Skip to main content

Phase Three - Founder's College (1965)

York University's Third Home - Opens on the "New" Keele Campus

Photo - Dec 29, 1960 - Image of Murray Ross at a desk in a field taken for a Toronto Telegram story entitled

“I’m here… now where is my university”. (Photo courtesy of YorkSpace: Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

Phase Three (1965): Founders College Opens on the "New" Keele Campus


In 1955 Dr. Edward F. Sheffield, the director of the Education Division of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, gave a report at the meetings of the National Conference of Canadian Universities and Colleges. This report, now known as the "Sheffield Report," provided statistics that Canada's growing youth population would be seeking higher education. It was estimated that enrolment in Ontario universities would increase from 29,700 in 1960 to 65,400 in 1965. From the overall Canadian perspective it was estimated that enrollment would jump from 64,100 in 1954 to 89,100, and finally, to 128,900 in 1965. Thus, Sheffield recommended that both Ontario and Canada expand its current universities and develop new ones. " was apparent that existing universities would have to expand their facilities to an extent hitherto unanticipated, and that many new universities must be initiated." (Ross, p. 6). Thus, in 1958, there were numerous communities vying to become the new home of York University - Scarboro and North York (see Globe and Mail attachments 1 & 2 below). Ross describes York University was one of the first "new crop of universities" and it was incorporated as a university in Ontario in 1959. The initiation of the development of York University was supported by three groups, the Organizing Committee (the board of governors) of York University, the University of Toronto, and the Province of Ontario.

On Jan 8th 1959, the organizing committee, which consisted of a group of citizens under the chairmanship of Air Marshall W. A. Curtis (Curtis Lecute Hall), petitioned the government to incorporate York University (see Globe and Mail attachment 3 below). In February 1959, the York University bill was approved by the Legislature's Private Bill's Committee (see Globe and mail attachment 4 below). Finally, in March 1959, the York University Organizing Committee had secured the act necessary to incorporate the new university. The passage of this bill was important as it allowed York's Committees the legal status necessary to secure/raise funds, acquire property, and hire staff. (see Globe and mail attachment 5 below).

After the York University Act was passed, and an affiliation with the University of Toronto was established, it was now the responsibility of the Organizing Committee (which then became the permanent Board of Governors) to fully develop the university. Initially, York University needed to be funded and financially assisted by the University of Toronto - and this affiliation was to be "not less than 4 years and not more than 8 years" (Ross, p.7). In addition, Ross (p.9) stated, "The affilliation agreement with the University of Toronto gave York University both an immediated identity and time to explor that which might become its permanent and distinctive character. As an affiliate of the U of T, York University was set to open its doors in September of 1960 at Falconer Hall on the U of T campus - (see Globe and Mail attachment 6).


Date: 1962 October 31. Event: A press conference is held to announce that the Province of Ontario has granted York University 475 acres of land held jointly by the federal and provincial governments, in northwest Metropolitan Toronto, at the south west corner of Keele Street and Steeles Avenue, for a campus. The land grant is subsequently increased to 600 acres.


The first Chairmen and Acting Chairmen for Arts and Sciences Departments (1962)

Professor William Kilbourn, Chairman, Division of the Humanities
Professor Edgar W. McInnis, Chairman, Department of History
Professor John R. Seeley, Chairman, Department of Sociology
Professor Douglas V. Verney, Chairman, Department of Political Science
Professor C. David Fowle, Acting Chairman, Department of Biology
Dr. Lester J. Pronger, Acting Chairman, Department of French
Dr. Henry S. Harris, Acting Chairman, Department of Philosophy
Dr. M.H. Appley, Chairman, Department of Psychology
Dr. Hans Carol, Chairman of the Department of Geography,
Dr. Dennis C. Russell, Chairman of the Department of Mathematics

York University Administration, 1962 -1963.

Murray G. Ross, President
William W. Small, Comptroller and Secretary of the Board of Governors
Douglas G. Lochhead, Librarian
Donald S. Rickerd, Registrar and Master-designate of the new Glendon Hall Residential College
Dr. George Tatham, Dean of the Students
Dr. R.O. Earl, Dean of the Honours Program (Faculty of Arts and Science)
Mr. Neil M. Morrison, Dean of the Joseph E. Atkinson College
J. Howard Langille, Director of Recreation and Athletics and Assistant Dean of Students
Arthur C. Johnson, Director of Campus Planning
John K. Armour, Director of Physical Plant
Wilfrid Saunders, Director of Information and Publications
Mrs. Dee G. Appley, Director of Psychological Services
Mr. D. McCormack Smyth, Assistant to the President
Mrs. Alison K. Mitchell., Assistant to the Dean of J.E. Atkinson College

In October of 1962, the Province of Ontario granted York University 475 acres of land held jointly by the federal and provincial governments, in northwest Metropolitan Toronto, at the south west corner of Keele Street and Steeles Avenue, for a campus. The land grant is subsequently increased to 600 acres.


September 1965 - Founders College becomes the first College of York University. The Psychology Department is established in the first building built on Keele Campus. Kurt Danziger, Paul Kohn, and Helen Doan become first three faculty to have offices on Keele Campus in Founders College. From 1966-68 Danziger Chairs the psychology department from a small office in Founders and also maintains an office at Glendon. The psychology department remained located in the Founders building until the Behavioral Sciences Building was completed in November.


Phase One - Falconer Hall Phase Two - Glendon Hall