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Goldwin Smith Slideshow

Goldwin Smith was born in 1823 in Reading, Berkshire, and educated at Eton College and Magdalen College in England. He enjoyed an illustrious scholarly career as regius professor of history at Oxford University where he the personal tutor for the Prince of Wales. He was also one of the first professors at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

When he settled in Toronto in the 1870s, Goldwin Smith met and married widow Harriette Boulton of The Grange. As a wealthy man, Smith could afford a love match and it appears that his marriage to Harriette was loving. The couple lived happily in The Grange until their deaths in 1909 (Harriette) and 1910 (Goldwin).

Throughout his time in Toronto, Goldwin Smith proved himself to be a prolific journalist, voicing his strong opinions in publications ranging from The Nation, the Evening Telegram, The Week, and even the New York Sun. He was also a prominent supporter of the arts, encouraging local artists to paint Canadian subjects.

By the late 1890s, Goldwin Smith, seeking intellectual companionship, established the Round Table dining club who met regularly at The Grange. The members of the club included such prominent citizens as Byron Edmund Walker, the general manager of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and James Bain the city’s librarian. The club met regularly for conservation and debate.

In 1891, Goldwin Smith published the book Canada and the Canadian Question which analyzed the country’s position and relation to the United States. He felt that Canada had no real reason to exist and would be better off if it merged with the United State. Despite this rather controversial stance, Goldwin Smith was considered a prominent Canadian thinker of the late 1800s and was a strong supporter of both the visual and literary arts in Toronto.