Going Back To School

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #36! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of sunny days and pleasant temperatures. A weather system passed through on Tuesday evening and brought thunders, lightning, and rain. By Wednesday morning, it was nice again.

It was also the first week back to school for students in Toronto. Last year most students were doing online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year with the available vaccines, vaccine mandate and indoor masking mandate, most students are returning to in-person learning.

I went back to the University of Toronto (informally known as U of T), not as a student but as a hobby photographer wandering at a relaxed pace. Originally established in 1827 as King’s College, the university is older than Canada itself. In 1849, King’s College was renamed to University of Toronto.

University of Toronto is the largest university in Canada by enrollment. The university has three campuses: St. George campus (downtown), Scarborough campus (east end), and Mississauga campus (west of Toronto).

St. George campus is huge with a mix of old and new buildings. From September to early May, the campus is busy with thousands of students. I made my trip before school started to avoid the crowds.

On this visit, I chose to photograph three buildings that have interesting architecture and significant history:

1. University College

University College is the University of Toronto’s founding College. Established in 1853, it was named the Provincial College, with a charter to make education available to every student regardless of religion or social status.

University College entrance.
University College entrance.
University College.
University College.

2. Victoria College

Victoria University, named in honour of Queen Victoria, was founded in 1836 by royal charter from King William IV, and federated with the University of Toronto in 1890. It comprises Victoria College (informally known as Vic), an arts and science college of the University of Toronto, and Emmanuel College, a theological college associated with the United Church of Canada.

Old Vic at Victoria College.
Old Vic is the oldest building of Victoria College. It was designed by architect W.G. Storm and built in 1891 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style.

3. Annesley Hall

Designed by architect George Martel Miller and built in 1903 in the Queen Anne style, Annesley Hall was the first residence built specifically for women in Canada. The building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.

Annesley Hall.
Annesley Hall.

Annesley Hall was home to the first female resident at the University, as well as the first woman to graduate from a Canadian medical school. The building was renovated in 1988 and houses female students in single, double and triple rooms. No two rooms are the same.


It was a fun walk on a beautiful day. I enjoyed visiting the historic buildings at the University of Toronto. I’ll go back to take more photographs at St. George campus in the future.

Shared with #LifeThisWeek, PPAC#13, #SundayStills, #ThursdayDoors.

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109 thoughts on “Going Back To School

  1. Denyse Whelan Blogs September 10, 2021 / 8:10 am

    Loved seeing these places and trying to get my head around the fact that our major cities, Sydney, Melbourne, along with Adelaide and maybe Brisbane, just don’t have the extent of historical buildings as your city does. Sydney University is the oldest in Australia and does have historic buildings and I have been in a few back in my student days as the partner of a student attending. I like history and the connections with the past and the present. Thanks for sharing such great examples…as an educator who has learned and taught in Universities that’s always a topic of interest. Denyse.


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 4:22 pm

      Denyse, I thought you’d enjoy my photos of these buildings at U of T based on your years in Education profession. I like historic buildings and try to visit the surviving buildings in downtown Toronto before they crumble. Fortunately some of them have been designated as National Historic Sites or Heritage sites and they’re well-maintained. I’d love to visit Sydney and Sydney University one day when travel restrictions are lifted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Denyse Whelan Blogs September 15, 2021 / 9:36 pm

        Thank you for taking part in the 5th Birthday celebrations of Life This Week. Great to see friends who are bloggers linking up each week when they can. I appreciate each and every one of you. Next week, Mr W is back with Time Part Two. See you then if you have a post to share. Denyse.


        • Natalie September 16, 2021 / 8:04 am

          Hi Denyse, It was a great 5th birthday celebration of Life This Week. Glad to hear you’ll continue in 2022. See you soon.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion September 10, 2021 / 8:13 am

    Oh, Natalie, I love these photos! I always enjoy walking around a university campus, particularly when the buildings date to the 19th century. The photo of the arches remind me of The Cloisters in New York City. It looks like such a pleasant place to walk or rest for a while. Thanks for sharing with Thursday Doors .

    I hope you have a great weekend!


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 4:27 pm

      Dan, U of T St George campus is a very nice place to walk or rest. It has various architectural designs and would take some time to photograph them all. I like to pick a few buildings for each visit and take my time to study the designs and take photos. Very low stress now compared to when I was a student 🙂 Thank you for hosting Thursday Doors. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion September 10, 2021 / 7:19 pm

        Hosting, as you know, is work and fun. Seeing posts like this are the fun part.


  3. Suzanne@PictureRetirement September 10, 2021 / 8:22 am

    Natalie, your city has a never ending supply of beautiful sights. Thanks for taking us along on your walk this week.


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 4:32 pm

      Suzanne, There are a lot to see and photograph in Toronto for free. I hope you and Malcolm consider a long stay in Toronto 🙂


  4. rawsonjl September 10, 2021 / 8:25 am

    What beautiful buildings!


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 4:33 pm

      Glad you think they’re beautiful.


  5. leannelc September 10, 2021 / 8:37 am

    Universities always have beautiful architecture don’t they Natalie? Even relatively new ones seem to aspire to look like their older examples. Your photos definitely captured this feel.


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 5:19 pm

      Leanne, Yes, I like architectural designs found at universities. Some of the modern designs are also attractive. Thank you for sharing your five super simple steps to unhurried living with #WeekendCoffeeShare. I certainly enjoy the freedom and flexibility to design each day how I like it and I have very few scheduled appointments these days. Have a great week!


  6. Alice DeForest September 10, 2021 / 8:45 am

    Those are beautiful buildings and the architecture is a sign of the past. I’ve been in Buffalo for the past 2 weeks and there is a Richardson Romanesque complex here. Truly stunning. thanks for the tour


  7. Jill Weatherholt September 10, 2021 / 9:29 am

    Wow! Your photos are gorgeous, Natalie! There’s something special about strolling around a college campus at the start of a new year. Your post brought back a lot of wonderful memories. Thank you!


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 5:26 pm

      Jill, I agree with you that there’s something special about strolling around a college campus at the start of a new school year. The students’ energy and their potentials are wonderful. Thank you for your compliment about my photos.


  8. E.W. Bennefeld September 10, 2021 / 12:15 pm

    I love the old buildings. Sad that so many are taken down to be replaced by more “modern” facilities. (Except, when I was studying in high school and college chemistry, where the air handling in the labs was inadequate. They NEEDED new buildings. ) Loving the photographs!


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 5:28 pm

      Yes, some old buildings are well worth keeping and some need to be upgraded to be habitable and not a health hazard. I’m glad you like my photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Susanne September 10, 2021 / 2:37 pm

    Those are some amazing buildings! The Victoria College is my favourite, it looks like a castle.


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 6:27 pm

      Old Vic does look like a castle. It looks great for its age.


  10. Thistles and Kiwis September 10, 2021 / 3:28 pm

    The buildings are very much of their time, aren’t they? Another great tour!


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 6:29 pm

      Yes, they are. Thank you for joining me.


  11. Cee Neuner September 10, 2021 / 4:10 pm

    Those buildings are works of art. Great entry Natalie for this week 😀


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 6:30 pm

      Thank you, Cee, for hosting. I’m glad these buildings meet PPAC criteria.


  12. Lydia C. Lee September 10, 2021 / 6:42 pm



    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 7:16 pm

      Hehe, I’m glad you like them in CAPS.


  13. smkelly8 September 10, 2021 / 8:06 pm

    What stunning architecture! I’d love to learn at U of T. A girl I tutored went there. She must have graduated by now.


    • Natalie September 10, 2021 / 8:19 pm

      U of T is an excellent university to learn. Many U of T graduates have made significant contributions to the world in various areas of expertise.


  14. Kirstin September 10, 2021 / 8:53 pm

    Oh my goodness, those old buildings are amazing.


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 9:58 am

      Yes, they look great for their age.


  15. Jennifer Jones September 10, 2021 / 9:33 pm

    I love 19th century architecture Natalie so I really enjoyed your photos. I look forward Each week to seeing the photos you take around your city.


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 9:59 am

      Jennifer, I’m glad you enjoyed my photos. There are a lot to see and photograph in Toronto.


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 10:10 am

      Hi Donna, It’s fantastic that you went to U of T for your Masters. St. George campus has had some significant changes over the years (e.g. bike route, new buildings, etc). They’re currently doing some construction work at the big lawn in front of Convocation Hall.


  16. Ju-Lyn September 11, 2021 / 10:32 am

    Thank you for this tour, Natalie! Looks like such a beautiful & historic campus.


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 10:49 am

      Thank you, Ju-Lyn, for joining me. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. trentpmcd September 11, 2021 / 11:10 am

    I love walking in colleges and universities. Cool buildings you chose as representatives. Looks like a great place.


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 12:07 pm

      A walk around the campus is nice. I chose three buildings with three different architectural styles. Glad you think they’re cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Gary A Wilson September 11, 2021 / 12:08 pm

    I love legacy architecture like the buildings you chose Natalie. Thanks for sharing.


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 1:07 pm

      Thank you for joining me, Gary. I’m glad you like the architecture that I shared.


  19. Writing Sparkle September 11, 2021 / 12:29 pm

    Beautiful. I was accepted to U of T many moons ago but I was a country girl and was scared to have to find my way around Toronto and the different campus buildings…hindsight though, it would have been a beautiful school to learn and make memories at.

    Great coffee post!


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 1:11 pm

      A big city and busy university campus can be intimidating. Once you make friends and get used to navigating around, learning at U of T is an incredible experience.


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 1:29 pm

      Thank you, SadiRose, for joining me. I’m glad you liked my pictures.


  20. Maria September 11, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    I really enjoyed seeing the architecture of these colleges. Beautiful architecture is something I cannot get enough off. Thank you!


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 3:21 pm

      I’m glad you liked the architecture that I shared, Maria. I enjoy visiting historic buildings in Toronto and will share my findings from time to time. Have a great weekend!


  21. Deborah Drucker September 11, 2021 / 3:03 pm

    All three are wonderful looking buildings. Amazing that they are so old and still look so good.


    • Natalie September 11, 2021 / 3:22 pm

      Yes, these buildings look great for their age. The grounds around them are also very well maintained.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. csuhpat1 September 11, 2021 / 8:27 pm

    Wow, so very beautiful. I would love to see this in person. Thanks for sharing this.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 11:37 am

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.


  23. Inspiring Max September 12, 2021 / 3:09 am

    Natalie what beautiful buildings. Thanks for the description of each as it helpfed to understand the differences.


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 11:38 am

      You’re welcome. I’m glad you liked the buildings that I shared.


  24. Jo September 12, 2021 / 3:13 am

    There really is something special about universities – especially the older, more traditional ones. I went to the University of Sydney which has an amazing stone quadrangle that will stay with me forever.


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 11:40 am

      I’d love to see University of Sydney and its stone quadrangle. Victoria College has a quadrangle, too.


  25. Jackie September 12, 2021 / 8:21 am

    We are lucky to have these magnificent buildings to visit. I wonder if there will be a Doors Open ever again?


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 11:42 am

      I hope with vaccine certificates and capacity limits, Doors Open will return. It’s a wonderful event.


  26. Antoinette Truglio Martin September 12, 2021 / 8:32 am

    WOW! Amazing building and you captured some beautiful details. It’s back to school here as well. Here’s to a memorable and fun filled learning school year!


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 11:44 am

      I’m glad you like the buildings that I shared. Cheers!


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 11:45 am

      Thank you, Pam, for your comment. I had a good time visiting U of T.


  27. Terri Webster Schrandt September 12, 2021 / 11:35 am

    U of T looks amazing, Natalie. How fun to “go back” to school and enjoy the feeling of campus. The architecture is truly magnificent and it must feel special to walk among such deep historical significance and breathe in the academic vibe. Once again, I can’t thank you enough for guest hosting while I enjoyed my break (for what it was, LOL). I was pleased to see so many regular Sunday Stills folks keeping up with the themes and participating.


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 11:54 am

      Hi Terri, The Sunday Stills blogging community is so great. I was pleased with the participation in spite of summer holidays and Labour Day long weekend. U of T St George campus is a wonderful place to visit. I do feel special going there to soak in the historical significance and the academic vibe. During the school year, the energy from students and faculty staff on campus is incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Janet Alcorn September 12, 2021 / 11:50 am

    I love old university architecture–thanks for sharing your pics with us! As for something good about my week, I learned I’m a finalist in the Arizona Authors Association annual literary contest!

    Have a wonderful week.


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 11:58 am

      Congratulations, Janet! That’s very exciting news. Thank you for sharing it with me. I hope you plan a celebration. Have a wonderful weekend!


  29. Astrid September 12, 2021 / 12:13 pm

    Wow, that university is huge! I studied briefly at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands, which is quite large too, but not nearly the size of the U of T. It isn’t nearly as historic either. Thanks for giving us a peek of this university.


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 12:58 pm

      Yes, U of T is the largest university in Canada by enrollment. I’m pleased to share three of its historic buildings with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Liz September 12, 2021 / 5:58 pm

    Happy Sunday despite everything and thanks for the invitation 🤗. That’s some beautiful buildings you shared with us 😊


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 6:46 pm

      Thank you, Liz, for your comment. I’m glad you liked the buildings that I shared.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Min Write of the Middle September 12, 2021 / 6:57 pm

    Beautiful photographs Natalie and the architecture of all those buildings is stunning! I adore old buildings and these are just gorgeous! How you call University of Toronto .., U of T reminds me of our University of Queensland which gets called UQ. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead! xo


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 7:15 pm

      Thank you, Min. I’m glad you like the architecture that I shared. University years are so memorable and the buildings on campus are part of those memories.


  32. Diana September 12, 2021 / 9:39 pm

    Hi Natalie!
    Such beautiful photos of the university’s and the colleges there, I just LOVE your photos. The buildings are just so pretty and I enjoyed your coffee share this weekend! Thank you!! ❤️🤠❤️


    • Natalie September 13, 2021 / 8:36 am

      Thank you, Diana, for your compliment about my photos. I’m hopping over to your blog to read your coffee share 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. midlifestylist September 13, 2021 / 12:21 am

    Hi Natalie, such beautiful buildings and a lot of wonderful history there. I love looking at old historic buildings. Regards Christina


    • Natalie September 13, 2021 / 8:37 am

      Hi Christina, I’m glad you love looking at old historic buildings. I try to visit the surviving historic buildings in Toronto. Have a great week!


  34. msomerville2014 September 13, 2021 / 4:07 pm

    I missed the coffee share this past weekend, so glad to see this post here. I included a link to your blog and two others in the blog post I just published. Just to give you a heads up. Best and blessings, Michele
    p.s. wonderful pictures as always. thanks for the “walking tour”.


    • Natalie September 13, 2021 / 4:23 pm

      Thank you for the heads up and your kind comment, Michele. I hope to see you at the next weekend coffee share if you’re available to participate. If not, no worries. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • msomerville2014 September 14, 2021 / 2:19 pm

        I thought I would post this there, it was my original intent but it wasn’t finished in time on Friday.


  35. Debbie September 14, 2021 / 3:17 am

    What a creative way to interpret the prompt this week Natalie and such beautiful examples of architecture too. Many thanks for the tour!


    • Natalie September 14, 2021 / 8:39 am

      Thank you, Debbie, for your compliment. First week of September is usually a busy week here as a new school year begins and thousands of students go back to school. It inspired me to visit U of T and share a few photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Mary-Lou Burma September 14, 2021 / 5:31 am

    Such a lovely adventure wandering these old buildings, these are magnificent architectural delights. I attended the UofT but at the Erindale campus, it was the grounds not the buildings that were the best features (col). Before COVID settled upon us, we had a tour of the older buildings at the U of Guelph; such history there & now many are hidden by the glass & beams of the now.


    • Natalie September 14, 2021 / 8:46 am

      I visited Erindale campus and was impressed with the campus grounds. Erindale was rebranded to U of T Mississauga in 1998. The tour of older buildings at the U of Guelph sounds interesting. I also saw fine architecture at other Canadian universities e.g. Queen’s, Western Ontario, etc.


  37. Sanch @ Sanch Writes September 16, 2021 / 1:25 am

    Such gorgeous architecture! I must admit when I saw the title, I thought you were going back to study this year. Hope you have been having a good week. I’m late to comment but look forward to your updates this coming weekend


    • Natalie September 16, 2021 / 8:09 am

      I’ve done my share of university education and now it’s leisure learning or visiting campus for fun 🙂 Hope you’re enjoying your time off and see you soon.


  38. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com September 23, 2021 / 1:32 pm

    Magnificent and imposing architecture. I appreciate that the buildings on the different campuses have continued in the same style and design. The University of Texas, El Paso, is built in a Bhutanese architectural style. Even the new buildings have used the same aesthetic. I appreciate the continuity and uniformity. My liberal arts college in Memphis, Tennessee, Rhodes College is similarly beautiful https://ctcl.org/rhodes-college/ I think that is why I wanted to go to school there. It was like something out of a fairy tale or foreign country.


    • Natalie September 23, 2021 / 1:37 pm

      Thanks, Leslie, for the link to Rhodes College. Its architecture is beautiful. Interesting that University of Texas in El Paso is built in a Bhutanese architectural style.


  39. Rowena October 3, 2021 / 9:10 am

    Magnificent buildings! It would also be wonderful to walk around again so freely. That said, even within the confines of lockdown I can still get out into nature locally okay. It’s the people part that’s the problem, and also what I miss most.
    Take care and best wishes,


    • Natalie October 3, 2021 / 10:37 am

      Rowena, I’m glad you liked the buildings. I still practice social distancing by going outside at off-peak time to avoid crowds. Have a great week!


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