University of Toronto Centres for Roman Catholic Students

Two facilities on the University of Toronto’s St. George campus were founded specifically for Roman Catholic students: St. Michael’s College and the Newman Centre. Together they offer academic, spiritual, and social services to those studying away from home.

St. Michael’s College—officially the University of St. Michael’s College—is a liberal arts and sciences undergraduate college of the University of Toronto, with a postgraduate Roman Catholic theology faculty. The college church is St. Basil’s, at 50 St. Joseph Street. Designed by William Hay; completed in 1856; it is a parish church for the surrounding community as well as a spiritual centre for students. It is also the oldest building on the U of T campus in continuous use.

Drawing of St Basil's Church, showing fields and forest in the background
St. Basil’s Church and administration offices—the oldest U of T buildings still in their original location (from an 1855 engraving, Toronto Public Library E 8-130 small)

The Newman Club (or Newman Centre) on the corner of Hoskin Avenue and St. George Street, is a social centre for Roman Catholic students. St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel—opened next door in 1927—welcomes the public, but was built specifically as a chapel for the centre.

The war memorials of these two institutions make them relevant to “For King and Country.” St. Michael’s College (158 names) honours those who died in the two World Wars and the Korean War. The memorial was unveiled in November 1988—the 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War. On Remembrance Day, Mass at St. Basil’s is followed by a service at the memorial

The memorial for the Newman Club of the University of Toronto (289 names of those who trained for World War II service) was dedicated and blessed on Sunday, May 20, 1945.

Elsewhere on our website—listed under Independent Schools—is St. Michael’s College School, the high school that prepares students for the University of St. Michael’s College. (Until 1950, the school was situated on the campus.) The school has its own war memorials honouring former students who gave their lives in the two World Wars, the Korean War, and in peace time.

Rev. Edward Jackman showed us the location of the St. Michael’s College memorial. Brian Horgan first made us aware of the Newman memorial in St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Brian’s father Gerald Horgan started as a boarder in Grade 9 at St. Michael’s College School; graduated from St. Michael’s College in 1940; and attended the Newman Club.

Thank you to our volunteers who indexed the names: Margaret Hurst transcribed St. Michael’s College; Tracy Owens transcribed the Newman memorial.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.