For @aca_canada’s April Archives Hashtag Party, we’re taking a look at our neighbourhoods and how things have changed over time. Trinity College has occupied many different buildings over its 170 year history, and it is widely known that we were previously located on the space that is now Trinity Bellwoods Park. But we wanted to share a couple of the lesser-known buildings that once formed notable spots in our neighbourhood.
First up is Trinity House, or what was at one point the St. George Mansions. Located at 1 Harbord Street, the St. George Mansions were opened in 1904 as Toronto’s first purpose-built apartment building. When Trinity College moved to its present location, the Mansions were purchased to serve as a residence for male students and renamed Trinity House. During the Second World War the building served as the headquarters for Canadian Women’s Army Corps. Today, the location at the southwest corner of Harbord and St. George Streets, across from the John P. Robarts Library, is home to the Ramsay Wright Zoological Laboratories, built in 1965.
Second, and just across the street, is 99 St. George Street. St. George Street was, at one point, lined with the large homes of Toronto’s affluent citizens, including Sir Byron Edmund Walker, a notable banker, philanthropist, and arts patron. Walker was a principal proponent and architect of Trinity College’s federation with the University of Toronto, and he gave his house to Trinity as the new location of St. Hilda’s College, the school and residence for women at Trinity, when we moved to the Queen’s Park site. St. Hilda’s moved to its current location on Devonshire Place in 1938. In the 1990s, the site of the former 99 St. George Street was turned into what is now the North Building of the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management.