Croft Chapter House, with its distinct circular shape and vaulted ceilings, sits at the southwest corner of University College, somewhat apart from the rest of the building – and with good reason. Originally used as a chemistry laboratory, it was designed to contain any explosions or fires that might have resulted from the experiments conducted there. The irony is that the Chapter House was one of the few parts of the College that escaped damage from the fire of 1890.
Named after Henry Croft, the chemistry professor who fought tirelessly to establish UC as a non-sectarian, open institution, the former laboratory stands as a testimonial to UC’s inclusive nature and research mission.
Our plan returns Croft Chapter House, currently used for administrative meetings and receptions, to a space dedicated to research and open inquiry. The Conference Centre at Croft Chapter House will be a flexible, full-service conference facility with modern lighting as well as acoustical, and audio-visual elements. The new space will attract conferences and symposia from around the University, Canada, and the world to UC, exposing our students to the latest discoveries and innovations in a wide variety of fields.
Historical sensitivity will be paramount in the restoration of this unique domed structure and the finished space will have realized its potential to be one of the
finest rooms not only in the University, but also in the city of Toronto.