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Our History

Timeline

With almost 200 years of history, Upper Canada College has many stories to tell. Here's just an overview of some of our milestone moments along the way. 

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The 1800s


  • 1829: UCC founded by Sir John Colborne, lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada; Rev. Joseph H. Harris appointed UCC principal
  • 1830: Jan. 4, 57 boys register for their first day at UCC
  • 1839: Rev. John McCaul appointed second UCC principal
  • 1843: Frederick W. Barron appointed third UCC principal
  • 1857: First College Times publishes, now the longest running student publication in Canada; Alexander Robert Dunn 1844 is first Canadian to be awarded the Victoria Cross;  Rev. Walter Stennett appointed fourth UCC principal
  • 1861: George R. Cockburn appointed fifth UCC principal
  • 1863: Sir John Colborne dies
  • 1866: Queen’s Own Rifles affiliation begins (Fenian Raids)
  • 1867: James Cockburn 1833 plays a major role in the confederation of the Dominion of Canada
  • 1881John Milne Buchan appointed sixth UCC principal
  • 1885: George Dickson appointed seventh UCC principal
  • 1890: First UCC hockey team is formed
  • 1891: July 3, last day at Russell Square site at King and Simcoe Streets
  • 1891: Oct. 14, official opening of Deer Park building
  • 1895 George R. Parkin appointed eighth principal of UCC
  • 1898: The Gate House, formerly "The Lodge" was built and is the oldest building on campus. 

The Turn of the Century

 
  • 1901: Hampden Zane Churchill Cockburn 1881 awarded Victoria Cross
  • 1902: First Preparatory School building opens; Henry W. Auden appointed ninth UCC principal 
  • 1902: Former UCC principal Sir George Parkin is tasked with much of the organization and implementation of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship Program in Canada
  • 1913: Norval property purchased; first Norval picnic
  • 1914-1918: First World War breaks out and approximately 1,100 UCC students, faculty and staff members enlist; 179 fall in service
  • 1917: William Grant appointed 10th principal of UCC
  • 1918: UCC's first female teacher, Mary Tucker, is hired to teach science 
  • 1920: House system begins with four: Martland's, Jackson's, Wedd's and Seaton's 
  • 1922: Lieutenant-governor lays cornerstone for second Prep building, Parkin Building
  • 1923: Parkin Building opens
  • 1932: Separate boarding houses open
  • 1933: First Old Boys Association's “Hockey Night”
  • 1935Terence MacDermot appointed 11th principal of UCC
  • 1938: New Upper School gym and swimming pool open
  • 1939: Norval House opens; first Leaving Class gift presented
  • 1942: Lorne McKenzie appointed 12th princpial of UCC
  • 1939-1944: Just over 1,500 UCC students, faculty and Old Boys sign up to serve in Second World War; 128 lose their lives
  • 1948: Rev. Cedric Sowby appointed 13th UCC principal

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The 1950s


  • 1951: Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent lays cornerstone for Memorial Wing
  • 1954: Prep gym opens
  • 1955: Norval property purchased; first Norval picnic
  • 1955: First outdoor artificial rink opens
  • 1958: March 11, Upper School building condemned; March 12, Upper School evacuated
  • 1959: Prince Philip visits for first time in June. 

The 1960s

 
  • 1960: New Upper School opens, Rogers clocktower opens with guests Vincent Massey and Edward Peacock; Dedication of All Hallows Chapel
  • 1962: The Sir Edward Peacock Building officially named after renovations
  • 1963: 50th anniversary Norval picnic
  • 1964-64: Norval Arboretum and Stephen House established
  • 1964: Former Senator and Speaker of the House of Commons The Honourable Alan A. MacNaughton '21 is instrumental in shepherding in a new Canadian flag; he is awarded the Officer of the Order of Canada in 1994
  • 1965: Patrick Johnson appointed 14th UCC princpal
  • 1967: Stephen House architect Blake Millar (UCC 1945-54) awarded Massey Medal for excellence in architecture
  • 1967: Grade 13 provincial exams dropped
  • 1969: Old Boys’ Association becomes UCC Association and includes parents and Old Boys; active outdoor education program developed under first Norval director, Bruce Littlejohn. 

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The 1970s


  • 1971: “Program for UCC” to raise funds for the libraries, lecture theatre and Patrick Johnson Arena; First woman on board of governors, the Honourable Pauline McGibbon, 1971-74, ex officio appointment of chancellor of the University of Toronto
  • 1973: Official opening of Macintosh Library
  • 1974: Richard H. Sadlier appointed 15th UCC principal
  • 1977: Sandi Ryder becomes first elected woman on Board of Governors; top floor of Memorial Wing converted to apartments 
  • 1978: UCC Summer Camps begin
  • 1979: UCC’s 150th anniversary. HRH Prince Philip visits College and attends first Association Day

The 1980s


  • 1980: New science labs installed in Upper School
  • 1981: Boarding ends at the Prep School
  • 1984: First World Affairs Conference held
  • 1988: Eric Barton appointed 16th UCC principal; Don Kawasoe becomes first on-site director to expand programs at Norval Outdoor School to allow adventure-based programming.

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The 1990s


  • 1992: J. Douglas Blakey appointed 17th UCC principal; Hewitt Athletic Centre opens; Eaton Building opens at Prep; First Grandparents’ Day at the Prep
  • 1993: Oct. 9, Prince Philip opens new buildings (Hewitt Centre, Eaton Building and Mara Gates)
  • 1995: UCC becomes IB school; Prep library renovated, reopens at Wilder Library
  • 1998: First IB diplomas granted; Grade 2 introduced; First annual Leaving Class dinner, sponsored by the UCC Association
  • 1999: Primary wing renovations; Grade 1 introduced; Creativity Centre opens; Horizons Program created as partnership with Toronto District School Board

2000-present


  • 2001: Richard Wernham and Julia West Centre for Learning opens
  • 2002: Prep 100th anniversary
  • 2003: Senior Kindergarten introduced
  • 2004-05: College’s 175th anniversary; Dr. Jim Power appointed 18th UCC principal
  • 2006: The Oval receives artificial turf surface; two Victoria Crosses go on long-term loan to Canadian War Museum
  • 2007: UCC’s gay-straight alliance is established
  • 2009: William P. Wilder '40 Arena & Sports Complex officially opens; Strength, Agility & Speed Fitness Centre opens at Upper School
  • 2012: Proceeds from "Believe in Blue" Gala support Upper School science wing, scholarships and boarding
  • 2013: 100th anniversary of Norval Outdoor School
  • 2014: first Lang Scholars graduate; Rao Family Cup established to promote boarding houses' rivalry; boarding houses and Upper School's second floor renovations
  • 2015: Gatehouse Family Daycare closed; Upper School main floor renovations; UCC's $100-million Think Aheads Campaign concludes
  • 2016: Sam McKinney appointed 19th principal of UCC; Cookie Monster mascot retires
  • 2017: New mascot, "Ice the Husky" debuts at Winterfest; Recognizing the tremendous importance of Canada’s Indigenous culture, and appreciating the history of the land on which it sits, UCC issues a formal “acknowledgement of traditional land”
  • 2018: Strategic Directions: Towards 2029 is launched and a new organizational structure instituted; Summer Life debuts, a camps-boarding program for international students; Atkins Family Design Lab opens in the Upper School; Years 6 through 9 start the IB's Middle Years Programme; Naheed Bardai appointed Head of the Upper School; Tanya Sweeney appointed Head of the Preparatory School  

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 The UCC Difference