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.
war demonstrated that Canada lacked significant scientific research
capacity, particularly in comparison with Germany and the United States.
The annual budget of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exceeded
that of all the faculties of applied science in Canada together.
of Toronto physiology professor A.B. Macallum estimated that during
the war Canada had "not many more than 50 pure research men all
told." The total sum spent by the federal government for university
research from 1912 to 1915 had been less than $300,000. In response
to this concern, an Advisory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
- the predecessor of the National Research Council of Canada - was established
in 1916 by the federal government to help promote scientific research.
Macallum was made its full-time chairman.
... the government
and Macallum, who had moved to Ottawa, favoured centralizing the
laboratories in Ottawa - a measure that would help solve the problem
of choosing which individual universities would receive support.
the scientific work be done? President Robert Falconer and the committee
member John McLennan of the physics department, along with others, wanted
government work to be done at or close by the existing laboratories
in the universities, but the government and Macallum, who had moved
to Ottawa, favoured centralizing the laboratories in Ottawa - a measure
that would help solve the problem of choosing which individual universities
would receive support. But such a decision would certainly weaken the
research potential of the universities.
after the war, the federal government approved the creation of central
laboratories in Ottawa. In the meantime, some help was given to research
at the universities by the institution of scholarships and fellowships
for persons who had shown capacity for scientific research. Nevertheless,
there was considerable research activity on the campus during the war.
of engineering for the first time engaged in organized industrial research.
Using the strength of materials laboratory, engineers tested the steel
casings of shells, and chemical engineers tested chemical explosives.
J. Watson Bain, for example, worked on picric acid, used in the manufacture
of explosives. Some staff members inspected finished shells and the
shrapnel within them. Others within the University also worked on explosives.
Clara Benson, for example, applied her knowledge of chemistry to the
chemistry of explosives.
the faculty of engineering procured the first wind tunnel in Canada,
which allowed the testing of aircraft by simulating flight without risk
to the pilot - but only up to about 60 miles an hour.