Image of open ground with some powered machinery and some horse-drawn equipment working in it.

Central Technical School was planned as the largest school in Canada at the time of its building. The tremendous demand for technical education in the early 20th century was the inspiration for the immense and ambitious construction project, undertaken in 1913 and completed in 1915.

Toronto Board of Education
c. 1913
Toronto Region, CANADA
2012.X.284.i1
© 2014, Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All Rights Reserved.


Image of a building's structure showing girders, I-beams and lumber without walls or floors in place.

The skeletal interior of Central Technical School is shown here. The immense size of the building required a wide range of equipment and supplies.

Toronto Board of Education
c. 1913
Toronto Region, CANADA
2012.X.280.i1
© 2014, Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All Rights Reserved.


Image of masons laying bricks in the construction of a wall at Central Technical School

Bricklayers or masons, are shown here building a wall at Central Technical School as part of the construction team. Of special note is their equipment and attire.

Toronto Board of Education
c. 1913
Toronto Region, CANADA
2012.X.279.i1
© 2014, Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All Rights Reserved.


Image of men at the top of a set of debris-covered exterior stairs.

During the construction of Central Technical School, many different types of workers and disciplines were involved. These two men are standing on the exterior steps of the school discussing an aspect of the construction. Note the boards that cover the pillars next to them.

Toronto Board of Education
c. 1913
Toronto Region, CANADA
© 2014, Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All Rights Reserved.


Image of school building with scaffolding against one wall and some windows without glass.

This image of Central Technical School is taken prior to its completion but with much of the building finished. This view is from the north side of the building looking south. Scaffolding is seen against one wall and some windows are without glass.

Toronto Board of Education
c. 1913
Toronto Region, CANADA
© 2014, Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All Rights Reserved.


Image of many men sitting on an exterior staircase at a building entrance.

This image shows many of the workers that built Central Technical School seated on its exterior stairs. In this picture, the school is finished and the grandeur of the front entrance is evident.

Toronto Board of Education
c. 1913
Toronto Region, CANADA
2012.X.774.i1
© 2014, Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All Rights Reserved.


Image of sculpture of two figures, one wearing a helmet and standing and one kneeling beside him.

This plaster maquette, commemorating the First World War, was created by Alfred Howell, a sculptor and the first Art Director of Central Technical School. The memorial holds a place of honour in the foyer of the main building of Central Technical School.

Toronto Board of Education
20th Century
Toronto Region, CANADA
2012.X.691.i1
© 2014, Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All Rights Reserved.


Black and white photo of large pipe organ with inset photo of keyboard

War Memorial Organ, donated by staff and students

Toronto Board of Education
20th Century
Central Ontario, CANADA
2012.X.584.i1
© 2014, Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

"In 1911, the Advisory Industrial Committee of the Toronto Board of Education laid plans for the building of the Toronto Technical School and appointed Dr. A.C. McKay as principal. The first sod was turned on May 1, 1913, the cornerstone was laid on August 26th of the same year by Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada, and the building was open for classes in September, 1915." TBE Historical Plaque

School design and school construction techniques have changed a great deal over the years. Looking at the images of Central Technical School affords an opportunity to reflect on the changes in school design and school construction techniques.

This Learning Object offers a number of views of Central Technical School during its construction phase.

Note things at the construction site that WOULD NOT be used at a modern school construction site. What replaced them?
Note things at the construction site that WOULD be used at a modern school construction site. Why?

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