Founded in 1836 by Adolphus Egerton Ryerson, Victoria College is one of the finest examples of historic architecture at the University of Toronto. Ryerson was a Methodist minister, politician, and an education advocate in the days southern Ontario was known as Upper Canada. It was named after Queen Victoria.
Quite frankly, I don’t know why Ontario was known as “Upper Canada” when Quebec, known as “Lower Canada” back then as Quebec was to the north of us. I believe it had something to do with the St. Lawrence River. Mind you, one would have to take the river “down” to Upper Canada. But that’s an another debate.
Ryerson preferred to go by Egerton Ryerson dropping his first name – “Adolphus”. Perhaps he had premonitions of another, to be, famous Adolph.
Ryerson was the first president of the college (1836) and is also the founder of Ontario’s present educational system. I don’t believe he had much input in the current Sex-Ed program in Ontario, however. Perhaps current Ontario Conservative leader, Patrick Brown should learn from Ryerson and limit his input into the curriculum.
The building been going through restoration processes – both inside and out, over the last few years. It seems most of those efforts have been completed as much of the scaffolding has been removed from the exterior. There is still some work to do on the interior but the majority seems to be completed.
The chapel, at the college, was refurbished in 1990 with donations coming from James Wallace McCutcheon, Q.C. Mr. McCutcheon passed away in 2011. His father was a graduate of the college in 1926. His generosity to the university is greatly appreciated.
This is the entrance to the chapel. A large oak table adorns the hallway, along with a marvellous painting and 2 busts. The bust on the right is that of Egerton Ryerson himself. The doors lead into the chapel.
The structure, once known as the Old Vic, is an example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. This type of architectural styling is unfortunately lost today.
Some notable Canadian figures attended the college, including Lester B. Pearson, Margaret Atwood, Norman Jewison and Donald Sutherland. It is situated at 73 Queen’s Park Crescent, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7.