Toronto's Historical Plaques
Learn a little of Toronto's history as told through its plaques
Burwash Hall Victoria University
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted May, 2010
Plaque coordinates: 43.667546 -79.391686
Burwash Hall initially consisted of four houses of residence (north, middle, gate and south) for the men students of Victoria College, an adjoining dining hall, and a senior common room for faculty. Completed in 1913, these buildings were designed in the "Collegiate Gothic" style by Sproatt and Rolph, a prominent architectural firm of the period. Burwash Hall was a gift from the estate of Hart Massey who attended Victoria College in its very early years from 1842 to 1845 when the college was located in Cobourg, Ontario. as directed by Massey's executors, the complex was named after the Rev. Nathanael Burwash, STD, LL.D., chancellor and president of Victoria University from 1887 to 1913.
In 1931, the same architects supervised the completion of five additional houses (Ryerson, Nelles, Caven, Gandier, and Bowles) for students of divinity at the university's Emmanuel College which had been founded just three years earlier in 1928. These additions were made possible largely through gifts from individuals and pastoral charges in the United Church of Canada.
In 1988, after being closed for a year of extensive renovation and restoration work, the Burwash Dining Hall wing was reopened to serve the entire Victoria community including its women residents who had until then taken their meals in separate dining facilities.
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