The University College library was originally located in East Hall. The soaring and majestic chamber held approximately 33,000 carefully selected volumes over two levels and offered the students of the day a quiet, inspirational place for study and research.
In many ways the pride of the University, the library was destroyed in a matter of hours by a calamitous fire that started on the evening of February 14, 1890 when a kerosene lamp fell to the ground during preparations for a student social. The blaze devastated the east and south wings of UC, leaving only the laboratory and dormitories in the west wing unscathed.
In the aftermath of the fire, the alumni of UC, citizens of Toronto, and supporters from around the world rallied to reconstruct the treasured building. Our plan breathes new life into the library by returning the Collections Room to its initial location and the East Hall to its first purpose. In accordance with the library’s original design, our plan also calls for the reinstallation of a gallery level complete with alcoves to increase collection and study space. By restoring the historic nature and purpose of the room, we will further our quest for academic and research excellence.