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The Founding College of the University of Toronto
Damaged University College

UC History in Pictures: 1890s & 1900s

Images from the 1890s and 1900s at University College (and the University of Toronto), compiled by the UC Librarian.

painting of University College on fire in 1890
John Edwin Usher, untitled, [known as Burning College], 14 February 1890, oil, 76.2 x 101.6 cm. University College Collection UC572, Art Museum University of Toronto.
Damaged University College with pedestrians in foreground
People gathered after the University College fire of Feb. 14, 1890 to view the devastating damage to the college.
University College damaged by fire, with dozens of people and two horse-drawn carriages in front of the building
This photo of the south side of University College after the fire of 1890 shows the massive damage to the east wing. The rows of windows on the second and third floors are those of the library.
Museum destroyed by fire, with fire fighters
Firefighters in the museum (UC's West Hall) after the fire of Feb. 14, 1890.
Damaged University College with pedestrians, carriages, and trees in foreground
A view of University College from the southeast, after the fire of 1890.
Group of about 30 men, and a small bulldog, in front of University College
A group of men and a dog in front of University College, after the fire of 1890.
Painting showing three views of Daniel Wilson's head and shoulders from different angles
Sir George Reid, Daniel Wilson at 75, not dated [1891], oil, 40 x 67 cm. University College Collection UC455, Art Museum University of Toronto.
About a dozen actors performing on stage in classical costume
A University College production of the play "Antigone" by Sophocles in 1894 (a remounting of the 1882 UC production in the original Greek, once again organized by Prof. Maurice Hutton).
About 20 men, each holding a banjo or guitar, dressed in academic robes and mortarboards
The University College Banjo & Guitar Society, 1895.
David Reid Keys
David Reid Keys (1856-1939), a great promoter of multilingualism, taught English and History at University College from 1882 to 1923.
A young William Lyon Mackenzie King with four other young men, standing in front of arched doorway
Future prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (far left) in his student days at UC in the 1890s.
William Lyon Mackenzie King with four other young men in residence room
Here's W.L.M. King (standing, left) with friends in residence, then located in the west wing of UC. The future prime minister graduated in 1895.
Horse and buggy between gates of park, with University College in distance
Queen's Park, looking west towards University College in 1898.
Card listing "University of Toronto DINING HALL RATES"
At one time (around 1900?) you could buy dinner for 20 cents at the U of T dining hall.
Drawing of University College in "LE PETIT FRANCAIS ILLUSTRE" with caption "Aspect extérieur de l'Université de Toronto (Canada)"
This drawing of University College appeared in a French children's magazine around 1900.
thirteen young men with lacrosse sticks, one man in a suit, and two small children
University of Toronto men's lacrosse team in front of University College. (Photo from Torontonensis, 1900.)
Early colour postcard showing front of University College, lawn, and pathway with pedestrians
The postmark on this early postcard of UC shows it was mailed from New York City in 1905.
Exterior of building with lawn and wrought iron fence
Queen's Hall served as a residence for women students at University College from 1905 to 1930. The building, located at 7 Queen's Park, no longer exists.
About 20 women posing in doorway of building, wearing academic robes and mortarboards
A group portrait in front of the UC women's residence, Queen's Hall.
Group portrait of about 25 actors in costume.
A 1908 production of Shakespeare's As You Like It by the University College Women's Dramatic Club (cast photo courtesy of U of T Archives).
About 20 young men on a playing field
Junior Arts football team, University College, 1909-10.