CSDA In-Person Special Event: A Tour of Massey College

A special CSDA members-only group tour of Massey College and reception


The CSDA is delighted to offer its members a private tour of Massey College. Nestled in the heart of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus, this architectural gem was designed by renowned architect Ron Thom as a place for graduate students to live, work, and socialise in a setting “where people and ideas intersect,” as the college motto so aptly puts it.

Built around an exterior quadrangle with a silhouette evoking the ancient colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, Massey College duly contains what one would expect of such an institution: a porter’s lodge, a clock tower, a grand formal hall, an intimate private dining room, two libraries, and a chapel, but what one does not necessarily expect is the starkly modern design that melds the old with the new. Our tour will be guided by Matt Glandfield, Director of Operations, who will also take us into the lower level of the college to see its 19th century letter presses and collection of wood type (the largest in North America), as well as a number of treasures usually kept under lock and key, such as the college’s sterling silver (along with the original drawings for it).

On its 50th anniversary, Massey College was awarded the 2013 Prix du XXe siècle by The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for its “skillful and humane interpretation of Arts and Crafts sensibilities in a modernist idiom” and its “seamless integration of exterior and interior design, including the rich detailing of its custom furnishings and fittings.” The college also received the 2013 Landmark Award from The Ontario Association of Architects, a landmark building being one which “establishes a design excellence standard for future generations, enhances its environment and the public realm, recognizes and respects its surroundings; and contributes to the neighbourhood, the community or the city through its unique identity.”

With the publication last fall of a critically acclaimed biography of Ron Thom by noted architectural writer Adele Weder, there is heightened interest in the life and work of this innovative architect. A book review in Canadian Architect can be found at: Book Review: Ron Thom, Architect—The Life of a Creative …

As Massey College prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year, please join us for this memorable visit, which will culminate – in true Oxbridge fashion – with a glass of sherry in the common room.

Photo by Steven Evans.

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When Thu, Jun 8, 2023 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Where Massey College 4 Devonshire Place Toronto, ON M5S 2E1