Discover the stories and remember the lives of UCC
Old Boys who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.
A Memorial Hall was originally proposed to commemorate those Old Boys who gave their lives in the wars since its foundation in 1829. Instead a Memorial Wing was built as a tribute not only to those from the College who gave the ultimate sacrifice but also to loyal Old Boys who have given and done so much for the College. Its unique meaning to the College has a long history outlined below through a few excerpts from our yearbook and alumni magazine.
Some 30 years ago plans were made for the removal of the College to Norval: 18 years ago it was planned to move the College to North York. Both these schemes were abandoned and last year the Board of Governors decided once more, as they had in 1932 and 1937, that the College will remain on this present site. At the same time the Board appointed a Building and Sites Committee to study the building needs of the College. Their recommendation was accepted that a Memorial Hall be erected to commemorate those Upper Canada College Old Boys who gave their lives in the wars of the Empire since the founding of the school in 1829. The new Memorial Hall will be erected to the East of the Main Building and will be used for prayers in the morning, and for all such occasions as this. It will take the place of the present Prayer Hall and all Honour Boards and Portraits now there will be transferred to it. The basement will contain a rifle range and will be available for the Battalion for drill purposes. A War Memorial Committee, under the very active chairmanship of Mr. Maitland Macintosh, has already begun its drive to raise $325,000.
A Building and Planning Committee was authorized by the Board of Governors to examine these needs of the College and the report brought in by that group, a synopsis of which has been sent to all Old Boys, states that the school needs a great deal more than just the Memorial Hall proposed earlier. In place of a Memorial Hall, a wing to be known as the Memorial Wing will be erected on the east side of the main building opposite the Masters’ Common Room, from the Funds collected in the Memorial Campaign two years ago. This Memorial Wing will contain an Infirmary for the Upper School, an Isolation Hospital for both schools, and a modern day-boy Dining Hall.
College Times (Easter 1951) pg. 21
Prize Day, October 12, 1951, was an especially memorable event because for the first time it was attended by the Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Louis St. Laurent, and because it was followed by the laying of the corner stone of the Memorial Wing.
“By Canadian standards Upper Canada College is an old school, older than the City of Toronto and older than what was to become the great University of Toronto. In the light of what has happened since it is interesting that it was founded by one of Wellington’s greatest Lieutenants, Sir John Colborne, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada from 1829 to 1836. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the first contingent that left Canada to take part in the first world war was commanded by a UCC Old Boy, Sir William Otter; that the Commander of the 1st Canadian Army in World War II, General Crerar, was another Old Boy and that in that conflict there were no less than 26 generals and brigadiers who received their early education within these walls.” (The full version of this speech can be found here.)
Old Times (January 1952) pg. 14