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Commemorative Book

Seeing the Need and Changing Lives


We were founded because a far-seeing group of women came together and demanded that the University of Toronto start a school to educate social workers. Wealthy philanthropists concerned by the poverty they saw in the streets joined forces with community workers who spent their days among Toronto’s most destitute.

When our doors first opened in September 1914, social work itself was still an emerging profession. There were no other schools in Canada and few in North America. We began setting precedents then and we have never stopped. On June 15, 1915, the first class of social workers educated in Canada graduated at the University of Toronto. All women, they were settlement workers, public health nurses, playground supervisors and charitable visitors. For one hundred years since, dedicated graduates, researchers, professors and supporters of our Faculty have been making an extraordinary contribution – changing lives and promoting societal well-being.

To honour our first century of social work we have published a hardcover volume of 176 pages, illustrated with more than a hundred archival photographs. This commemorative issue documents a century of service and the world events that shaped a changing city.

To receive your copy, email or call 416-978-4437.

Donations to the Faculty are welcome.