Skip to main menu Skip to content
Spring/Summer Hours: We are open by appointment only Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. To schedule an appointment, please email your request to asc@torontomu.ca or fill out our appointment form .

From Hospital hallways to Campus classrooms: the 50th anniversary of amalgamation, part 2

In 1973 the face of nursing education would change in Ontario with the move of Hospital Schools of Nursing into collegiate settings. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the amalgamation of the Ryerson School of Nursing (now the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing – DCSN) with the nursing schools from the Hospital for Sick Children, Women’s College Hospital, and The Wellesley Hospital, The TMU Archives, The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association (WHSNAA) and The DSCN partnered to create an anniversary exhibition. The physical display, housed in the DCSN administrative offices, features artifacts and photographs that give you a window into the history of the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing, the WHSNAA, and the DSCN. The online component of the exhibit, consisting of two blogs, will take an in-depth look at the topics introduced in the physical exhibit.

This second blog looks at The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association, the Ryerson School of Nursing (1964-2007), Amalgamation: the end of hospital schools of nursing, the Last graduation(s), and the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing (2008-2024). To view the first blog, visit https://library.torontomu.ca/asc/2024/05/from-hospital-hallways-to-campus-classrooms-the-50th-anniversary-of-amalgamation-part-1/

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association

Wellesley Hospital Alumnae Association metal printing die (RG 946.01.01.06)

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association, originally the Wellesley Hospital Alumnae Association (WHAA), was formed with the guidance of Director of Nursing Elisabeth Flaws in 1915 with the first graduating class of 10 nurses. Its purpose, according to the 1975 constitution, is the promotion of friendship amongst members, upholding the highest standards of the nursing profession, and assisting with nursing education.  Shortly after its formation the group became involved in volunteer work in support of Canada in the WWI. Graduates and students made medical dressings including “fluffs” (an iodoform infused cotton gauze roll with adhesive straps to cushion the wound) to send overseas. 

Final report from the Navy Knitters charity to all contributors to the cause (RG 946.01.03.01.76)

In 1926 after the death of Elisabeth Flaws, her brother started a scholarship in her name for Wellesley students. The Association oversaw this fund, as well as two others used to assist graduates in furthering their education and to aid current students. They also donated equipment to the hospital and participated in fundraising for the new 1947 wing of the hospital, donating furnishings to the cause. During WWII the Alumnae Association became an auxiliary Red Cross Unit. Members knitted goods, sewed ditty bags, mailed gift boxes to Wellesley Alumnae serving overseas, and supplied boxes of food, toys, and clothing for schools in England, a tradition that lasted until the 1950s. By the end of WWII the association became more of a social organization.

Wellesley Hospital Alumnae Association report on nursery boxes sent to schools in England, 1949 (RG 946.01.03.02.77)

The WHSNAA continued its role of giving and supporting nursing education even after the hospital schools of Nursing were moved to the Ministry of Colleges & Universities in 1973. Two scholarships began being awarded to active members of the Association who wanted to continue their education at the university level. As of 1987 there were 6 awards handed out – the Elisabeth Flaws Memorial Scholarship, the Elsie K. Jones Scholarship, the A. Joyce Bailey Scholarship, the Elsie K. Jones LaVenture memorial bursary, the President’s Bursary, and the Mrs. Herbert A. Bruce Memorial award. Until the hospital closed in 1998, several scholarships and awards were also offered on a rotating basis to registered nurses employed at The Wellesley. The Alumnae Association established an endowment in 2007 for an undergraduate nursing award for students enrolled in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing. In 2011 The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association gifted its archival collection to the University Archives and established an endowment to support its ongoing care and conservation.

Selection of items from the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association collection. Included are uniforms, silver tea set, Limoges china, and portrait of long time Nursing School director Elsie. K. Jones.

In 2021 they funded The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association Forum through DCSN. The forum’s objective is the support of on-going learning, scholarship and professional practice of Faculty and students in the school by providing them with an outlet to highlight their work and research. The first forum was held virtually in December 2021 with Dr. Maher El-Masri as the first speaker.

Photo from the DCSN Wellesley Forum held September 27, 2022. From l-r: Daria Romaniuk, Associate Professor & Associate Director Collaborative Nursing degree program; Maher M. El-Masri, Director DCSN; Linda Cooper, Wellesley class of 1968 & Professor Emerita DCSN; Sue Williams, Wellesley class of 1970 & Professor Emerita DCSN. Photograph courtesy of the DSCN.

To learn more about The Alumnae Association visit this website https://www.torontomu.ca/nursing/undergraduate/student-resources/nursing-alumni-associations/

Ryerson School of Nursing (1964-2007)

The Ryerson School of Nursing started as an experiment. In 1963 “The Ryerson Project” was undertaken by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), Ryerson Institute of Technology, and the Department of Education to develop a nursing program at Ryerson. The project proposed a five year trial period with the aim that similar courses would be offered at other colleges at the end. Provisional approval was given by the College of Nurses of Ontario and the 3 year diploma course started in the Fall of 1964 with 21 students.

A large classroom was converted into a nursing laboratory with 12 hospital beds and equipment for instruction and practice. Clinical experience was attained at the Doctor’s Hospital and the Queensway General Hospital. In 1968 one semester post-diploma courses began being offered. The first was Psychiatric Nursing (1968-1976), followed by Pediatric Nursing (Fall 1969-1976), and Intensive Care Nursing (Fall 1970-1997).

Story about first graduation from RIT nursing program. Ryerson Rambler magazine, summer 1968 (RG 151.01)

In 1971 The Ryerson Report “Learning to Nurse: The First Five Years of the Ryerson Nursing Program”, authored by Dr. Moyra Allen and Mary Reidy was published by the RNAO. The report looked at the first 5 years of the program, following students through their schooling, graduation, and into the workforce. Also in 1971, Ryerson was given degree granting status which led the School of Nursing to begin planning for a degree program. The amalgamation of hospital school’s of nursing in 1973 resulted in the introduction of a new consolidated curriculum being introduced in the Fall of 1974.

Learning to Nurse by Moyra Allen and Mary Reidy (RG 6.23)
Excerpt from 1974-1975 RPI Full Time Undergraduate course calendar (RG 184.001.001.001)

In Fall 1980, the first class of post-diploma graduate nurses were admitted into the new 2 year degree completion program – earning a Bachelor of Applied Arts – Nursing. The degree had three areas of specialization – psychiatric, medical-surgical, and pediatric and like its diploma predecessor, it was the first of its kind in Canada. In 1983 a part-time option was introduced through Continuing Education. Nursing courses were held at 8 off-campus locations – Scarborough, Newmarket, Mississauga, Toronto West, University Avenue, Durham, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Hamilton.

Student nurses taking notes on catheterization, 1973 (RG 122.10.39.01)
Student nurses looking at x-rays during hospital training (RG 122.10.39.02)

In 1985 a Critical Care Nursing certificate was introduced in partnership with Toronto General Hospital, and it was announced the Diploma program would be phased out – replaced by a 4 year degree. In 1987, in conjunction with Continuing Education, the School of Nursing began offering a certificate in Nursing Management. The program won an award of distinction from the Canadian Association of University Continuing Education. The first class in the new 4 year degree program started in the Fall of 1988 and the final class of diploma students graduated in 1989.

Student nurse working at a patient’s bedside, 1988 (RG 76.14.447)

Through the 1990’s the program continued to evolve. It achieved the highest level of accreditation for a Canadian Nursing School from the Canadian Association of University Schools of Nursing (CAUSN) in 1993. In 1994 the Bachelor of Applied Arts – Nursing was changed to Bachelor of Science – Nursing (BScN). In September 1995 Ryerson’s School of Nursing, along with 9 other universities, partnered with the Provincial Ministry of Health to offer a Nurse Practitioner programme. The course ran 12 months for registered nurses, and 24 months for diploma nurses and was fully funded by the Ministry for its first 5 years.

Special Announcement – CAUSN accreditation (RG 6.37)

The next major addition to the school was in 2001 when it was announced that, in collaboration with George Brown and Centennial Colleges, Ryerson would offer a 4-year collaborative nursing degree. This was the result of government legislation requiring that, as of 2005, a baccalaureate degree requirement for all nurses that wanted to become Registered Nurses. The new program had 3 points of enrollment – Ryerson, George Brown, and Centennial. Ryerson students would spend all four years on campus. George Brown and Centennial students would complete the first 2 years of the program on their campuses, last 2 years at Ryerson and all their practical requirements would be supervised by their College faculty.

Special Announcement – Collaborative Nursing degree program (RG 6.37)

In 2005 the Masters of Nursing degree was introduced and in 2006 a post-Master’s Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner certificate, an intensive program to prepare nursing professionals to write the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Examination. In 2007 the post-degree programme changed its name to Post-diploma degree programme to allow admission of students from international bridging programmes at Centennial and George Brown Colleges.

Amalgamation: the end of hospital schools of nursing

There had been talk of and suggestions to move schools of nursing out of the hospitals since the early 20th century but it was not actualized until 1973. On January 11, 1973, a joint letter, accompanied by a booklet of guidelines for the transition, from the Minister of Health and the Minister of Colleges and Universities was sent to the Hospital Nursing Schools, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (RPI) and the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) in Ontario.  As a result, RPI’s school of nursing would amalgamate with the Women’s College Hospital’s, the Hospital for Sick Children’s and the Wellesley Hospital’s schools of nursing.

Joint letter announcing the move of hospital school’s of nursing into Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (RG 6.30)

The guidelines for amalgamation mandated the establishment of transition task forces to plan the transition – with members representing all affected schools. The RPI taskforce established 3 main committees with each one addressing different parts of the amalgamation process that would see an additional 375 students, 75 faculty and 18 staff people being added into the RPI nursing program.

The Curriculum and Clinical facilities committee planned the continuity of the existing nursing programs for 1973-1975, and the planning of a new curricular model for the future program that included admission and clinical requirements.   The committee’s outcomes included the maintenance of the 4 separate campuses until the end of the 1974-1975 school year (where Ryerson would pay rent to the respective hospitals for the space) and the adoption of the current RPI diploma structure (6 semester program) be adopted as the basic model for future curricular changes.

Campus map showing the 4 campuses of the RPI Nursing program – Main Campus (RPI), the Gerrard Campus (Hospital for Sick Children), Grosvenor Campus (Women’s College Hospital) and the Wellesley Campus (Wellesley Hospital) (RG 6.30)

The Teacher Student affairs and Internal resources committee was divided into sub-committees because of the wide scope of their terms of reference. They included the student affairs, teacher affairs, internal resources and student services sub-committees. Some of the outcomes from these committees included: the design of a new uniform for 1975-1976 school year; the responsibility for securing housing fall to the students themselves; graduation planning being undertaken by RPI for the 1975 graduating year; the establishment of the hospital school of nursing department heads as assistant chairpersons in the RPI school for the 1973-1975 period; the transfer and relocation of the school of nursing libraries to RPI’s library by 1975; and the transfer of all student records to RPI’s student records department.

Invitation to carol tea hosted at the Wellesley Campus (RG 6.50)

The Administrative and Finance Committee was also divided into subcommittees. The finance and budget subcommittee looked at financial matters including budget estimates for funding and payroll. The organization subcommittee addressed organization and administrative structuring, support service requirements and space facilities. The personnel subcommittee looked at the transfer of personnel records to RPI’s HR department and other issues related to payroll, pensions, and benefits.

The final report was published in January 1974.

Front cover of final taskforce report (RG 6.30)

Quick facts about The Hospital for Sick Children and Women’s College Hospital Schools of Nursing

Hospital for Sick Children School of Nursing

The oldest school of the three, Sick Children’s Hospital, graduated its first “class” of nurses in 1888 – with one graduate, Josephine Hamilton, receiving her certificate. You can learn more about the Hospital for Sick Children’s School of Nursing Alumnae Association by visiting their website https://hscnursingalumnae.org/

Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing

Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing graduated its first class of 2 nurses in 1918. Their Alumnae Association disbanded in 2019. You can learn more about the school and the alumnae association in on online exhibit titled “Welcome to Our School – The history of the Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing as told by its students” https://www.communitystories.ca/v2/womens-college-nursing_ecole-infirmieres-womens-college/.

.

The last graduation(s)

Article on Wellesley graduation 1973, last one to be held before the amalgamation of the nursing schools in Fall 1973. Story published in the “Wellesley World” magazine – a publication of the Wellesley Hospital, August 1973 (RG 946.02.02.03.02)

The last graduation ceremony organized by the individual hospitals was in 1974, with responsibility for the ceremony moving to Ryerson Polytechnical Institute for the 1975 ceremony.

Article authored by Charlotte Broome, Women’s College Hospital Nursing School class of 1969 graduate and former TMU library technician for over 40 years. She was the acting librarian at the WCH School of Nursing library when it transferred to RPI in 1975. Published in the hospital’s “House Call” staff newsletter, Fall 1974. Article Courtesy of the Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital https://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/our-history/the-miss-margaret-robins-archives-of-womens-college-hospital/
Hospital for Sick Children “What’s New” staff newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 7 1974. Newsletter courtesy of the SickKids Archives https://www.sickkids.ca/en/learning/support-services/archives/

The final graduation for the Wellesley Hospital’s, Women’s College Hospital’s (WCH) and Hospital for Sick Children’s schools of Nursing was held June 2, 1975 at 7:30 pm at the Ryerson Theatre. 

Invitation to the Wellesley Division graduation (RG 6.50)

The 160 graduating nurses received a specially worded diploma highlighting their hospital affiliation and graduation pins featuring the Ryerson crest with a small hospital crest or logo attached with a small chain.

Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing class of 1975 graduation pin (RG 946.03.04.02.22)

Each school had its own valedictorian speaker – Sheena Elliot for Wellesley, Catherine Messenger for SKH, and Veronica Gee for WCH. Platform guests included the assistant chairmen from each program and members of the Hospital’s Board of Governors.

Nursing student receiving diploma on stage during the June 2, 1975 graduation ceremony (RG 6.46)

The Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing (2008-2024)

The next major change to the Ryerson School of Nursing came in 2008. Jack Cockwell, at the time a member of the University’s Board of Governors, donated $5 million towards the construction of a new building for the Nursing program. The Ryerson School of Nursing became the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing (DCSN) after the donor’s mother who was a nurse. It would be another first for the school – the first to be named after an actual nurse.

Jack Cockwell next to plaque dedicated to his mother, the Daphne Cockwell Health Science Complex, November 28, 2019. l to r: Tony Staffieri, vice-chair of TMU’s board of governors; Nancy Walton, director of the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing; Jack Cockwell, director and former President and CEO of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and member of TMU Board of Governors; Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor of TMU; Lisa Barnoff, dean of the Faculty of Community Services. Photo by Gary Beechey. Photograph courtesy of University Advancement – TMU

Also in 2008, the school hosted its first Annual research day – with the theme of “Partnering of Knowledge Exchange”. The conference was open to faculty and students at DCSN and other institutions. The annual research day was held until 2015.

In 2014 the School of Nursing celebrated its 50th anniversary.

50th anniversary pin (RG 6.71)

In the Fall of 2019, the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex was opened (https://www.torontomu.ca/news-events/news/2019/12/full-house-at-grand-opening-of-the-daphne-cockwell-health-sciences-complex/). The building is home to the DCSN, School of Nutrition, Midwifery program, and School of Occupational and Public Health. It has 8 stories of classroom and administrative space plus an additional 18 story residence for students.

Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex ribbon cutting. l to r: Deborah Brown, VP, administration and operations; Jen McMillen, vice-provost, students; Michael Benarroch, provost and VP, academic; Charles Falzon, dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design; Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities; Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor; Steven Liss, VP, research and innovation; Lisa Barnoff, dean of the Faculty of Community Services; Bryan Arnold, president and CEO, Eastern Construction; Andrew Frontini, design director, Perkins and Will. Photographer: Alyssa Katherine Faoro. Photograph courtesy of Publications unit – Central Communications, TMU
Students provided tours of the DCC’s key sites, including simulated hospital wards. Photographer: Alyssa Katherine Faoro. Photograph courtesy of Publications unit – Central Communications, TMU

In 2021 the Urban Health Doctoral program was launched (https://www.torontomu.ca/graduate/programs/urban-health-phd/). The interdisciplinary degree is open to applicant’s with a master’s degree in nursing, social work, urban development, early childhood studies, occupational and public health, disability studies, midwifery, youth and child care, nutrition, medicine, pharmacy, or dentistry and is administered by DCSN.

From its start as a government experiment in diploma nursing to a school offering 2 undergraduate degrees, 1 professional certificate, and 2 graduate level degrees, the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing has come a long way and we can’t wait to see what it’s future holds.

To view the first part of this blog visit https://library.torontomu.ca/asc/2024/05/from-hospital-hallways-to-campus-classrooms-the-50th-anniversary-of-amalgamation-part-1/

From Hospital hallways to Campus classrooms: the 50th anniversary of amalgamation, part 1

In 1973 the face of nursing education would change in Ontario with the move of hospital schools of nursing into collegiate settings. The Ryerson School of Nursing (now the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing DCSN) would merge with the schools from the Hospital for Sick Children, Women’s College Hospital, and the The Wellesley Hospital. This was the start of a close relationship between the DCSN and the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association (WHSNAA) that continues today.

In 2011, 13 years after the hospital’s closure, the WHSNAA gifted their expansive archival collection to TMU Archives. Along with the physical collection, the Alumnae association established an endowment to help offset the cost for the preservation and care of the materials.

On the left is Linda Cooper, Wellesley ’68 and Professor Emerita, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing and on the right is Shirley Heard, Wellesley ’62 – Alumnae Association President. Also in the picture is a small part of the collection now housed in the Toronto Metropolitan University Archives. Photo courtesy of University Advancement.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the amalgamation and in celebration of the continuing relationship, the three groups, the WHSNAA, the DSCN and the University Archives, have partnered to create an anniversary exhibition. The physical display, housed in the DCSN administrative offices, features artifacts and photographs that give you a window into the history of the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing, the WHSNAA, and the DSCN. The online component of the exhibit, consisting of two blogs, will take an in-depth look at the topics introduced in the physical exhibit.

This first blog looks at the opening of the Wellesley Hospital, the birth of a nursing school, early nurse training, the evolution of the uniform, and convocation at the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing.

The opening of the Wellesley Hospital, 1911

Side view portrait of Dr. Herbert Bruce

Founded by Dr. Herbert Bruce (pictured above), the Wellesley Hospital was located in a private home purchased by Bruce from Frederick Nicholls for $65,000. The hospital, located on 4.5 acres of land on the north corner of Homewood and Wellesley Avenues in Toronto, officially opened in June 1911. Bruce began renovations, utilizing architects Stevens and Lee, on the building that included major additions to the structure. Renovations were still being completed when the first patients were admitted in the Fall of 1912 and by December of that year the hospital was operating at 90% capacity. The renovations were completed in early 1913.

Photograph of a large group of people seated and standing in front of a building
Front entrance of hospital at opening ceremony June 1911. In the photograph are (from l-r) Dr. Herbert Bruce; Senator James K. Kerr; Sir Edmund Osler; Dr. J. E. Elliott; Lady Zoe Laurier; Mrs. R. J. MacMillan; Sir Wilfrid Laurier; Dr. R. J. MacMillan; Miss Powell; Dr. F. W. Marlow; Mrs. Anne M. Kerr; Miss Elisabeth Flaws; Sir William Mulock; and Mr. A. E. Dyment (RG 946.01.03.03.03)
  • Wood printing block with hospital floor plan
  • Wood printing block with hospital floor plan
  • wood printing blocks with hospital floor plans

Designed to attract wealthy patients and their surgeons, The Wellesley had 60 private beds (for $3.00 and up per day) and 12 semi-private rooms ($2.00-$2.50 per day). They were open for patients of doctors and surgeons in good standing in Toronto and beyond. There were also 2 house surgeons on staff. Patients were served their meals on Limoges china and ate with silver cutlery and tea service imported from England. $69,000 dollars was spent in the first year alone on furnishings and equipment. 

Limoges china used to serve patients in the early days of the hospital (RG 946.02.12.01.01)

Over the next several decades the Hospital grew and evolved. It moved out of its “hospital for the wealthy” persona and would became best known for its role as a community hospital. It became a refuge and support for the St. Jamestown area where it was located. In 1968 the hospital opened its Social Service department and in 1973 the department of Family and Community Medicine moved out into the community with the opening of the St. Jamestown Community Health Clinic. A second location was opened in 1975.

Front entrance of the original hospital circa 1947 (RG 946.01.03.03.06)

The hospital went through various money and operational crises through its 86 year history – with a variety of proposed and actualized amalgamations with other hospitals: Toronto General Hospital 1948-1969; Toronto Central Hospital (1996-1998). The Wellesley Hospital was closed by the Ontario Government at the recommendation of the Ontario Health Services Restructuring Commission in 1998. Its remaining services were taken over by Sunnybrook and St. Michael’s Hospitals. 

Significant events in the hospital’s history:

1911 – Hospital opened by then Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier

1912 – Founding of School of Nursing; First new hospital wing opens in August with first hospital patients admitted in September

1917 – Received designation a public hospital under Ontario Hospital and Charitable Institutions Act

1942 – Officially becomes a public general hospital

1948 – Amalgamation with Toronto General Hospital – becomes Wellesley Division

1959 – Hospital attains independent status once more

1973 – School of Nursing moved from hospital to Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Toronto Metropolitan University)

1996 – Merger with Toronto Central Hospital – becoming Wellesley Central Hospital (#7 on map https://www.heritagetoronto.org/explore/st-james-town-history/)

1997 – Proposed merger with Women’s College Hospital

1998 – Wellesley Central Hospital’s operation taken over by St. Michael’s Hospital. The Wellesley Central Hospital closes.

2000 – Former Board members of Wellesley Central Hospital and community activists form Wellesley Central Health Corporation (WCHC). (https://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Our-History-Flip-Sheet.pdf)

2006 – WCHC renamed Wellesley Institute – a non-profit, non-partisan research and policy Institute focused on problems related to population health

The Birth of a Nursing School, 1912

Elisabeth Flaws, first Hospital superintendent and director of the Nursing School (RG 946.03.01.01.07.01)

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing was founded in 1912 with Elisabeth Flaws in a dual role – Director of the Nursing School and Hospital Superintendent. The three year program was designed to have Nurse trainees available for service in The Wellesley Hospital after 6 months, this was later changed to 4 months. Dr. Bruce’s goal was to have the 26 paid nursing staff members reduced to 8 by the end of the second year of the school’s existence. The first class of 10 nurses graduated in 1915.

The student nurses were required to live in residence. The first four residences were in converted homes. The first was located at 496 Sherbourne St, and the second at 176 Wellesley Street.

Second nurses residence at 176 Wellesley Street. Hospital Building Bruce Wing is visible in the background (RG946.02.03.08.07)
Second nurses residence located at 176 Wellesley Street. Hospital Bruce wing visible in the background (RG 946.02.03.08.07)

The first purpose built residence was constructed and opened in 1953. The new space had classrooms, a library, a snack bar, and recreation facilities. In 1971 the building was named the “Elsie K. Jones Building” after the long time Nursing Director. 

Over the next  58 years The Wellesley would graduate 2235 nurses, with the last class graduating  in 1975.

Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing crest

Early Nurse Training

When The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing opened in 1912, The nursing program was a 3 year diploma.

Nurse in surgical scrubs, circa 1920 (RG 946.03.01.08.29)

In the beginning the hospital was not equipped to handle all the training necessary for its nursing students. Starting in 1915 obstetrical training was completed at the Manhattan Maternity Hospital in New York with student nurses being sent in 3 month training rotations. By 1919 this training was completed in-house. The Wellesley contacted Sick Children’s Hospital regarding training in paediatric nursing in 1916 but were denied because of The Wellesley’s status as a private hospital. By 1919 there was an agreement between Sick Children’s and The Wellesley for this training.  Starting in 1925 Public Health training was completed in 3 month rotations at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. This training switched to Toronto General Hospital in 1928. Tuberculosis nursing training was completed at the Toronto Hospital for Consumptives, and Psychiatric nursing training was completed at the now defunct Toronto Psychiatric Hospital and the Ontario Hospital (now CAMH) until 1949 when The Wellesley opened its own psychiatric care unit. Nursing students continued to do rotations at CAMH as part of their training.

1912-1961 Nursing Students Day

Day Duty (7:00am – 7:00pm)

Roll call was at 6:25am with 12 hour shift starting at 7 am. Day duty nurses were allocated 2 hours off per day, usually spent attending lectures and ½ hour each for lunch and supper.

Night Duty (7:00pm – 7:00am)

Night duty nurses received ½ hour off for dinner. They were expected to attend day lectures. When switching from day to night duty, nurses worked until noon and then reported for duty at 7pm.

 Each student nurse got a ½ week day off and 5 hours on Sunday. In 1944 the 12 hour shift changed to 8 hour shifts, 6 days per week. In 1958 the work week was changed to 44 hours per week and to 40 hours per week in 1961

Nurse conduct reporting form (RG 946.03.03.04)

In 1923 the Ontario Government registered The Wellesley School of Nursing, making its graduates eligible for Registered Nursing qualification. There were 3 major changes the school’s curriculum. In 1942 theory and practice were correlated; in 1956 the 3 year course was split into a 2 year academic program with a 1 year internship; and in the 1970s the course was cut back to 2 years total schooling and internship – aligning it with the Colleges who offered Nursing programs. 

Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing open house poster, 1972 (RG 946.03.13.02)

The Evolution of the Uniform (1912-1973)

The first uniforms worn by student nurses at The Wellesley consisted of a long sleeved and long skirted blue and white striped cotton dress with a detachable clerical style collar (starched upright collar), detachable long cuffs, a bib and an apron. The cap had a drawstring back (this eventually changed to a button closure). The uniform was accompanied by black stockings and black boots or shoes. The collar switched to the Eton style (fold-over collar with front closure) in the early 1920’s and the length of the dresses would slowly shorten over time. 

Student nurse Frances Clarke, class of 1919 (RG 946.03.01.08.01)

The first major change to The Wellesley’s student uniform occurred in 1941 when a short-sleeved option was introduced. The uniform changed again with the amalgamation of The Wellesley with Toronto General Hospital (TGH) in 1948, switching from the traditional blue and white striped cotton to a plain white dress. They also switched to the TGH cap and wore the detachable collar, cuffs, and bib. The uniform was accompanied by white stockings and shoes. Capes at this time also changed – switching from a blue lining to a red lining. 

Student uniform worn during training at Wellesley Division – Toronto General Hospital (1948-1959). Cape (1953-1956) from same period (RG 946.03.05.01.06); RG 946.03.05.01.10)

In 1960 after The Wellesley was an independent hospital again the student nurses voted to return to wearing the blue and white striped dresses. A new Wellesley style cap was designed to accompany the uniform. They were still wearing the detachable Eton style collar, cuffs, and bib. The uniform was accompanied by white stockings and shoes. In second year, a Wellesley badge was added to the left sleeve of the uniforms and in third year students would wear year pins on their collars. The students requested permission to wear short sleeved white dresses for their third or intern year. They were granted permission to do so in 1964.

Year pin, Class of 1935 (RG 946.03.04.02.03)
Members of the Wellesley Alumnae Association wearing uniforms From 1912, 1938, and 1962 (RG 946.03.01.08.08)

The final student uniform Wellesley students wore was very different from its predecessors. Introduced in 1970 – the uniform was one piece with no detachable collar, cuffs, or bib. It had a mandarin collar and zipper closure. The skirt was also much shorter than previous uniforms. First and Second year students continued to wear the blue and white striped version, with intern year students wearing an all white version. The uniform was accompanied by the Wellesley cap, white stockings and shoes. A male version of the student uniform, white jacket and pants, was introduced the same year along with the introduction of a pants and jacket option for all nurses on staff at the Hospital. 

Convocation at the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing (1915-1974)

Class of 1933 graduation ceremony on the hospital grounds (RG 946.03.04.01.17.01)

The first graduation ceremony for the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing was held in the Fall of 1915. The ceremonies would move back and forth between fall and spring, with one class graduating per year with the exception of 1940, 1941, 1943, 1944, and 1972 when there were 2 graduating classes – one in spring and one in fall. The first ceremony and the following reception were held on the grounds of the hospital. Ceremonies would continue to be held on the grounds until 1947.

Class of 1954 graduation ceremony at Sherbourne Street Methodist Church (Later St. Luke’s United Church). Graduates are wearing red rose corsages that were a tradition of Toronto General Hospital Nursing School (RG 946.03.04.01.36.02)

Starting in 1948, the ceremonies were held at Sherbourne, later St. Luke’s United Church located at 353 Sherbourne Street and in 1962 the ceremonies moved to St. Paul’s Anglican Church at 227 Bloor Street East. The graduates would walk from Wellesley Hospital to the ceremony and in the event of rain the graduates were ferried to the church by TTC bus. The after ceremony receptions remained on the grounds of the hospital. In 1964 the demolition of the old hospital and construction of a new 9 story hospital addition necessitated the move of the reception to Branksome Hall, the all girls school located at 10 Elm Avenue. The reception returned to the hospital grounds in 1968 and would remain there until 1974. 

Class of 1972A entering St. Paul’s Anglican Church Photographer: Roy Nicholls (RG 946.03.04.01.54.09)

Graduation involved many different traditions for the nursing students. A mother daughter tea was hosted by the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association. The morning of graduation the 2nd year students would serve the graduating nurses breakfast in the cafeteria.

Class of 1925 graduation breakfast (RG 946.03.04.01.09.01)

The nursing graduates would also walk through the halls of the hospital singing. The graduation pin was presented to each nurse at the graduation ceremony. The Wellesley pin remained the same between 1915-1974, each one personalized on the back with the name and graduating class of each person.

Plastic replica of corsage given to graduates. White gardenia surrounded by blue cornflowers and stephanotis (RG 946.03.05.06)

You can continue your journey through this nursing history by continuing on to the 2nd blog (https://library.torontomu.ca/asc/2024/06/from-hospital-hallways-to-campus-classrooms-the-50th-anniversary-of-amalgamation-part-2/) where we look at The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association, the Ryerson School of Nursing (1964-2007), Amalgamation and the end of hospital schools of nursing, the last graduation(s), and the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing (2008-2024).

A View of Old Toronto – using archival objects as a focus for your research

The idea for this blog started in the summer of 2022 when I was brainstorming ideas for interesting ways to showcase our collections. I started looking through the Bass Stereographic Photography Collection and was intrigued by these three cards because I wasn’t familiar with them or where they might be located. Originally intending the blog to be a simple show and tell of interesting images around Toronto, it quickly evolved into a more in-depth project using the stereographs as the starting point for my search – a kind of showcase of how archival and special collections materials can be used to spark new ideas or enhance existing research projects.

Utilizing both online resources, and books from the TMU library collections – I was able to not only pinpoint the locations of the subjects in the photographs, but the history of the sites as well. There is a full bibliography available at the end of the blog.

Munro Park

Group of people wading in water on a Munro Beach
Children enjoying the waterfront in Munro Park, Toronto. 2018.09.04.01.03

In 1847 former Toronto Mayor and business man George Monro (1797-1878) purchased 60.5 acres of Lot 1 Concession 1 in Toronto. In present day terms the property, called Painted Post Farm, was bordered by the lake in the south, Scarborough Road in the west, Kingston Road in the north and Victoria Park in the East.

The properties to the east and west of Painted Post Farm were slowly being developed into summer resort and recreation areas and in 1896 Monro’s family granted a 10 year lease to the Toronto Railway Company (TRC) for a portion of their property. The section, which consisted of the bottom portion south of Queen Street East down to the lake, was leased by the TRC for the purpose building an amusement park which would be serviced by their electric trolley cars. At the time of the lease their tracks, which ran along Queen Street East, stopped at Balsam Avenue (3 streets east of the Monro property). In 1896 Munro Park (it is unclear when the spelling changed from Monro to Munro) was initially opened as a picnic area, with 50 benches and 100 seats, A large 1300 square metre dance hall, a bandstand, and some rides – carousel, swings – were added in the first season and in 1897 a mineral well was opened. By 1898 the street car tracks were run in a loop to the park and a ferris wheel was constructed. In 1899 a water carousel, Lundy’s Ostrich Farm, and two 90 metre boardwalks leading to the entrance of the dance hall were added. More sidewalks were created and the size of the performance stage was increased, with seating for 5000. The TRC began booking performers including acrobats, animal acts, comedians, magicians, musical performers, vaudeville and minstrel shows. They also added a motion picture venue in 1900.

Photograph of people standing around a grassy park with a ferris wheel in the background.
Munro Park, 1900
Courtesy of the Baldwin Collection of Canadiana, Toronto Public Library

In 1906 the lease with the TRC was not renewed and all the buildings were removed from the property. The following year Scarboro Beach Park, just a few blocks from Munro Park, opened and it was purchased by the TRC in 1912. In the 1920’s the TRC became one of the two companies, along with Toronto Civic Railway, that became the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The Monro property and Munro park were later subdivided for residential development and nothing of the old park exists. A street, Munro Park Avenue, runs through the centre of the old park property and the shoreline is now part of Silver Birch Beach.

Rosehill Reservoir

Flower bed at Rosehill Reservoir park
Sundial garden, north east entrance to Rose Hill Reservoir park, circa 1900. 2018.09.04.07.37

Reservoir Park, located in Toronto’s Deer Park neighbourhood, opened in 1874. The land it sits on is one of the city’s oldest public recreational spaces. But the area has a much older pre-colonial history. The area, called “Mishkodae” or prairie/meadow in Anishinaabemowin, was used for hunting by the Indigenous peoples. The lands open savannah like environment attracted the deer to feed. The area was also rich in plants that were harvested for use in medicines.

Two story home surrounded by trees
Rose Hill, built by Walter Rose in 1836. Photograph courtesy of the Toronto Public Library – Baldwin Collection of Canadiana

The reservoir and surrounding lands were part of two 200 acre lots that fronted on to Yonge Street between Summerhill and St. Clair Avenues. Lot 16 was purchased by Walter Rose who constructed a house, called Rose Hill, in 1836. The neighbouring property, lot 17, was purchased by Charles Thompson and a house “Summerhill” was constructed on the property in 1842. In 1853 Thompson developed some of his property into an amusement park with swings, landscaped gardens, and paths leading down into the Ravine. The park was referred to as Thompson’s Park, but he changed the name to Summer Hill Spring Park and Pleasure Grounds.

Section of larger map showing water reservoir.
Atlas of the City of Toronto and Vicinity, March 1890, revised September 1903. Library and Archives Canada.

In 1865 Walter Rose died and his property was subdivided and sold. Some of the property was purchased by Joseph Jackes and Richard Dunbar. Thompsons property was sold to Larratt Smith in 1866. In the early 1870’s the city hired consultants E. S. Chesborough and T. C. Keefer to design a waterworks system. They recommended a site north of the city for the construction of a reservoir. In 1872 the city purchased sections of property from Jackes, Dunbar, and Smith for the reservoir. Smith’s sale was contingent upon the city’s maintaining his section of property as the parkland it already was. The reservoir itself would be constructed on the Rose Hill property. In October of 1873 the construction contract was awarded to R. Mitchell and Co. and construction was completed in December of 1874 – named the Rose Hill Reservoir for the property it sat upon. The reservoir could hold 126 million litres of water and was connected to the John Street pumping station 8 kilometres away.

Chain link fence with barbed wire along top. Trees and a roadway on the other side.
Rosehill Reservoir cleaning and war protection 4 November 1942. Item 2014, Subseries 72, Series 372. Fonds 200 Former City of Toronto fonds. City of Toronto Archives.

After its construction Reservoir park was a popular attraction with its access to the Vale of Avoca/Yellow Creek Ravine. The reservoir, considered the community’s lake, was closed to the public during World War I to protect the water supply. This was done again for World War II – with a fence being erected in 1940. After the war was over the fence was left in place to help protect against water contamination. In 1949 the city began considering covering the site because of the pollution from birds, dogs, and people. Fish were found to be swimming in the reservoir at one point.  In 1960 the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto commissioned consulting engineers Gore & Storrie Ltd to plan for an expansion and covering of the reservoir to much protest of the local community who didn’t want to lose their lake. The renovation project (1964-1966) cost $3.4 million dollars and increased the reservoir to 270 million litres. A water fountain, reflecting pools, waterfall and other water features were added to the new landscape to make up for the loss of the lake.

Reservoir Park became part of the larger present day David Balfour Park whose entrance is located at 75 Rosehill avenue and is now a 20.5 hectare park. A major renovation was completed in 2022 with work on both the reservoir and its surrounding park. Accessible, multiple use trails, new lighting, and an expanded community garden were added.

Government House

Stereographic card showing front of Government House, looking east, with pathways and gardens
Government House looking east towards St. Andrew’s Church (present day King and Simcoe Sts.) 2018.09.04.07.37
Interior view of Government House greenhouse showing walkway and plants on either side
Interior of greenhouse located on west side of Government House. 2018.09.04.07.37

Government House was the name for the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and Ontario – a tradition which ended in 1937 with the closing of the final residence Chorley Park. Between 1792-1937 there were 9 homes used by the Lieutenant-Governor, none of which are still in existence today.

The Government House featured in these stereocards was the 7th home – is known as Old Government House. Located on property at King and Simcoe Sts (where Roy Thompson Hall and Metro Hall currently stand) the house was designed by architect Henry Langley of Gundry and Langley and constructed by Grant & York of Peterborough. The three storey red brick and ohio cut stone home featured galvanized iron cornices and a mansard roof. The main entrance faced Simcoe Street and featured a covered carriage entrance featuring a 100 foot tower. The main building was three storeys above a basement level, with the kitchen wing only 2 storeys. It also had a large glassed conservatory which opened off of the dining room.  The house completed construction in 1870, with the John Beverley Robinson, the 5th Lieutenant-Governor for Ontario, being the first to reside there.

View of Government House looking west with King Street and Simcoe Street visible.
Looking west along King Street with Government House in the foreground, 1912. Baldwin Collection of Canadiana – Toronto Public Library.

The house cost $102,000 dollars to build and was paid for with government money. Its construction was not without critics – many not seeing the need for a whole residence for the Lieutenant-Governor to live in, when offices and sitting rooms in the legislature could be provided at a much lower cost. An article in the January 6 1869 Globe newspaper pointed out “Very little is said in any quarter in defence of the lavish expenditure being made upon the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario…the prospect is that the Governor’s residence in Toronto will be, all circumstances considered, more expensive than Rideau Hall at Ottawa.”  The article continues on to discuss the considerably less amount of funds being spent on hospitals.

In 1910 the area where Old Government House was located was becoming increasingly commercial and industrial. The Canadian Pacific Railway (C. P. R.) began purchasing lands adjacent to the house. It was felt that a new residence was needed and property in north Rosedale was purchased. In the April 18, 1910 edition of the Toronto Star the Ontario Government put a legal notice:  “Tenders for Government House property…up the first day of June 1910 for the purchase of property known as Government House property situate at south-west corner of King and Simcoe Sts…containing 6.19 acres…the buildings on the said property consist of a three storey residence, coach house, stables, gardener’s house, gate lodge, conservatories and greenhouses.”

The property was purchased for $800,000 by the C. P. R in June with the Lieutenant-Governor staying in residence while the new house was constructed. Unfortunately in March of 1912 the C. P. R. requested that the residence be vacated so they could begin developing parts of the property. A temporary residence was located for the Lieutenant Governor – Pendarves House (now Cumberland House) at College and St. George Sts. was rented until Chorley Park was completed in 1915. Lurie and Company wreckers purchased Government House, demolishing the building and selling off materials for use in other construction projects. Demolition began in June of 1912 and was completed in August of that same year. The C. P. R. used the space for a railway yard.

spliced 1884-1924 Goad's Fire Insurance Plans
Goad’s Map showing the intersection of King and Simcoe in 1884 on the left and 1924 on the right. https://www.toronto.ca/ext/archives/goads_atlases/1884/g1884_pl0005.jpg https://www.toronto.ca/ext/archives/goads_atlases/1910_1923_v1/g1910_1923_pl0005.jpg

The Bass Stereographic Photography Collection was donated to the University Archives and Special Collection by Gail Bass in 2018. The items were collected by the late Dr. Martin J. Bass and Gail Silverman Bass and included approximately 8000 stereograph cards – including 800 cards showing scenery, buildings, and landmarks from across Canada.

Bibliography

City of Toronto Archives “What’s Online” https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/accountability-operations-customer-service/access-city-information-or-records/city-of-toronto-archives/whats-online/

Toronto Public Library Digital Archive https://digitalarchive.tpl.ca/

Toronto Public Library Local History & Genealogy https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/history-genealogy/

Munro Park

Illustrated Historical Atlas of the County of York and the Township of West Gwillimbury and Town of Bradford in the County of Simcoe, Ont. Mika Silk Screening, 1972.

Morgan, Wayne. “Munro Park/East Beach City of Toronto Heritage Conservation District Study and Plan.” City of Toronto, 2008, www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/pb/bgrd/backgroundfile-18277.pdf.

“Munro Park (1896-1906).” The Coaster Enthusiasts of Canada – Closed Canadian Parks – Ontario – Scarborough, www.cec.chebucto.org/ClosPark/Munro.html. Accessed 6 July 2023.

“TO Built Walking Tour: The Beaches.” Architectural Conservancy Ontario, www.acotoronto.ca/res_files/TOBuilt-Walking-Tour_Beaches.pdf. Accessed 6 July 2023.

Rosehill Reservoir

“3 Places Where You Can Discover Toronto’s Indigenous History | CBC News.” CBC News, 21 June 2017, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/first-story-toronto-indigenous-history-1.4170290.

Atlas of the City of Toronto and Vicinity, March 1890, revised September 1903. Library and Archives Canada. http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=fonandcol&id=3836028&lang=eng

Brown+Storey Architects Inc. (2016, June 6). Rosehill Reservoir, Toronto Heritage Impact Assessment. https://www.brownandstorey.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Rosehill-Reservoir-HIA-Draft-Final-20160606-reduced.pdf

Kinsella, Joan C. Historical Walking Tour of Deer Park. Toronto Public Library, 1996. https://digitalarchive.tpl.ca/objects/336600#

Robertson, J. Ross. “Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto : A Collection of Historical Sketches of the Old Town of York, from 1792 until 1837, and of Toronto from 1834 to 1908.” Internet Archive, 1 Jan. 1970, archive.org/details/landmarkstoronto05robeuoft/page/n5/mode/2up.

“Rosehill Reservoir.” Lost Rivers Walks, www.lostrivers.ca/points/Rosehill_Reservoir.htm#:~:text=Built%20in%201873%2674%20with%20a,was%20constructed%20on%20its%20roof. Accessed 13 July 2023.

Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation (2022, November 9). City of Toronto. https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/get-involved/public-consultations/infrastructure-projects/rosehill/

Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “David A. Balfour Park.” City of Toronto, 6 Mar. 2017, www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/complex/143/index.html.

Government House

“Fine stained window lost to the province”. The Toronto Star. 25 June 1912. pp. 1 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-1/docview/1432739672/se-2.

Forsyth, Grant, Mrs. “Memories of Government House: passing of a famous social shrine.” The Globe (1844-1936). April 27, 1912. pp. A2, A7 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/memories-government-house-passing-famous-social/docview/1316227696/se-2.

“Gallery 1793-1815: Fort York Government House, 1800. Library & Archives Canada, C-16016.” Friends of Fort York , www.fortyork.ca/29-gallery/103-gallery-17931815.html#!1800_Fort_York_Government_House. Accessed 3 Aug. 2023. 

Gross, P. (1877). Illustrated Toronto, past and present. Canadiana. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.24893/1 

“Lieutenant-Governor obliged to vacate: C. P. R. wants possession of a portion of old government house property.” The Globe (1844-1936), March 2, 1912, pp. 9. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/lieutenant-governor-obliged-vacate/docview/1324238400/se-2.

Parks Canada Agency, Government of Canada. “Fort George National Historic Site – Navy Hall.” Parks Canada Agency, Government of Canada, 25 May 2023, www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/. 

“Pendarves – Cumberland House.” Ontario Heritage Trust, heritagetrust.on.ca/pages/programs/provincial-plaque-program/provincial-plaque-background-papers/pendarves-cumberland-house. Accessed 10 Aug. 2023. 

“Provincial Plaque Background Papers: Pendarves-Cumberland House.” Ontario Heritage Trust, www.heritagetrust.on.ca/pages/programs/provincial-plaque-program/provincial-plaque-background-papers. Accessed 3 Aug. 2023. 

Previous government houses. Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. (2017, June 14). https://www.lgontario.ca/en/tours/previous-government-houses/

“Separate depots for the railways – rumour that it is the C. P. R. which is buying land in Wellington Street”. The Toronto Star. January 4, 1910. pp. 1 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-1/docview/1435964760/se-2.

“Some bold biffs at Government”. The Toronto Star. February 9, 1910. pp. 7 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-7/docview/1431991356/se-2.

“Tenders for Government House Property”. The Toronto Star. April 18,  1910. pp. 6 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-6/docview/1436256066/se-2.

“The C. P. R. gets the Government House”. The Toronto Star. June 7, 1910. pp. 6 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-6/docview/1436270790/se-2. 

“The Governor’s Residence”. The Globe (1844-1936). January  6, 1869. pp. 2 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/governors-residence/docview/1518970923/se-2. 

“The Lieutenant Governor’s Residence”. The Globe (1844-1936). June 29, 1868. pp. 2 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/lieutenant-governors-residence/docview/1518951434/se-2.

First Edition Photobook, 2020-2022 Award winners

The University Library First Edition Photobook Award was launched in 2015, with Alison Skyrme, Special Collections and liaison librarian and Christopher Manson, Image Arts instructor leading the awards program. The award was initiated in relation to work completed as part of a third year Image Arts course titled: The Photographic Book. For the course, students learn design and composition principles and are required to conceive of, and produce, their own photobook from their own photography.

“Over the eight years the award has been granted I have always been impressed with the quality of the work that the photography students produce,” says Skyrme.

Each year student works are submitted for the award and the winning photobooks are selected by panel. In addition to the award, the photobooks are purchased by the Library to become part of its book collection. They are housed by Special Collections and are available for viewing in the Archives and Special Collections reading room. The acquisition of these titles is supported by a donation from The Photographic Historical Society of Canada.

“Every year our collection of student books grows, we have 54 in the collection now, and it becomes a stronger and more impressive record of the creativity and talent of the photography students over time,” says Skyrme.

For the winter semester the Award winning books from the past three years will be on view in the exhibit cases on the 4th floor of the library, located just outside our reading room doors.

A complete list of award winners can be found in the First Edition Photobook Award collection record.

2020 Award Winners:

Metamorphosis by Julie Ng

Interplay of Light by Jordana Petruccelli

Biotypes by Gabrielle Tyrie

Two Minutes of Progress Avenue by Austin Waddell

The Disposable Glitch by Teagan Lopes

Surveillance Culture by Yarden Haddie

  • Photograph of front cover of book Metamorphosis by Julie Ng
  • Photograph of front cover of book Interplay of Light by Jordana Petruccelli
  • Photograph of front page of book Biotypes by Gabrielle Tyrie
  • Photograph of front page of book Two Minutes of Progress Avenue by Austin Waddell
  • Frpnt page from book Surveillance Culture by Yarden Haddi

2021 Award Winners:

My Mennonite Mother by Sarah Bauman

No, You by Freida Wang

You, The Light & Nothing Else by Christina Oyawale

Right Here. Right Now by Deion Squires-Rouse

Mapping Colour by Abygail De Leon

Plant Kingdom by Zongzhe Cai

Fag! by Tyler Da Silva

I Beg You to Have Patience by Caeden Wigston

  • Photograph of front cover of book My Mennonite Mother by Sarah Bauman
  • Photograph of front page of book No, You by Freida Wang
  • Photograph of front cover of book You, the light & nothing else by Christina Oyawale
  • Photograph of front cover of book Right Here. Right Now by Deign Squires-Rouse,
  • Photograph of front cover of book Mapping Colour by Abygail De Leon
  • Photograph of front cover of book Plant Kingdom by Zongzhe Cai
  • Front cover of book Fag! by Tyler Da Silva
  • Photograph of front page of book I Beg You To Have Patience by Caeden Wigston

The full range of books created for consideration for the 2021 awards can be viewed on the TMU Artspace webpage “First Edition Photobook Show 2021

2022 Award Winners:

Back Book by Pengxiang Zhou

Shrieking Sisterhood by Kayla Ward

The Paper by Kayla Ward

Calm and Chaos by Kay Nadjiwon

Rosemary and Thyme by Katya Lina

Need Me by Payton Keeler Cox

Meu Avo by Andrew Moreno

Bring Back the Ice to the Lake by Yixuan Mark Wang

  • Photograph of the front cover of the Back Book by Pengxiang Zhou
  • Photograph of the front page of the book Shrieking Sisterhood by Kayla Ward
  • Front cover of The Paper by Kayla Ward
  • Photograph of front cover for book Calm & Chaos by Kay Nadjiwon
  • Photograph of front page of book Rosemary & Thyme by Kayta Ilina
  • Photograph of front cover of book Need Me by Payton Keeler Cox
  • Photograph of contents of box that makes up book Meh Avo by Andrew Moreno
  • Photograph of front cover of book Bring Back Ice to the Lake by Yixuan Mark Wang

Summer in the Collections

As we enjoy the August heat and sunshine and are gearing up for the busy bustle of the September campus. Let’s take a look at summer time and summer activities from our collections.

Bass Steroscopic Photography Collection

Five swimmers, three seated and two standing, at the beach.
Swimmers at the Beach, date unknown. (2018.09.04.01.03)
Henley Regatta in England. View of river with boats and people gathered on the shoreline
After the Finish – International Regatta at Henley, England 1909. H. C. White Co. (2018.09.04.01.03)

The Henley Regatta is still held today (Henley Royal Regatta). It was first held in 1839 and was originally staged by the Mayor and the people of Henley as a public attraction with a fair and other amusements. The emphasis changed to focus on competitive amateur rowing. There is a Royal Canadian Henley Regatta held annually in St. Catharine’s (Henley Regatta) which was first held in 1880.

Start 91

Start ’91 was the inaugural pre-orientation program offered to incoming first year students. The 2 day program was held July 26 and 27 with the purpose of providing the participants with a variety of experiences to help prepare them for university. Campus tours, resource sessions, and interactive sessions with current students, staff, and faculty were held to help develop relationships and build confidence in the attendees. In 1992 the name changed to “Summer Orientation” and was expanded to 2 two-day sessions, one in July and one in August. This was eventually replaced with “Discover Ryerson”, a one day program with sessions for both incoming students and their parents. Toronto Metropolitan University currently offers the Summer Jumpstart Program, through Student Life and Learning Support. This summer long program offers a variety of sessions in various streams in July and August

Lorne Shields Historic Photograph Collection

Person sliding headfirst down a slide into a swimming pool.
Man sliding into pool, c. 1950 (2008.001.349)
Photograph of two men in a canoe near Longlac,Ontario
Summer Snapshots Album “Longlac, Ontario” (2008.001.2.010)

Longlac, now part of the Municipality of Greenstone, sits on the North East end of Long Lake. Longlac is about 4 hours east of Thunder Bay and is a 12 hour car trip up Yonge Street/Hwy. 11 from our location at 350 Victoria Street.

“Summer at Ryerson” series

The “Summer at Ryerson” series was organized through the department of Continuing Education. It ran between May and August and offered courses for personal interests such as dance, fitness, canoeing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. During the second year of running, they added in craft shows and weekly concerts by Lake Devo and in the Kerr Hall Quadrangle. In 1982 it offered 4 courses in sailing – a program that would continue into the Fall and Winter semesters with the chance to sail the Caribbean. The last Summer at Ryerson appears to have been held in 1985.

People seated on grass in Kerr Hall Quad listening to music
People seated in the Quad listening to music, 1980 (RG 122.10.0110)

Stay tuned for next month’s blog highlighting a recent acquistion to Archives and Special Collections’ holdings.

Archives A to Z 2022 Week 4

We’re joining the Archives of Ontario in their #ArchivesAtoZ month-long campaign. The aim is to increase the public’s awareness of archives and their collections. We’ll be sharing four blog posts throughout the month showcasing items and collections from our holdings or archival concepts related to each letter of the alphabet.

  • April 4: A to F
  • April 11: G to M
  • April 18: N to S
  • April 25: T to Z

Theatre Programs

Did you know we have more than 2700 theatre programs in our collection, including 638 published by Toronto companies between 1959 and 2012? Some of the programs have the original ticket stubs and paper inserts from the attended performance. Here are a few examples from local theatres & acting groups:

Uniforms

We are lucky enough to be home to a large selection of textiles/clothing – everything from nylons to rally caps. A large part of these collections are uniforms of different types. We have school uniforms, athletic uniforms, nursing uniforms, and even old mascot costumes in uniform. Here is just a sample of what we have.

Vinegar Syndrome

Vinegar Syndrome – this is something that most Archives and Special Collections have to deal with especially those that house large collections of film and photography. Acetate film bases were first introduced in the early 1900s as an alternative to the highly combustible nitrate film and was in use between the 1930s and the 1990s.

One of the major preservation concerns with acetate film, both in motion picture and still photography, is vinegar syndrome. As the film base starts to degrade (usually caused by levels of high temperature and humidity) there is a build up of acetic acid (the vinegar smell!). As the syndrome progresses the film begins to suffer from shrinkage, embrittlement, and buckling of the gelatin emulsion eventually making the film unplayable and the photographs illegible.

The Northeast Document Conservation Centre has information on the identification and care of film negatives . The Glenbow Library and Archives has information on Vinegar Syndrome and Acetate motion picture film

William Notman

Willian Notman immigrated to Montreal from Scotland in 1856 and founded what would become an internationally known photography studio. Notman photographed mostly prominent politicians and notable families but he was also well known across local athletic clubs and social groups.

He became known for his large composite group portraits and innovative portraiture techniques.  The composites were made by assembling multiple individual portraits through a collage. Notman also hired artists to paint realistic backdrops for his portraits in order to re-create outdoor settings in his studio.

His photography business expanded quickly and by 1872 Notman had 26 studios across North America. The company was renamed William Notman & Son in 1882 when his eldest son William McFarlane Notman, became a partner.

X-Rays

x-ray image of a hand

This image is copy of the x-ray Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen took of his wife’s hand in 1895. Kodak reproduced the image in 1970 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Rontgen’s discovery of x-ray imaging. This copy was made using their KODAK RP/D X-OMAT Radiograph Duplicating Film.

Yellow Book

The Yellow Book is a Victorian magazine that published 13 quarterly editions between 1894 and 1897. The book’s bright yellow cover was a nod to the illicit French fiction novels of this era. The Yellow Book distinguished itself from other fin-du-siècle magazines through its division of literary and art content (treating each as standalone piece) and its avant-garde and lavish aesthetic (minimalist layouts and spacious margins). This magazine didn’t include advertisements and focused on the book itself being a piece of art rather than a vessel for information. Aubrey Beardsley was the magazine’s first art editor. The magazine published several of his extravagant Japanese-woodcut inspired black ink illustrations (as seen on the book cover below).

The Centre for Digital Humanities has a website dedicated to the time period, which became known as the Yellow Nineties. Issues of The Yellow Book have been digitized and can be viewed online.

Zebras

The Men’s soccer team in the early days of the School were called the Zebras for their bright gold and blue jerseys. The team debuted in 1951. They were intermediate champs in 1956-1957 and Intermediate Ontario-Quebec Conference Champions in 1958-1959. In 1964 they switched to the Ontario Intercollegiate Athletic Association and in 1965 changed to a bright orange/yellow jersey from the striped jersey that gave them their name. The Zebras continued under that name until the 1973-1974 school year when they became Rams.

We hope you have enjoyed our Archives A to Z blog post series. Explore the hashtag #ArchivesAtoZ to see what other repositories have shared online!

Archives A to Z 2022 Week 3

We’re joining the Archives of Ontario in their #ArchivesAtoZ month-long campaign. The aim is to increase the public’s awareness of archives and their collections. We’ll be sharing four blog posts throughout the month showcasing items and collections from our holdings or archival concepts related to each letter of the alphabet.

  • April 4: A to F
  • April 11: G to M
  • April 18: N to S
  • April 25: T to Z

Names on Campus

Have you wondered about names around campus? Let’s take a peek at two individuals connected with two campus buildings.

Jorgenson Hall was named after Fred Jorgenson, who, in 1966, took over as principal from retiring and founding principal, Howard H. Kerr. An extensive campus expansion being planned included the construction of a consolidating administrative building. Ten days before the turning of the sod, Jorgenson announced his unexpected resignation, effective July 1969, due to family illness. The building received its name in his honour. Jorgenson Hall officially opened in late 1971.

Fun facts about Fred Jorgenson :

  • Highly unusual at the time, he asked faculty to call him by his first name.
  • His title changed from principal to president in 1967.
  • The family pet was a monkey named George.
  • Believing in a tight-knit community, he went to a hospital to confer a diploma on a graduating, ill student.
  • The student body referred to him as “Uncle Fred”.
  • He worked diligently for Ryerson’s authority to grant degrees (first degree granted 1971).
  • He sent Christmas greetings to the Ryerson community every year into the 1980s.
  • Fred Jorgenson died at 93 in June 2016.
Fred Jorgenson with George, 1966

Oakham House, the original structure facing Church Street, was designed and named by its architect, William Thomas. Born in 1799 to Welsh parents in England, Thomas arrived in Canada in 1844. Little is known of the Thomas family life in Toronto other than he was married to Martha and had 10 children, three of whom died young, aged 2 months, 14 and 17 years, and two others who joined him in business. He was prolific in his building designs in both England and Ontario.

Besides Oakham House, Thomas is noted for :

Sadly, many of his buildings have been destroyed or only the façade remains, such as :

Original Order

One of the two fundamental principles used when arranging Archival records. The idea behind this principle is that it is not just the records and the information within them that is important. It is the context in which the records were originally used and organized that is equally important – adding to the history of those records. Once the records have been donated to an Archive, the records’ organization will be maintained and no other order will be imposed (alphabetical, numerical, chronological).

That being said – if there is NO obvious original order – an Archives will arrange the materials in a way that makes the most sense in relation to the nature of the records.

Box of slides – no organization and no obvious sign of original order

Polaroid

Our Polaroid collection has over 200 instant cameras! The collection was donated by a former Polaroid employee and includes some unique publications, camera manuals and promotional material from the company. The Polaroid Corporation was a leader in instant cameras and film, but the company’s initial research focus was on polarizers. The company developed polarized lenses and filters for various uses, which led to the creation of instant photography in 1947.

A purple polaroid camera stacked on top of a box of polaroid film and a box with a Polaroid remote control
2018.10.01.05.93 – Polaroid Impulse Camera (in Burgundy!)

Questions?

Questions about Archives? Not sure what is a Special Collection?

We’re here to help answer those questions and support patrons navigate the world of archival research! If you want to know more about what collections are available at Archives & Special Collections (or A&SC) and how to search them, a great place to start is our Research Guide.

Some of the most common questions we get are:

  • Do I have to wear gloves?

In most cases you don’t! The use of white cotton gloves are a common misconceptions in libraries and archives (see this fun blog by the Smithsonian on the topic!) Cotton gloves can actually damage material by getting caught on the edge of an object or a torn piece of paper. We prefer that researchers arrive with clean hands before handling the material. The only instance when gloves need to be used is when handling prints or negatives that are not in protective housing.

  • Can I copy or take photos of the material?

Yes, you are welcome to take reference photos of the material for research or private study during an appointment. There are some cases when it is not possible, if there are privacy concerns for instance, but our staff will let you know beforehand.

  • Can I check out this book?

Unfortunately not. We love patrons to use our collections, but items in Archives & Special Collections must be kept in our reading room. Books and records in our holdings can be unique, fragile or may require special handling. We don’t want to limit access to our collections, but by keeping them in the reading room we can ensure that future generations will have access to them!

Robert MacIntosh Collection

The Robert Macintosh City of Toronto Book Collection contains historical and contemporary publications on the history of Toronto. Macintosh donated this collection to Special Collections in 2013 (he is also the author of one of the books titled Earliest Toronto). The collection includes 141 books on the history of Toronto, featuring tourist guides and souvenirs about the city from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

You can see the full list of books from this collection in the library catalogue.

Storage

Storage can mean two things – What we re-house the materials in and where we store them once they have been re-housed.

One of the last steps in preparing new donations for entry in our collections is re-housing them. When records and objects are delivered to us they are usually in their original file folders, boxes, and housing that, in the long run, can be harmful to the materials. For example, file folders may be replaced with acid free folders and placed in special archival boxes that help protect the records and prolong their life. Photographs are often placed in neutral see-through sleeves that enable the photographs to be seen, but protect the print from the damage that handling can cause. Because of the varied make up of most Archives and Special Collections, there is a wide variety of materials, cases, and boxes that are available for re-housing from a small case to house a coin to an 8ft long box made to house gowns and dresses. The Canadian Conservation Institute has published “CCI Notes” – guides for the care, handling, and storage of a wide variety of materials – you can access them at Canadian Conservation Notes

Storage also means the shelving and room(s) where the collections are stored. The one universal truth across Archives and Special Collections is that, with collections constantly expanding, there never seems to be enough room! Storage can range from a small closet to a state of the art climate controlled vault. At our Archives and Special Collections we are lucky enough to have compact storage – which greatly increased our storage footprint.

Next week, in our final April post, we’ll highlight items and archival concepts for the letters T to Z!

Archives A to Z 2022 Week 2

We’re joining the Archives of Ontario in their #ArchivesAtoZ month-long campaign. The aim is to increase the public’s awareness of archives and their collections. We’ll be sharing four blog posts throughout the month showcasing items from our collections and demystifying archival concepts related to each letter of the alphabet.

  • April 4: A to F
  • April 11: G to M
  • April 18: N to S
  • April 25: T to Z

Graphic Materials

According to the Canadian Council of Archives graphic materials are “…are defined as documents in the form of pictures, photographs, drawings, watercolours, prints, and other forms of two-dimensional pictorial representations.” This definition includes a diverse range of materials and processes that often make up the bulk of an Archives or Special Collections holdings. While conducting research last year – we came across these amazing hand painted and hand drawn theatrical posters created by students to advertise Ryerson Opera Workshop productions. The Ryerson Opera Workshop, or ROW, was established in 1951 by Jack McAllister, at the time faculty in the English Department and would later be one on the founding faculty in the School of Performance. The workshop was an institute-wide, student endeavour from production crew to cast members.

Hot Docs

The Hot Docs Fonds includes physical and digital material produced for the annual Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Digital copies of the programs from 1994 to 2001 festivals can be viewed on our database by clicking on the program’s cover images. We’re looking forward to this year’s festival, which begin on April 28th !

Imaging

Imaging, also known as digital imaging, reformatting, scanning or digitizing, refers to creating an electronic representation of an analogue object. The are several standards for imaging cultural heritage material, such as the Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN).

We generally use a flatbed scanner for graphic material, and an overhead copy stand for large prints and 3-D objects. We also digitize audiovisual formats such as VHS tapes and audio-cassettes, since they tend to deteriorate quickly and the playback equipment required for reformatting is becoming less readily available (a tape deck or a VCR for instance.)

We often get asked why libraries and archives can’t digitize all of our collections for online access! The Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archive has a blog post with great answers to this question, but it generally is tied to the amount of resources required for mass digitization (staff time, technical equipment, digital storage, copyright clearance, etc.) Take a look at what we’ve digitized so far through our online database!

An example of imaging using a copy stand. We use colour bars to identify the scale of the object and to have reference for tone and colour balancing.

Jorgenson Hall Model

The Jorgenson Hall/Podium/Library Building architectural model is one of three campus building models in our collections (the other two being Pitman Hall and the RAC). This one was created by Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Architects Engineers and shows the three buildings plus the west side of Kerr Hall which attaches to the complex via footbridges at either end.

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching can be hit and miss when it comes to looking for archival records – especially if you are starting your research in an internet search engine. Every search comes back with hundreds of thousands of returns – so how do you improve your chances of finding what you are looking for?

Having a plan of action that includes an initial list of keywords is a good way to start. When thinking of what keywords you want to use there are several things to keep in mind:

  • 1) The age of the records you are looking for and the time period of their creation – terminology is ever evolving and you may find your search returns include offensive and outdated terminology that is no longer in use, but would have been at the time of the records creation
  • 2) Word spelling – countries may spell words differently so include all the potential spellings of your keywords when you are searching.
  • 3) Alternate/previous names – this is especially important if you are researching a geographic location – has it always been called what it is named now?

Finally – consider adding some of these terms to the end of your keywords: papers, photographs, collections, exhibition, primary source, archives, special collections, library, museum, curriculum. Any or all of these terms may help narrow down your search and help you find what you are looking for. Robin M. Katz’s “How to Google for Primary Sources” has some other suggestions to help you with your search.

Word cloud of search terms

Lorne Shields

Lorne Shields has been an avid collector of bicycles and bicycle ephemera since 1967. His passion for bicycles led him to collect photographs on the subject as well as books, magazines, and bicycle memorabilia.

Shields donated his collection of photographs unrelated to bicycles to Special Collections in 2008. This includes studio portraits and carte-de-visites as well as landscape and industrial imagery from the Victorian era to the 1960s. The collection also comprises many vernacular photographic albums, good examples of glass and metal photographic processes including cased daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes. Explore our database for more information on the Lorne Shields Historical Photograph Collection.

2008.001.1872 – [Portrait of three women]

Miniature Cameras

 Did you know we have several miniature and sub-miniature cameras in the collection? These mini photo devices are designed to take photographs on film sized smaller than 135 format (24mm x 36mm). The Minolta-16 camera seen below takes 10×14 mm exposures on 16 mm film.

Miniature cameras gained a reputation as “spy” cameras, and while some of the higher quality ones (including the Minox) were used by government agencies, most were simply for amateur use.

Next week we’ll highlight items and archival concepts for the letters N to S!

Archives A to Z 2022 Week 1

We’re joining the Archives of Ontario in their #ArchivesAtoZ month-long campaign. The aim is to increase the public’s awareness of archives and their collections. We’ll be sharing four blog posts throughout the month showcasing items from our holdings and demystifying archival concepts related to each letter of the alphabet.

  • April 4: A to F
  • April 11: G to M
  • April 18: N to S
  • April 25: T to Z

Artifacts (oversized!)

Archives and Special Collections often go beyond papers, books, and photographs in their collections. Many will have objects and artifacts as well. Our Archives and Special Collections is home to a robust collection of artifacts in all shapes and sizes, including many oversized and heavy ones that make storage tricky. Here are a few examples from the collections. (tap on the photographs to learn more about the objects)

Books

Our collection contains a large variety of published materials including books and journals. The Archives previously collected the published works of faculty. Special Collections houses rare books with a photographic focus, children’s books and History of Toronto books. They also have a large collection of photography related journals. Unlike the rest of the library – these books are not out on open shelving for viewing – they need to be pulled by Archives and Special Collections staff, and they are not available to take home. The books can be searched using the library catalogue and narrowing the location to either Archives or Special Collections

books on shelves
Books and catalogues on the shelves in Archives and Special Collections.

Campus Maps

Campus maps are an important part of our collection. They show the evolution and growth of the campus starting with its creation in 1948. They highlight not just the growth of the campus, but also show movement within the campus by the programs and schools that make up the University. For example the School of Architecture is currently located at 325 Church Street. But in the 1960s it was located at 44 Gerrard Street (former School of Performance building), in the early 1970’s it was housed at in the City Hall annex building at 465 Bay Street and after a fire in that building Architecture was housed at 720 King St. (near Bathurst).

Doozers

The Doozers, a favourite of the Archives and Special Collections staff, were part of the Jim Henson Television show “Fraggle Rock”. These tiny creatures were forever building structures only to have them eaten by the Fraggles. The photograph and the book are part of the Robert Hackborn Fonds. This collection contains extensive documentation of the creative processes for television show including on-set images, sketches of set designs and correspondence. Robert Hackborn was a Canadian set designer and art director. He started working at the CBC in 1955 as a scenic paint artist and later progressed to the Set Design Department where he would produce versatile special visual effects incorporated in years of Canadian film and television programming. (Tap on the photographs to learn more about the records)

Exhibition publications

Special Collections has a selection of pamphlets, press releases and publications for exhibitions in museums, galleries, festivals and universities across Canada, the United States and abroad. The collections is continuously growing, but the original acquisition was donated by Alison Nordström, the Curator of Photographs at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, who collected the material between 1986 and 2011.

Frank Sommers interviews

The Frank G. Sommers Fonds contains text and audio records of interviews he conducted with European and Canadian film directors Marianne Ahrne, Walerian Browczyk, Bert Haanstra, Claude Jutra, Ettore Scola, and Alain Tanner between 1978 and 1979. The goals of the interviews were to review converging trends in international cinema through director’s perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of the works.

Promotional material accompanying the Ettore Scola interview (2018.019.05)

Next week we’ll highlight items and archival concepts for the letters G to M!

This Week in University History – Space Shuttle Discovery Mission Patch presentation

March 24, 2022 will mark the 30th anniversary of Astronaut and Photographer Roberta Bondar’s visit to Ryerson to present then President Terry Grier with space mission patches – including one bearing the school’s coat of arms, that had been to space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

framed space shuttle discovery mission patches and Ryerson Crest patch
Space Shuttle Discovery mission patches and Ryerson crest patch (RG 12.85)

Why would these be presented to our school? Because Roberta Bondar had been studying and researching the effect of blood flow under weightless conditions and its effect on space adaptation (dizziness, nausea etc) with the help of Ryerson’s Centre for Advanced Technology Education (CATE). Under contract with the Canadian Space Agency, researchers at CATE were working on experiment methodology, modeling, evaluation, data collection and analysis. You can read more about relationship in the following articles from the Forum Newsletter: