ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting War Memorial Hall at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario: monumentality in Georgetown limestone

Updated on August 6, 2015
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
War Memorial Hall at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
War Memorial Hall at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario | Source
War Memorial Hall, University of Guelph[1] when it was part of the Royal Canadian Air Force No. 4 Wireless School, Guelph, Ontario
War Memorial Hall, University of Guelph[1] when it was part of the Royal Canadian Air Force No. 4 Wireless School, Guelph, Ontario | Source
Map location of Guelph, Ontario
Map location of Guelph, Ontario | Source

Imposing and memorable

The War Memorial Hall at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, dates from 1924. This solid and distinguished building was designed to commemorate 50 years of the existence of the Ontario Agriculture College: to emphasize the maturity of this institution — now part of the University of Guelph — it was decided to erect a substantial and permanent building which would be used for lectures and large functions.

As the name suggests, the fallen of World War One from Ontario Agriculture College were a focus of commemoration. After World War Two, the fallen of that war had their names added to those already mentioned on tablets in the Memorial Chapel.

The building was designed by architect Harry Reginald Coales. Significant features of the structure include flying buttresses, which add to a sense of monumentality, and a bay window feature at its south-west elevation, with two large doorways either side of it.

Thus, on completion of the War Memorial Hall in the Inter-War period, a future of peaceful development must have seemed to await student and professors at the Ontario Agriculture College, but in 1939 World War Two began. The building was requisitioned for use by the Royal Canadian Air Force: a Wireless School was based here.

Today, the building is a popular venue for concerts as well as for formal University functions. It is situated at 390 Gordon Street, Guelph.

War Memorial Hall is close to Johnston Green Park.

The University of Guelph was formally founded in 1964, incorporating the Ontario Agriculture College, the Ontario Veterinary College and the Macdonald Institute. My impression is that, for a University formally founded in the 1960s, its built environment, which incorporates mature and distinguished architecture such as at War Memorial Hall and other structures, gives the sense of an older institution (1).

The University has a well appointed and extensive Arboretum.

Famous alumni of the University of Guelph and its antecedent institutions include, to name just a few: Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) who came to prominence as an economist and a diplomat in successive U.S. Administrations; Manitoba Premier John Bracken (1883-1969), who also served as Leader of the Federal Opposition; Ontario Premier George Stewart Henry (1871-1958); Ontario Premier Harry Nixon (1991-1961); New Brunswick Premier A. A. Dysart (1880-1962); Alberta Lieutenant Governor Grant MacEwan (1902-2000), distinguished agriculturist who also served as Mayor of Calgary; Astronaut and neurologist Roberta Bondar (1945-); NDP Leader Audrey McLaughlin (1936-); Major-General (ret'd) Tim Grant of the Canadian Forces; and many others.

August 6, 2015


(1) I have for example written about the buildings at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, and while this University's charter dates from approximately the same time as that of the University of Guelph, its built environment — incorporating significant elements of concrete — is vastly different from an architectural perspective.

Also worth seeing

Both the Downtown area of Guelph and the University of Guelph have several, architecturally distinguished structures; at the University these include the Johnston Clock Tower and Creelman Hall; the Colonel John McCrae Birthplace is situated at 108 Water Street; adjacent are well manicured Memorial Gardens.

Puslinch (distance: approx. 13 kilometres); here is situated historic Ellis Chapel.

West Montrose (distance: approx. 23 kilometres) a covered bridge dates from 1881.


How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson to Guelph: approx. 71.2 kilometres.) WestJet and Bearskin Airlines fly to Region of Waterloo International Airport, from where car rental is available, from Calgary and Ottawa respectively. (Distance from Reg. of Waterloo Int. Airport to Guelph: 16.5 kilometres.) Via Rail connects Guelph with a wide range of destinations in Ontario and beyond. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check for up to date information with the airline or your travel agent.

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


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Readmikenow: Guelph University and its buildings are certainly worth a visit. Thank-you for your comment.

    • Readmikenow profile image


      3 years ago

      Good article. I enjoyed reading it. Provided a lot of good information.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)