[1-Normal School on Gould Street circa 1859]
Teacher training in this Province began on November 1st, 1847, when the Provincial Normal School was opened in the old Government House at the corner of King and Simcoe Streets.
[2-Sir John Beverley Robinson]
The Toronto Normal School was a teachers college in Toronto, Ontario. A normal school was a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose was to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name. On November 1, 1847, the Normal School was opened in the old Government House at the corner of King and Simcoe Streets. Attending on this date were the Chief Superintendent of Schools (Dr. Egerton Ryerson) Bishop John Strachan, Dr. John McCaul, Chief Justice John Beverley Robinson (who was at the Battle of Queenston in 1812) and others.
[3-Dr. Adolphus Egerton Ryerson, circa 1850]
Dr. Ryerson delivered the address by explaining the meaning of the name of the school. "The word Normal signifies according to rule, or principle, and is employed to express the systematic teaching of the rudiments of learning. A Normal School is a school in which the principles and practice of teaching according to rule, are taught and exemplified."*
In 1848 a Model School was soon located at Church and Gould streets in central Toronto, and was a predecessor to the current Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. The Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario College of Art & Design and the Ontario Agricultural College all originated at the Normal School's campus, officially named St. James Square, such that the school became known as “the cradle of Ontario's education system”. The school's landmark building was demolished in 1963, but architectural elements of the structure remain on the campus of Ryerson University.
[4-Toronto Normal School circa 1907]
The School was built in Classical Revival style buildings designed for this site by F.W. Cumberland and Thomas Ridout. In 1941 the Normal School was moved to a different site and renamed Toronto Teachers' College in 1953.
Research: Wikipedia, *Toronto Normal School 1847-1947, School of Graphic Arts (1948)
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