Our History

"Being able to look back and reflect on our history is important. It gives us lessons that help inform our identity, purpose and future direction." 
Jill Spellman, Archivist

Our history is a source of pride, identity and learning

UCC has a long, unique history in Canadian education. Some of our traditions, artefacts and architecture date back almost two centuries.
UCC was one of the first institutions for secondary education in Ontario. Our founder, Sir John Colborne, was the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, who later became Lord Seaton. A distinguished statesman and military leader, Colborne fought in both the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

In 1829, he created UCC as a feeder school for the newly founded King’s College (later the University of Toronto). UCC was modelled after the great public schools of Britain, and to this day UCC has s a link to the British Royal Family through Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He acts as a “Special Visitor” and is a member of our board of governors.

Our staff archivist, Jill Spellman, is tasked with helping us to preserve and remember our rich history. 

“I’ve always had an interest in human culture; past, present and the possibilities for the future,” says Spellman.

What will I find at the archives?

List of 3 items.

  • Textual Records

    Official documents from UCC board of governors, principals, head of the Prep School and College associations. Also, student records and publications like College Times, the oldest, continuously running student publication in Canada.
  • Graphic Collection

    Photographs (more than 20,000 and counting!), slides, negatives, films and tapes of students, faculty, UCC buildings, theatre productions, sports and UCC’s Norval Outdoor School.
  • Artifact Collection

    Medals, trophies, sweaters, caps, ties, pennants, sports equipment and Battalion uniforms.
    • Sir John Colborne founded Upper Canada College in 1829

      Sir John Colborne founded Upper Canada College in 1829

Contact Information

Jill Spellman
Office of Advancement
Tel: 416-488-1125 ext. 2372
Email: jspellman@ucc.on.ca

Archive Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday to Wednesday by appointment during the academic year.
Please note: Access to some records is restricted, but can be granted upon permission from the principal. The University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services manages UCC’s archival record prior to 1900.
The word experience The UCC Difference
© 2020 Upper Canada College. All Rights Reserved.