Canada – Universities

The University of Toronto and McGill University, Montreal, are in the front rank of educational institutions on the American continent, and their renown as seats of learning, equipped and maintained according to a high standard of efficiency, has spread far and wide. They have on their staffs trained men of talent who have not only attained the highest distinction in Canada, but whose services have been sought by older and more richly endowed Universities abroad.

Educational facilities in the different provinces of the Dominion are numerous and always within the reach of those who seriously desire to avail themselves of the advantages offered. This applies not only to the Universities but also to the Common and Secondary Schools, and it speaks well for the educational zeal of Canada that there should exist as many as seventeen such institutions of varying degrees of importance, the majority of them being denominational in character.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1827 as a Church of England institution under the name of King’s College, the University of Toronto has become undenominational, and is substantially supported by the Provincial Legislature. Its revenues are derived from the remains of the original endowment and additions made to it from time to time (under which heads the University is possessed of an annual income of 60,000 dollars). The average Ontario Legislature also grants 50 per cent. of the Succession Duties determined upon the gross receipts from such duties during the three preceding years, the amount being at present some 250,000 dollars. While certain departments of instruction are classed particularly under the University College, it has been found possible by legislative enactment to secure a more uniform standard of higher education by the union of the various denominational Universities of Ontario. The University and University College constitute one body for teaching purposes, and examinations are carried on under the regulations of the University Senate.

The main University building was partly destroyed by fire in February, 1890, and many of the valuable contents of the Library and Museum were lost. Opportunity was afforded, in the course of reconstruction, for great improvements in equipment, heating, lighting and ventilation, and the new structure has been described as ” The most symmetrical, the most harmonious, the most perfectly proportioned bit of architecture on the American continent.”

Besides the fine Convocation Hall and Library there is a Physical Laboratory with a well-equipped workshop in charge of skilled mechanicians who make the necessary repairs and construct most of the apparatus required for the work of research duties. There are in addition, a Psychological Laboratory, a Biological building with museum (which latter is open to the public), a Physiological Laboratory, a Chemical Laboratory, Geological and Ethnological museums. A Gymnasium and accommodation for students’ societies is also provided.

Federated with the University of Toronto are Victoria University and the University of Trinity College. Knox College (Presbyterian), Wycliffe College (Anglican) and St. Michael’s College (Roman Catholic) are also federated, while the undermentioned Colleges are affiliated with the University : The Ontario Agricultural College, Albert College, The Ontario Medical College for Women, The Royal College of Dental Surgeons, The Toronto College of Music, The Ontario College of Pharmacy, The Western Canada College of Calgary, The Columbian Methodist College, The Toronto Conservatory of Music, The Hamilton Conservatory of Music the following are Colleges which are affiliated with the University by reason of their having been affiliated with Victoria University when the last mentioned University became federated.

The Ontario Ladies’ College and Alma College, and St. Hilda’s College which is affiliated with the University by reason of its having been affiliated with Trinity College when Trinity College became federated with the University.

The total revenue of the University for the year 1909 was 754,504 dollars, and the expenditure 679,867 dollars. Of the 3,901 students, 2,983 were men and 918 women. The total staff of the University of Toronto and University College numbered fifty-five professors, forty-four associate professors, thirty-one lecturers and associates, and two hundred and thirty demonstrators and those with sessional appointments.

McGill College and University takes its name from its founder, the Hon. James McGill, who emigrated to Canada from Glasgow before the American Revolution, and was engaged in the North-West fur trade, subsequently becoming one of the leading merchants in Montreal. A Royal Charter was obtained in 1821, but it was not until an amended charter was secured in 1852 and the Governor-General, Sir Edmund Head, interested himself in the institution that it started its career of progress and prosperity. The Governors, Principal and Fellows of the University are by the amended charter constituted a body politic and corporate. The supreme authority of the University, however, is vested in the Crown, and is exercised by the Governor-General for the time being by which means the University possesses a National character, and is at the same time removed from any local or party influence. Educational work of the University is carried on in McGill College, the Royal Victoria College for Women and other university buildings in Montreal and in the following affiliated colleges :—Vancouver College and Victoria College, British Columbia, King’s College for Women, Windsor, Nova Scotia, the Stanstead Wesleyan College, Stanstead, Quebec, the Congregational College of Canada, Montreal ; Diocesan College of Montreal ; Preston College, Montreal, Wesleyan College, Montreal.

The University has been generously endowed by wealthy citizens, notably Lord Strathcona and Sir William C. Macdonald, whose benefactions amount to many millions of dollars. The Library and. Museum were the gift of the late Mr. Peter Redpath. The equipment on the applied science side is unexcelled.

Like the University of Toronto, McGill University has a splendid Agricultural College, more fully dealt with in another chapter, connected with it, known as Macdonald College, located at Ste. Anne de Bellevue, twenty miles west of Montreal, which was founded, equipped and endowed by Sir William C. Macdonald.

Another important and successful centre of learning is the University of Queen’s College at Kingston, Ontario. Founded by Royal Charter in 1841, it has under the guidance of the late Reverend George M. Grant, as Principal, attained an enviable reputation for the inculcation of lofty ideals and the true spirit of University life. Like McGill, but unlike the University of Toronto, it has no connection with the State, but is recognised as an integral part of the educational system of the province, and its courses of training for teachers are accepted by the provincial Educational authorities. The three faculties are Arts, Medicine, and Theology, the first and last being maintained from interest on endowment, fees and donations, the Medical Faculty relying upon fees only. A school of mining providing a training in Applied Science is affiliated. Women students attend the University, as in the case of many other similar institutions in Canada and the United States.

McMaster University was formed by the incorporation of the Toronto Baptist College and Woodstock College, which were united by an Act of the Ontario Legislature passed in 1887. Under the will of the late Hon. William McMaster the University came into possession of an endowment of $900,000. In 1888 the representatives of the regular Baptist Churches of Ontario and Quebec decided that McMaster University should be organised and developed as a permanently independent institution in Toronto, and that Woodstock College should be maintained, with increased efficiency, in Woodstock. By the generosity of Mrs. McMaster, a Ladies’ College has also been established in Toronto in connection with the University, and is known as Moulton Ladies’ College.

Laval University at Quebec was founded in 1852, but the Seminary of which it was the outcome was established in 1663 by Bishop Laval. This, the most important Roman Catholic seat of learning in Canada, has a branch at Montreal. A number of Colleges and seminaries in the province of Quebec are affiliated with the University. The University of Ottawa is another college under Roman Catholic direction but with a much smaller number of students. Created a University in 1889, it was founded in 1848 as the College of By-town, later receiving the title of College of Ottawa.

In the Maritime Provinces are the University of King’s College, Windsor, Nova Scotia, founded in 1790 ; Dalhousie College and University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; the University of Acadia College, Wolfville, Nova Scotia ; the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Bruns-wick ; the University of Mount Allison College, New Brunswick ; and the University of St. Joseph’s College, St. Joseph, New Brunswick.

The University of Bishop’s College, Lennoxville, province of Quebec, founded in 1843, is an Anglican institution intended to provide the Church of England with facilities for educating the ministry as well as to afford a means of securing a sound and liberal education based on religious foundation.

The University of Manitoba at Winnipeg was incorporated in 1877 by an Act of the local legislature, and has sole power of conferring degrees in Arts, Law and Medicine. The following Colleges are affiliated :—St. Boniface College, St. Boniface (Roman Catholic), St. John’s College, Winnipeg (Anglican), Manitoba College, Winnipeg (Presbyterian), Wesley College, Winnipeg (Methodist), the Manitoba Medical College, the Manitoba College of Pharmacy and the Manitoba Agricultural College.

This University, as well as those which have recently been founded at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Strathcona, Alberta, will soon attain a greatly added importance by reason of the rapid expansion which is now taking place in Western Canada.