Humberside Collegiate 1897. Source: Toronto Board of Education
Humberside Collegiate Institute circa 1921
photographer unknown. Source: Les Stringer, date acquired 1990s
James Ellis produced the original design of the school in 1893 and also the first major renovation in 1907, although the last of these sections was demolished in the 1960s. The oldest parts of the current building are believed to date from 1931, and were created to complement Ellis’ earlier designs. In 1909, one year after the Junction became the City of West Toronto, the community held its celebration here when Toronto and West Toronto amalgamated. The auditorium includes a mural by Group of Seven artist Arthur Lismer.
Original Ellis 1893 Design (1897 photo)
- “cathedral of learning” is made manifest in the overall massing of the building especially with the “campanile” (bell tower) and the impressive main entrance with its superimposed arches and short supporting pilasters at the head of a grand stair
- Romanesque Revival, showing similarities to Toronto’s Old City Hall and the Queen’s Park Legislative Building
- signature round headed window / door motif characteristic of romanesque buildings is only present in a few main features while the rest of the building’s window heads are flat, usually undecorated, or with massive stone lintel blocks for the main floor
Ellis 1907 Addition (1921 photo)
- the clearest indication of the differences between the original building and the addition is the change in the style of the fenestration (window design and layout)
- the original building has large individual openings spaced out along the facade whereas in the addition you can see the more modern (1907) approach to classroom daylighting, with all the glass units grouped together into large areas of glazing sharing common sills and lintels.
- the addition continues the use of the romanesque at major points in the exterior, such as doorways and upper storey triple windows in the gables