An Iconic Beauty

It stands at the heart of this village within a city, with its high Victorian style and lofty spires reaching towards the sky, it cuts a grand presence.

Built in 1899, locals refer to it as ‘The Normal School‘, as it was part of a movement at that time to ‘normalize’ the curriculum, and therefore a fleet of teachers was required. Basically, it’s one of Canada’s first teachers’ colleges.

My Great Aunt attended, and she had some wonderful stories of her years as a teacher. Beginning first in those one-room school houses that dotted the rural landscape. She finished her career in Toronto, teaching immigrant children, for which she once said “I much prefer them as students, as they are far more appreciative”.

The building stood vacant for years, but it’s designation as a heritage building of some significance saved it, and now it is the home of the YMCA. Intensive restorations where required and a new glassed enclosure was added to the southeast corner, as shown in the photograph.

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