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Ryerson Archives and Special Collections is open for appointments Monday to Thursday from 10-4. See our Hours page for more information or make an appointment .

Feature of the Week: The Oakham House Dogs

Remember the film “The Incredible Journey”? Much like the fabled animals in that movie, our featured archive items have been on quite the voyage.

Oakham House dogs (RG 114.38)

Designed by architect William Thomas to hitch horses in front of his residence, which he named Oakham House, these two handsome canines guarded the home until Thomas’ death in 1860.  In 1899, the house, along with the dogs, was sold to the Society for Working Boys; a home for disadvantaged youth in Toronto.  When Ryerson University purchased the building in 1958, the dogs, originally located at the building’s Church Street entrance, were no longer there.  They had been removed to the new location of the Boys Home.  When Ryerson retrieved the dogs in 1982, the Toronto Historical Board wanted the pair to be mounted in their historical place in the front of the house.  In the interest of protecting them from vandalism, however, they were placed inside the house.  Since 2010, the Ryerson Library Archives has had the pleasure of their company.  Drop by and pay them a visit if you’re on the third floor of the library!

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