What Hart House Means to Me



Chancellor Michael Wilson and Warden Bruce Kidd with members of the debates committee and debating club in front of the north wall of heraldic shields in the Great Hall at Hart House.


In the fall of 2001, I joined the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada (RHSC) to foster my interest in heraldry.  One of the first projects the RHSC was involved with then was to help raise funds towards the ongoing restoration of the shields of arms in the Great Hall at Hart House. The shields were painted by Canada’s foremost heraldic artist almost 100 years ago, and they complement the Great Hall beautifully.


The RHSC continues to assist with the restoration of these irreplaceable Canadian heraldic treasures, and as the President of the RHSC, it was my pleasure to support the project through personal donations.  I also found out after my initial donation that my father, a Toronto-boy who graduated from U of T in 1954 with an engineering degree, had regularly taken his lunches at Hart House.  I didn’t know until a few years after my interest in Hart House was started that I had that coincidental familial connection with this great building.


I was even more supportive when I was offered a tour of the entire complex and discovered that another (albeit distant) family member had been involved with the improvement of Hart House Theatre – the late William Heaslip was a distant cousin of my father.  Bill and Nona established the Macdonald Heaslip Walkway at Hart House Theatre through a generous donation. I am delighted to realize that Hart House maintains a sense of family in its students and visitors and continues to recognize and cherish its history while striving to build a promise of the future yet to come.


David Rumball, CD, MA, UE, FRHSC (Hon)

Only Half of the Shields have been Restored on the North WallDonate Now

There is still a great deal of work to be done.  If you’d like to help support the restoration project in the Great Hall, please donate online or contact hh.advancement@utoronto.ca for more information.

What does Hart House mean to you?  Please tell us your story.