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Visiting Annesley Hall, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario: distinguished in the higher education of women

Updated on December 20, 2013
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Annesley Hall, Toronto
Annesley Hall, Toronto | Source
Annesley Hall, Victoria College, University of Toronto, Toronto, 1930s
Annesley Hall, Victoria College, University of Toronto, Toronto, 1930s | Source
Engraving of Susanna Wesley, nee Annesley ('Illust. Hist. of Methodism in Gr. Britain, America & Australia' by WBDaniels, copyright 1884)
Engraving of Susanna Wesley, nee Annesley ('Illust. Hist. of Methodism in Gr. Britain, America & Australia' by WBDaniels, copyright 1884) | Source

Opened 1903, deeply influenced by Methodist women of conviction

Historically distinguished, in fact, both in the higher education of women and architecturally, Annesley Hall, Toronto, Ontario, dates from 1903. The Hall forms part of Victoria College within the University of Toronto.

The structure is executed in red brick, in Queen Anne Revival style (although this style is also sometimes referred to as 'Jacobethan'.). The architect responsible was George Martel Miller.

Features of the structure notably include promiment Flemish gables and bay windows. The building underwent a program of renovation in the late 1980s (1).

Annesley Hall is named for Susanna Annesley (2), mother of Methodist preacher John Wesley. The Methodist connection with the Hall is derived from the fact that several prominent women instrumental in its founding were associated with that church (3). These included Margaret Burwash, Lillian Massey and Margaret Cox, who participated in the 'Victoria Women's Residence and Educational Association', out of which the project for what became Annesley Hall emerged.

Annesley Hall was thus the first university residence which was built specifically for women. Maragret Addison was the first Dean of Residence.

The property is a National Historic Site of Canada.

This building was often the venue for meetings of the University Women’s Association (then University Women’s Club, then University Women’s Club of Toronto), founded in 1903, a prominent member of which was Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen, MD 1883.

Annesley Hall somewhat reminds me of Newnham College, Cambridge, England, both from its Queen Anne Revival-style architecture and in its historic and continuing association with the higher education of women.

I have added some links, below, to this article: the institutions which I have described in other Hubpages all have noteworthy connections with the history of women's university education.

Annesley Hall is situated at 95 Queen's Park Crescent, Toronto, Ontario.

December 20, 2013


(1) Further, architectural details of Annesley Hall may be accessed at:

(2) Sometimes written Susannah Annesley. Married to minister Samuel Wesley, this remarkable personality was mother to 19 children, not all of whom survived to adulthood, who included John and Charles Wesley, respectively acknowledged as the founder of Methodism and his prolific hymnwriting brother. Members of the Victoria Women's Residence and Educational Association had originally thought to name what became Annesley Hall for Barbara Heck, who, with her husband Paul Heck and others, founded the first Methodist society in Canada.

(3) Victoria College, to which Annesley Hall belongs, within the University of Toronto, holds the archives of the former Methodist Church in Canada, later absorbed into the United Church of Canada.

Map location of Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Toronto, Ontario | Source

Also worth seeing

In Toronto itself, historic buildings abound; some of these, within walking distance of Annesley Hall, include: the Lillian Massey Building; Victoria College; Trinity College; the Legislative Assembly building of the Ontario Parliament; Queen's Park; at a slightly further distance: Old City Hall, Campbell House, Osgoode Hall, and many others.


How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. However, visitors to Downtown Toronto will find many sights to be easily walkable. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


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