McMaster University Campus Architecture Tour

Hamilton, ON, Canada
Est. 1.6km / 48 mins / Map

McMaster University Campus Architecture Tour - Cya On The Road

Welcome to the McMaster University Architecture Audio Tour.The McMaster Museum of Art has gathered information and images about the history of McMaster University in response to ongoing requests for information and stories about the campus. This walking tour begins at the Indigenous Circle, and visits buildings that demonstrate the history and architectural style of the first few decades of McMaster University in Hamilton.Before we begin, the McMaster Museum of Art would like to first recognize, acknowledge, and honour the history that came before the City of Hamilton and McMaster University’s existence in this place. We gather now in Hamilton, Ontario, on the traditional territories of the Mississauga, and the Six Nations of the Grand River Confederacy: the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca and Tuscarora nations - lands protected by the Dish With One Spoon wampum agreement. We express gratitude to the generations of Indigenous peoples and communities for their care of this land and the teachings about this Earth in our relations. We acknowledge that it is our responsibility to respect Indigenous ways of knowing and to work in moving forward in a spirit of partnership, reconciliation and collaboration through honesty, empathy and action.As we discuss the history of the university and its campus, we want to acknowledge that McMaster University is a colonial institution that has benefitted from the displacement of peoples and land. We recognize that these difficult histories persist in present day racial realities and privileges at this university.A Brief HistoryMcMaster University was originally Toronto Baptist College, located in McMaster Hall on Bloor Street in Toronto. William McMaster, a wealthy merchant, banker, and Liberal Senator of the Dominion of Canada, was a member and funder to a number of Baptist churches in Toronto. The endowment he left to the Toronto Baptist College enabled them to rename it McMaster University. The university moved to Hamilton in 1930.McMaster University here in Hamilton began with 6 original buildings, all of which are included in this tour: University Hall, Hamilton Hall, The Refectory, Edwards Hall, Wallingford Hall, and Alumni Memorial Hall, all designed by architect William Lyon Somerville, who also designed the original campus plan. McMaster was originally governed by the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, and was later deemed a public university and secularized in 1957. To learn more about the history of McMaster University, visit

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