Toronto's Historical Plaques
2004 - Now in our 10th Year - 2014
Annesley Hall Victoria University
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted August, 2008
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted September, 2013
Photo Source - Wikipedia
Here on the corner of Queen's Park and Charles Street West is a University of Toronto women's residence. Just around the corner on Charles Street West, attached to the building's south entrance, is this plaque erected by the University of Toronto. Here's what it says:
Plaque coordinates: 43.667460 -79.393129
This building, named in honour of Susannah Annesley, mother of John Wesley, was built as a residence for women students and officially opened on October 1, 1903. It was designed by George M. Miller in an eclectic style sometimes referred to as "Jacobethan".
The initiative to provide for "the Daughters of Methodism" a home of "high moral tone" in an "atmosphere of refined social culture" was taken by Margaret Burwash (wife of Victoria's chancellor of the day), with the able help of Lillian Massey, Margaret Cox and other prominent Methodist women in the community who were known as the Victoria Women's Residence and Educational Association (forerunner of the modern-day Victoria Women's Association). Their tireless efforts raised funds from individuals, the City of Toronto, and congregations far and wide to buy the site from the University of Toronto, furnish the residence, and later help with its upkeep. The building itself, which originally boasted a gymnasium, infirmary, and dining room in addition to residence facilities, was financed in large part by a gift from the estate of Hart M. Massey (father of Lillian) whose generosity to Victoria also made possible the later construction of Burwash Hall for men.
In late August, 1988, the building was closed for a year of major renovation and restoration work during which the dining room and kitchen areas were converted to bedroom space thus enabling more students to experience residence life at Victoria. Alumni and friends contributed $400,000 through the heritage fund to give the venerable old building a new lease on life, and help defray the $4 million cost of the renovations. Annesley Hall was reopened in September 1989 and officially rededicated on October 21 of the same year.
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Alan L Brown