Brantford Young Ladies College

Brantford Young Ladies College

The Brantford Young Ladies College operated in Brantford, Ontario between 1874 and 1910.

Jennie Foster Kennedy, who created the Butchart Gardens, attended the Brantford Young Ladies College circa 1881.

The Brantford Young Ladies College occupied the former home of the late Hon. E.B. Wood, formerly the Chief Justice of Manitoba. When the Brantford Young Ladies College closed in 1910, this building was demolished and replaced with the current Brantford Collegiate Institute.

Here is a map showing the location of the Brantford Collegiate Institute:

Here is a Google Street View image of the Brantford Collegiate Institute:

Here is a very brief history of the Brantford Young Ladies College from Chapter 2 of our Butchart Gardens History:

“The Brantford Young Ladies College had been incorporated on 16 September 1874,[1] after a public meeting in the Brantford City Council Chamber on March 24, 1874 passed resolutions stating that it was “highly desirable that a Ladies’ College be established in Brantford” and “that as a guarantee of the educational and moral training of the pupils, said College should be in connection with one of the Evangelical denominations.” The denomination decided upon was the Presbyterian Church of Canada.

As its campus and residence, the College purchased the Brantford home of the late Hon. E.B. Wood, formerly the Chief Justice of Manitoba, renovating and extending the building to accommodate 80 boarding students.

The Brantford Young Ladies College offered a three year diploma program. It was highly regarded and in 1879, the University of Toronto began holding entrance exams specifically for the College’s graduates which, if passed, guaranteed admission to the University. The Governor-General of Canada supported this initiative by introducing an annual award for the student achieving the highest score on the University of Toronto entrance exam. By 1883, a journalist reported that the “College is now well established and equipped, and both in its literary course and in the departments of music and fine arts, it has taken first rank as an institution for the higher education of ladies.” Its reputation attracted students from all parts of Canada as well as from the United States.

Unfortunately this reputation did not ensure the school’s survival. In 1900, it changed its name to the “Brantford Young Ladies College & Conservatory of Music,” in what may have been an attempt to expand its student base and increase its revenues. If that was, in fact, the school’s intention, it didn’t work; the “Brantford Young Ladies College & Conservatory of Music” closed permanently in 1910. The College’s building is no longer standing; it was demolished in 1910 and replaced by the present day Brantford Collegiate Institute.”

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