Victoria College

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Victoria College

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Victoria College was established by the Methodists as an Academy in Cobourg, Canada West. In 1829 at the Conference of Methodist's conference it was decided to establish a seminary for preparatory education for males and females. The cornerstone of the College, which was known as the Upper Canada Academy, was laid June 7, 1832. The official opening occurred four years later on June 18, 1836. On October 6, 1836 the Academy was granted its Royal Charter for its incorporation. The Academy provided co-educational, non-denominational preparatory education similar to the grammar schools of the time. In 1841 a Provincial Statute elevated the status of the Academy to College. Thus on October 21, 1842 Victoria College started its first semester as a degree-granting institution. The College granted degrees in Arts, Science, Law, Medicine and Divinity. When it acquired its elevated status as a College women were no longer allowed to attend until 1880. From 1876 to 1878 a new building, called Faraday Hall, was built on campus to house the Science Department. This was sponsored by Dr. Eugene Haanel. The College enlivened the community of Cobourg by encouraging intellectual pursuits. The College gave a Conversazione, the first of its kind in Cobourg, after convocation. This allowed the students to march around to music since dancing was not allowed at that time in the College. On November 20, 1892 a Act was passed by the Province that federated Victoria College with the University of Toronto. At this point the college professors and students moved to Toronto and the building which used to house the College became in turn a Provincial Asylum, a Military Hospital, an Ontario Hospital and a training centre for the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services. (Taken from: Cobourg Early Days and Modern Times. Cobourg: Haynes Printing Company, 1981.)


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