Helen Hogg - Astronomer and Faculty Stephen Leacock - Humorist and Graduate Elsie MacGill - Engineer and Graduate
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University of Toronto
U of T Great Past

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Photo: Michael Visser
 

 

A Fairy Tale
Let's go there!" shouts my three-year-old niece whenever I read to her from one of a hundred story-books. It's not the words that excite her but the pictures: long-ago kingdoms, dark, brooding forests and gardens brighter on paper than anything outside her own window. She would like the wondrous map of the university completed by A. Scott Carter in 1937 and displayed in the aptly named Map Room of Hart House.

On this canvas, snaking roads link regal academic buildings - a number of which have vanished mysteriously from the real world. Scattered around the grounds are a king (George IV, presenting the university charter), a queen (Victoria), a bishop (Strachan), a knight (Sir Ernest MacMillan), an army (the Officers' Training Corps drilling on the back campus) and a battle in progress (McGill versus U of T on the rugby field).

Meanwhile, a skeleton dances on the old anatomy building, a devilish student dangles a star in front of an astronomy professor's telescope, and rabbits, birds, butterflies, caterpillars and chipmunks scamper around wandering professors and benefactors who are busy discussing whatever it is that wise people discuss. It's quite a story. Let's go there.


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