March 15, 1827, King's College - the precursor to the University of
Toronto - was granted its royal charter by King George IV. Throughout
2002, U of T celebrated 175 years of Great Minds. As part of the
celebration, the U of T website featured excerpts from The
University of Toronto: A History, written by Martin Friedland, University
Professor and Professor Emeritus of Law at U of T.
a few major private donations came to the University during the depression.
largest gift by far was a bequest in 1933 from Miss Ida Wallberg, who
left $1 million to the University for an engineering building to be
called "The Wallberg Memorial Building" as a memorial to her
brother, Emil Andrew Wallberg, who had died in 1929, never having married,
and had left his estate to his sister.
The engineering building
to be called "The Wallberg Memorial Building" as a memorial to her
brother, Emil Andrew Wallberg.
Miss Wallberg nor her brother was a graduate of the University of Toronto.
Emil Wallberg had been born in Sweden, emigrated to the United States
at an early age, and received his engineering education in Illinois.
He moved to Canada in 1892, where he practiced as an engineer and became
president of several large companies, including Canada Wire and Cable.
The start of construction of the Wallberg Building, at the corner of
College and St George streets, was delayed, however, because the University
did not have the additional resources needed for its completion. Funds
would not become available until after the war.
Wallberg Memorial Building for chemical engineering and the department
of chemistry, officially opened in late 1949.
major donation during the depression - also from a woman - was from
Jessie Dunlap for an observatory in honour of her late husband, David
Dunlap. Again, neither the donor nor the person honoured was a University
of Toronto graduate. It will be recalled that, in 1921, David Dunlap,
an amateur astronomer, had met C.A. Chant, the head of astronomy.
Professor Chant sent
a note to Mrs Dunlap reminding her of her husband's possible interest
in assisting the department and boldly asking if she "would
be willing to consider the question of providing the observatory
- or, if not the entire observatory, the great telescope - as a
memorial to Mr. Dunlap.
relationship began to develop between Chant and the very wealthy Dunlap,
who had made his fortune as a lawyer and mining promoter in Northern
Ontario. Dunlap, however, died in 1924. A few years later, Chant sent
a note to Mrs. Dunlap reminding her of her husband's possible interest
in assisting the department and boldly asking if she "would be
willing to consider the question of providing the observatory - or,
if not the entire observatory, the great telescope - as a memorial to
of the astronomy department in 1962 with the David Dunlap Observatory
in the background: from left to right, S. Van den Bergh, Helen
Hogg, D.A. MacRae, Ruth Northcott, J.D. Fernie and J.F. Head (director)
interest in the project, and in 1927, Chant visited her at her elegant
home in Rosedale - 93 Highland Avenue, coincidentally to be purchased
by the University in 1956 from a subsequent owner to serve as the official
residence for presidents of the University. The money for the observatory
was promised, but could not be given until her husband's estate was
finally probated a number of years later.