Victoria College, University of Toronto. Architect: W. G. Storm, 1892. [Click on these images to enlarge them.]

In 1892, Victoria University moved from Cobourg (where it was founded prior to Victoria's ascension, in 1836, with a charter from William IV) sixty miles from Toronto to its current campus on Queen's Park Crescent, south of Bloor Street (at Charles Street West and University Avenue), in Toronto. A plaque was erected at 100 University Avenue at the intersection with College Street in Cobourg, Ontario.

"The cornerstone of this building [I. e., in Cobourg, Ontario] was laid June 7, 1832, and teaching began in 1836. First operated under a royal charter by the Wesleyan Methodists as Upper Canada Academy, in 1841 it obtained a provincial charter under the name of Victoria College, giving it power to grant degrees. Victoria’s first president was the Reverend Egerton Ryerson, newspaper editor and founder of Ontario’s present educational system. In 1890 the college federated with the University of Toronto and, in 1892, left Cobourg."

The "Old Vic," as the central college building in Toronto is known, was designed by local architect W. G. Storm in the Richardsonian Romanesque style then popular in England. The rest of the college, including Annesley Residence (1903) and the neo-Gothic Burwash Dining Hall (1911-13) designed by Henry Sproatt effectively blend around the Victoria Quad and the central building containing high-ceilinged classrooms and offices, but are early twentieth-century imitation Gothic rather than Victorian Romanesque, characterized by the elegant rounded turret of Old Vic. The other salient building of the original group is the gate house. Famous alumni include critic Northrop Frye (1912-1991), actor Donald Sutherland, and author Margaret Atwood.

Photographs and caption by Philip V. Allinghgam. Formatting and perspective correction by George P. Landow. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


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Last modified 9 March 2014