A Department of Architecture was established at the University of Toronto in 1890, making ours the first architecture program in Canada and one of the earliest on the continent. The five-year Bachelor of Architecture was created in 1928, and the department was renamed the School of Architecture in 1933. Courses in town and regional planning were added in 1933, and the landscape courses were offered in 1934. In 1967 the school was granted faculty status with three departments: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning. In 1998 the University of Toronto approved a name change for the division to Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, heralding the establishment of a suite of new graduate programs: Master of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, and Master of Urban Design. Today, the faculty name has changed to become the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design in recognition of the historic gift of $14 million given by John and Myrna Daniels. We are extremely proud of our 120-plus-year history and the thousands of graduates who have gone on the lead creative lives throughout the world.
Program HistoryPrepared by Professor Larry Wayne Richards
The Early Period: 1890 - 1957
Instruction in architecture was introduced at the University of Toronto in 1890, when a Department of Architecture was established in the recently affiliated School of Practical Science, later to become the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. The Department was housed in the Practical Science building on King's College Circle, designed by architect Kivas Tully and constructed in 1877-78. The University of Toronto's architecture program can therefore claim to be the first in Canada and one of the first on the continent. (Toronto was the only school of architecture in Ontario for 77 years—until the school at Carleton University was established in 1967, followed by Waterloo in 1968.)
The course in architecture that evolved at the University of Toronto was of four years’ duration and led to the degree of Bachelor of Applied Science. This remained the educational pattern for more than thirty years—until 1922 when the degree was changed to the Bachelor of Architecture and a Master's degree was also initiated. Six years later, in 1928, the program leading to the Bachelor's degree was extended from four to five years, in conformity with educational practice at major universities in Great Britain and the United States. Toronto's curriculum was modeled largely on the British pattern, but with a heavier lecture load, especially in engineering and mathematics subjects. The UofT course of studies, along with counterpart programs at McGill University and the University of Manitoba, received recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1930. In 1931 the department was renamed the School of Architecture; and lecture courses in Town and Regional Planning were introduced to the undergraduate program in 1933. The first Landscape Architecture courses were offered in 1934, via the lectureship of Howard Dunnington-Grubb.
In 1948, with its enrollment dramatically increased by demobilized persons returning from World War II, the School became an independent division within the university. In contrast with a 1939 first-year enrollment of 23, the fall 1946 entry enrollment was 220, and emergency accommodation for the program had to be provided at Ajax, the WWII munitions town twenty miles east of Toronto along Lake Ontario. Over the next decade, the enrollment gradually stabilized, but applications for admission frequently exceeded capacity. Eventually, in 1959, the University Board of Governors agreed to a selective admissions system limiting first-year enrollment to 60.
Throughout the school's early period of 1890 to 1957 (a total of 67 years), the School was administered by only two heads. The first, C.H.C. Wright, a well-known engineer, remained in office for 44 years until succeeded in 1934 by Colonel H.H. Madill. A Toronto architect who had taught in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering since 1912, Madill also served a long time—23 years—retiring in 1957. Then, Milton Osborne of Pennsylvania State University was appointed Acting Director for one year in 1957-58.
The Middle Period: 1958 – 1976
Dr. Thomas Howarth, an expert on the work of Scottish architect Charles Rennie Macintosh, became the School's fourth director in 1958, serving in that capacity and as Dean of the subsequent Faculty, until 1974. Dr. Howarth brought a more academic and international perspective to the school. At mid-century the architecture division began adding opportunities for studies in related fields: a Division of Town and Regional Planning was established in 1954-55 and offered a one-year postgraduate Diploma course; a two-year Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning was established in 1963; and a new division of Landscape Architecture, offering a four-year undergraduate program, leading to the B.L.A. degree was added in 1965.
During this period there were also significant physical changes. In the winter of 1958 the School of Architecture was moved from its former home in the old School of Practical Science building, (demolished in the summer of 1966 to make way for the Medical Sciences Building), to the Victoria Curling Rink on Huron Street, and the Division of Town and Regional Planning occupied an old house on St. George Street. Three years later, in 1961, when both buildings were scheduled for demolition, another move was made, this time to the former School of Dental Surgery at 230 College Street (the Faculty's present home). Facilities and working conditions were distinctly improved, including the establishment of a branch library with a qualified librarian. As well, the school gained a construction laboratory, workshop, photographic darkrooms, exhibition areas, lecture and seminar rooms, and generous, well-lighted studio space. The move to the large brick building at 230 College Street and the creation of specialized facilities began to establish the school's identity more firmly as an active and integral part of the University of Toronto.
In 1967 the School was granted Faculty status with three departments: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning. The talented Australian architect, John Andrews, a faculty member since 1963, was appointed as the Department of Architecture's first Chairman under the new Faculty structure.
With the retirement of Thomas Howarth in June 1974, the Faculty saw the appointment of a number of acting deans from other disciplines within the University: David Scott from the Department of Physics was the first, serving for one year. At the end of that year, on July 1, 1975, the Faculty was abolished. Administration of the Department of Landscape Architecture was transferred to the Faculty of Forestry, and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning was dissolved, its administrators, faculty and courses being moved to the Department of Geography. The Department of Architecture, chaired by Peter Prangnell, reported directly to the Vice-Provost for Professional Faculties. One year later, on July 1, 1976, the Department became the School of Architecture with Jeffrey Stinson, an Australian, appointed as Acting Director.
The Late Period: 1977 - 1998
On July 1, 1977 Blanche Lemco van Ginkel was appointed Director of the School for a five year term, an appointment which, if not the first, was certainly one of the earliest to engage a woman as head of a school of architecture in North America. She attained considerable status in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), elected as President for 1986/87. And under Professor van Ginkel's leadership, in the fall term of 1979, the Department of Architecture instituted its Study Abroad programs in Paris and Rome, the first of their kind in Canada. In 1980, administration of the Department of Landscape Architecture was returned to the school to establish a renewed relationship with Architecture and the Faculty was reconstituted. Professor van Ginkel assumed the responsibilities of the Dean's Office and continued as Department Chair for Architecture.
In July 1981, Antonio de Souza Santos was recruited from Rice University as Chair of the Architecture Department for a five year term. One year later, with the expiry of Blanche van Ginkel's term, Jacob Spelt of the Department of Geography was appointed as the second non-architect Acting Dean. Santos resigned as Department Chairman in June 1983, and Toronto architect and urbanist George Baird was appointed Acting Chair for the remaining three years of the five-year term.
The program in Landscape Architecture was expanded in 1983 from four years to five, with much of its first and second-year curriculum comprised of joint courses with Architecture. In July 1984, Peter Wright of the Department of Civil Engineering succeeded Jacob Spelt as the third non-architect Acting Dean, while simultaneously the two departments were reduced to programs with program chairs. Budgetary authority was placed in the Dean's office. George Baird resigned as Architecture Chair in October 1985 and was replaced by Douglas Lee. Professor Lee resigned in February 1986 and was replaced by Steven Fong, who served continuously until the expiry of his Contractually Limited Term Appointment in 1991.
The entire period between 1983 and 1984 was one of uncertainty and instability. Effective fall term 1984, in response to increasing space and budget limitations, the University reduced student enrollment in the Faculty's undergraduate programs from 60 to 48 in Architecture and from 48 to 24 in Landscape Architecture. The budget was reduced accordingly, and as part of the University administration's long-range strategy, Dean Wright was instructed to prepare a Complement Plan to identify the Faculty's staffing needs for the future. The Plan, presented in October 1984, received no response from the administration until January 23, 1986 when it announced a proposal to close the Faculty, effective in 1990, the centennial year of the Program in Architecture. The Provost's report outlining the reasons for this proposal followed several months later and was found to be factually inaccurate in many respects, especially in its assertions regarding faculty credentials and productivity and the quality of the graduates. The Faculty mounted a spirited defense and received solid support from the profession, the local community, and the architectural academic community in Canada, the United States and abroad.
In early May 1986, University of Toronto President, George Connell, established a Presidential Task Force (The Britton Committee) to examine the feasibility of a proposal to re-establish the Faculty as an affiliated college of the University. The Britton Committee's report of July 1986 recommended that the Faculty remain open as a division of the University, but that it be restructured as a School, with its programs administered by a director. On December 11, 1986, Provost Joan Foley presented her "Response to the Report of the Presidential Task Force" to the Academic Affairs Committee of Governing Council. This response confirmed the continuing presence of Architecture in the University but recommended that the Faculty structure and name be changed to that of a School, that the existing tenured faculty be required to obtain cross-appointments with other departments or accept reduced appointments, and that new tenure-stream appointees would be required to qualify for cross-appointments with other departments. Student parity on faculty committees was eliminated and provincial professional association membership in the new School Council was doubled. A search for a new head for the School was instituted and the Provost established a Provost's Advisory Board, comprising members of the two professions drawn from practice and academia in Canada and the United States. During this same period, following an unfavourable review by the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies in May 1987, which cited a lack of qualified faculty and other supporting resources as the cause, enrollment in the post-professional graduate program in architecture was discontinued.
In December 1987, Anthony Eardley, who had been Dean of the highly regarded Architecture program at the University of Kentucky, was appointed Dean of the School for a seven-year term, effective July 1, 1988. He assumed the responsibilities of Program Chair on July 1, 1991. (This role was shared with Steven Fong, who was appointed Associate Program Chair in 1992.) Dean Eardley generated a December 1989 Staff Complement Plan for the 1990s, based on a review of existing faculty resources and distributions of effort, conforming to the new directive on cross-appointments and made with a view to the reconstitution of graduate programs.
However the plan was rejected by the Provost, Joan Foley, on February 9, 1990, on the grounds that its implementation would require funding in excess of the School's current budget. This decision was reversed in May 1990 on the strong recommendation of the Provost's Advisory Board for the School. A slightly reduced plan to be implemented over a six-year rather than a three-year period was endorsed by School Council in September 1990 and received the approval of the Provost, the Budget Committee of the Academic Board, and University Governing Council in the fall of 1990.
Two tenure-stream appointments in the area of architectural history were made in the early stage of the implementation of the Eardley Complement Plan—both as cross-appointments with the Department of Fine Art; but later the cross-appointment arrangement was dissolved, one faculty member moving full-time to the Department of Fine Art, the other being made full-time in Architecture. (An Interim Provostial Review of the School was conducted in November 1990. The April 1991 Majority Report of the Review Committee reaffirmed the desirability of cross-appointments for future tenure-stream appointees to the School. A minority report submitted by Eric Haldenby, Director of the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo and Chair of the Council of Canadian University Schools of Architecture, offered strong grounds for dissent from this view. School Council voiced similar dissent in a unanimous resolution at its May 1991 meeting. The Provost's response was to cancel the cross-appointment requirement.)
During this same period in the early 1990s, there were frustrated attempts to fill two important School positions in computer applications, the one for the Architecture program expanding to an international search. Both the search in Architecture and the parallel one in Landscape Architecture were unsuccessful. And to add to the School's struggles then, two senior professors, George Baird and Antonio de Souza Santos, resigned in 1993. Losing Professor Baird, recognized as one of Canada's leading urbanists and theoreticians, to Harvard's Graduate School of Design was a particular blow to the school.
The opportunity to make a complete revision of the Complement Plan, created by the 1991 relinquishment of the cross-appointment rule, arrived at a time when the University was grappling with budget reductions more severe than ever encountered in the past. Consequently, the School was obliged to review its Complement Plan in conjunction with a comprehensive, academic and budgetary planning exercise involving all academic units in the University. Instituted by the new Provost, Professor Adel Sedra, the University's Provostial White Paper, Planning for 2000, became the basis for this exercise, published in a special edition of the University of Toronto Bulletin on February 21, 1994. In the spring of 1995, School Council adopted its divisional Plan for 2000. However, the Provost rejected the plan, stating that the resource implications were not realistic. Anthony Eardley completed his term as Dean on December 31, 1996.
The Most Recent Period: 1997—
Larry Wayne Richards, a faculty member and former Director in the Waterloo School of Architecture, started as Dean on January 1, 1997, also assuming the role of Chair of the Architecture Program. On May 6, 1996, as Dean-elect, Richards announced his five-point proposal for the renewal of the School: 1) comprehensive program restructuring, 2) addition of new tenure-track faculty positions, 3) renovation of the School's home at 230 College Street, 4) generation of new resources through fundraising, and 5) establishing strong linkages to the University, the design professions, and the City.
Provost Sedra asked Dean Richards to give highest priority to generating a bold yet realistic divisional "2000" plan. Working closely with Dr. Detlef Mertins, Special Advisor to the Dean and Academic Plan Coordinator, Richards set out a new vision for the School, Planning for 2000, dated July 9, 1997. The plan called for phasing out undergraduate professional programs and implementing in their place five new academic programs: an undergraduate Major in Architectural Studies, jointly with the Faculty of Arts and Science; the implementation of an interrelated trio of Master's programs in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design; and the launching of a small Ph.D. program in Architecture. The new professional program in Architecture would be a three-and-one-half-year Master of Architecture. As well, the School's Planning for 2000 called for balancing the proportion of full-time and part-time faculty (the School had reached a point of having very few tenured, full-time faculty members); setting out a Users Committee report for space planning and the continued phased renovation of the building; and making major advances in teaching and research in computing and new media. Integral to the plan was the report of the Provostial Task Force on Graduate Programs in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning and Urban Design, dated June 2, 1997. The School's Planning for 2000 document was enthusiastically approved by the University's Academic Board in late 1997, and its various components are now being incrementally implemented. In the spring of 1998, the University approved a name change for the division to "Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design," along with funding for a new visual identity program. In the summer of 1998, the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies (OCGS) approved the school's new Master of Architecture program. In the fall of 1998 the professional Master’s program started with 18 students, and the first course in the undergraduate Architectural Studies Major program (Faculty of Arts and Science) had an enrollment of 290.
In 2008, John and Myrna Daniels made a historic gift of $14 million to the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. The gift established an endowment for financial aid to students in perpetuity, and also launched the implementation of the long awaited expansion and renovation of the Faculty’s building. In recognition of the gift, the Faculty’s name has been changed to the “John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design”.