October 24, 2014
king’s college – u of t
Yesterday morning, I took the GO-Train into town and walked from Union Station up to the University. It was a beautiful morning and I like that part of town.
In the above image, the buildings are King’s College – the founding college that grew into the University of Toronto. They line a circle in this old section of the University. The University is divided into 7 colleges much like the British university system. (When in high-school, my goal was to go to St. Mike’s, the Catholic college at U-of-T. And because I went to a Basilian high-school, and because I had good grades, I was guaranteed a spot at St. Mike’s. My life took me to another Basilian college – Assumption – at the University of Windsor. I lasted one year and then left Canada for the US.)
The above image is emblematic of the Anglophile legacy in Toronto. (As late as the 1940’s, Toronto’s population was largely Protestant – 72 per cent in 1941 – and fundamentally British – 78 per cent, but mainly Canadian-born.) When I was in college, all my relatives who lived in Toronto went to Montreal for the weekend, because even as late as the 70’s Toronto was a very proper and extremely conservative place. This most British of Canadian cities still had Blues Laws on the books, laws closing all pubs and bars early and on weekends. But all things change and the waves upon waves of immigrants have made Toronto one of the most diverse cities in North America. And provided you avoid the old people, its British up-tightness can be largely ignored.