On Tuesday, Nov. 14, 1967 Lester Pearson was the Prime Minister of Canada. LBJ was in the White House, fretting over the war in Vietnam. The hit songs on the radio were by The Who, The Monkees, and The Cowsills. If you watched TV that evening you could catch a new episode of I Dream of Jeannie.
But Nov. 14, 1967 was also the day that George Brown College came into being. That evening at 6 p.m. a group of people, including several city aldermen, met at the Royal York Hotel to hold the first Board of Governors meeting that created the college.
They met at the request of the Ontario Government, which was establishing a province-wide system of colleges. Education Minister William Davis, who would later be Premier, in announcing the creation of the City of Toronto college suggested that it be named after The Father of Canadian Confederation from Toronto - George Brown.
The Board members were busy that night. Called to order by acting chair Dr. H. Kerr, a member of the Ontario Council of Regents, the group’s first act was to acclaim their own chair – William Trimble - and vice-chair – Graham Gore.
With William Trimble at the helm, the Board’s first real action was to put a name for on the new college to replace Area 19 College, as it had been known up to then. They took Bill Davis’s suggestion and The George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology took its place among the post secondary institutions as the City of Toronto’s college.
The college, which incorporated the existing Provincial Institute of Trades (which became the now closed Kensington Campus) and the Provincial Institute of Trades and Occupations (which became the first building of Casa Loma Campus), began operating under its new name on March 1, 1968.
Written by Neil McGillivray with archives from the George Brown College Archives