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Visiting the University Club of Toronto Building, Toronto, Ontario: neo-Georgian architecture on University Avenue
A notable building for a Club with many, distinguished members
This gracious building is situated at 380 University Avenue, in the Downtown area of Toronto, Ontario.
Some history and features
Dating from 1929, the University Club of Toronto Building is in neo-Georgian style, and achieves a clear symmetry.
The architect partnership responsible for the plans was Mathers and Haldenby, with assistance from F. H. Wilkes. Interestingly, all the architects who worked on the building were members of the Club itself; indeed, such membership was a prerequisite for participation in a competition, which duly attracted six entries from qualified architects who were members.
Ornamentation on the stonework follows Greco-Roman patterns. A noted feature is the large, Palladian window at the second storey. The Main Lounge has Ontario white pine panelling.
The University Club of Toronto was founded in 1906, when it used to meet at Davey's Hotel at King and Bay Streets. A number of other premises were also used until 1929. The Club has had many distinguished individuals among its number. Former Governor-General of Canada the Right Honourable Roland Michener was a member of the Club, as have been many university presidents and a number of members of the Supreme Court of Canada. Members have included women since 1988.
Facilities at the Clubhouse include a dining room and a library. The building is a sought after venue for business functions and social dining occasions. There is also a well-appointed Sports Centre.
The University Club of Toronto Building is a relatively small edifice, in comparison with other, large buildings in the near vicinity of University Avenue.
In 1978, the building was designated a heritage property, under the Ontario Heritage Act. Heritage Toronto sponsors an historical plaque located at the University Avenue frontage of the building.
Also worth seeing
In Toronto itself, historical buildings abound; a few of these, within walking distance of the University Club of Toronto Building include: the Legislative Assembly building of the Ontario Parliament, Queen's Park, 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, you are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent. Please 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.
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