of Trinity College above is actually of the new college building on Hoskin Avenue within the U of T campus, and not of the original in Trinity Bellwoods. In this image, Devonshire House (now the Munk School of Global Affairs) is seen to the left.
Stanley replying to a comment from mckenzie george / September 5, 2015 at 11:11 am
Correct. Trinity College is on Hoskins Avenue, beside Philosopher's Walk, and just north of Hart House. The old Varsity stadium can be seen in the background.
W. K. Lis / September 5, 2015 at 02:09 pm
The male students in suits and ties. The female students in long sleeved blouses and long skirts. Must be winter.
Kill Feminists / September 5, 2015 at 05:52 pm
The feminists who act rude to you at the University of Toronto should be shot to death and the remaining survivors tied to a tree with their throats slit with a dull knife.

You have nothing to lose. Go into the nearest Sociology or Womens Studies classroom next week, and fire bullets into the Professor's head and spray bullets all over the room until all the feminists are dead.
Kill Feminists / September 5, 2015 at 05:54 pm
If a female student or professor acts lewd in the classroom and disrespects you at the University of Toronto. You can rent a machine gun at Jarvis.

Walk into the classroom and fire a bullet in the feminist professor's head and proceed to spray bullets all over the classroom until all the slutty women are killed.

If you need any guns to kill any feminists at the University of Toronto next week, there is a gang at Jarvis who is renting guns for $40 a day.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal