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Alma College- St. Thomas

Ontario : St. Thomas
Location #546

Location Owner:shahna
Creation Date: 2/9/2009
Last Updated: 11/8/2018

Once standing proud at the corner of Moore and McIntyre Streets in St. Thomas, Ontario was the old Alma College for Ladies.Initially chartered in 1877 as an independent girls' school, Alma College had a goal to "promote the spiritual and educational growth and development of young women from around the globe." Even to this day, the College has international alumni from London and Toronto and even as far as Australia, Hong Kong, British Columbia, Mexico, the Carribbean and Japan.

In 1803 Colonel Thomas Talbot received a large grant from the Crown in what is now Elgin County but during the war of 1812 many settlements that were formed in this area were burned and ravaged by American armies. In 1844, the village had grown to 1,000 people including many businessmen and professionals and in 1852, Elgin County was separated and St. Thomas was incorporated as a village. The village began to grow and In 1861 St. Thomas was finally incorporated as a town.

"By the mid 1870's, St. Thomas was an enterprising and industrious town set in a prosperous county. Eight railways passed through with their long lines of freight and passenger cars. A small group of able physicians had set up the first medical centre in the province that became eventually the nucleus of the Medical School of the University of Toronto. Farmers brought their fruit and vegetables and dairy products to St. Thomas markets and flour mill and creamery. There was a bustling retail trade. Eight churches kept their fingers on the spiritual pulse. St. Thomas was a young ambitious town aspiring to become a city. A ladies college for the country of Elgin would most certainly add to its prestige, and put St. Thomas firmly on the map."

On October 11, 1876, it was proposed by Bishop Carman that a ladies college be established in the prospering town of St. Thomas. In 1877, the planners called the new school, "St. Thomas Ladies College" until it was formally named "Alma College" by Sheriff Colin Munroe who wanted to name it to honour the passing of his late wife Alma Munroe and also their daughter, Mrs. J.D. (Alma) Munroe Duffield.

The College colours were also chosen at the same time and represented the three branches of the school's curriculum: Literature was blue, Art was gold, and Music was crimson.

In April of 1877, the newly formed College Board put out a call for the design of the school and received 20 submitted plans from architects. It was a man named James Balfour from our very own Hamilton that won the competition. The contract for the actual construction went to Henry Lindop of St. Thomas and with all the requirements, was estimated at a total cost of about $50,000.

May 24th, 1878 marked the day that the cornerstone of Alma College was laid and it took only three years after this for the architect's plan to take form into an imposing building. Two months following this, in October of 1881, the brand new Alma Ladies College officially opened. The grounds featured a main building, a chapel, a hall, and a unique outdoor amphitheatre. The Victorian Gothic exterior of the front facade and the two flanking side facades make this structure unique in the City of St. Thomas.

Today, the only remaining grounds that remain are part of the main building itself, the chapel and the ruins of the amphitheatre which can still vaguely be seen carved into the walls of the small ravine.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2008:
Back in 2005, we we had hopes for Alma College. Sadly, just after lunch time on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, the gorgeous building went up in flames.

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Photos from Early 2008
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:11/8/2018
Created by: DDR12
4 photos
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:2/23/2017
Created by: Cheyhill8
1 photos
Last Few Days
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:5/10/2016
Created by: Bandit440p
5 photos
July 2015
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:6/13/2015
Created by: OAP
5 photos
Shell of Glory
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:6/11/2015
Created by: Talker
10 photos
Church Time '15
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:6/9/2015
Created by: Motleykiwi
16 photos
The Orphan
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:5/27/2015
Created by: Ouroboros
10 photos
Alma Ruins
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:5/4/2015
Created by: nutmegzero
13 photos
Alma on fire
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:6/25/2014
Created by: mattgrant1
4 photos
Inside the Chapel
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:6/4/2014
Created by: H-G
20 photos
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:11/27/2011
Created by: jordy25
17 photos
Alma College
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:11/23/2011
Created by: jordy25
17 photos
Aug 22 2007
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:8/18/2011
Created by: shahna
10 photos
April 6 2008
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:8/18/2011
Created by: shahna
6 photos
July 26 2008
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:8/18/2011
Created by: shahna
9 photos
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:8/18/2011
Created by: shahna
3 photos
Feb 24 2008
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:8/18/2011
Created by: shahna
10 photos
Long Live Alma
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:11/18/2010
Created by: theurbantrailblazer
6 photos
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:6/30/2010
Created by: rb photography
3 photos
Alma College- St. Thomas
Created on:6/30/2010
Created by: photojazz310
17 photos


Status: Demolished
Category: Educational


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Kyle Fraser says:
8/24/2015 11:29:33 PM

This makes me upsetti spaghetti.

Storytrail says:
5/28/2015 8:37:49 AM

This makes me so sad every time I see it.... Ontario doesn't have very many impressive abandoned locations like this was.

Skye_Ann says:
9/20/2014 9:50:33 PM
people who set it on fire were 2 young teenage boys, aged 14 & 15 at the time of the arson.. How sad.

mattgrant1 says:
6/25/2014 10:42:34 PM

I'm not sure if anyone else has done this - I've sent it to a few friends way back in 09, but google maps has Alma on fire. They must have taken the pic pretty much as soon as it was on fire since the entire thing is still in flames. I've made a gallery showing the before and after on google maps.

mattgrant1 says:
6/23/2014 8:37:52 PM

Alma is the single reason why I'm leery about whether ghosts exist. I learned about this place two weeks before it was burnt down and spent everyday exploring it. Had the police called on us twice and received a trespassing fine on the 25th, same day I seen some really messed up stuff in there. Then on the 28th, we were the last people to touch the building, except for the arsonists.

H-G says:
6/4/2014 11:28:29 PM

I was able to get several shots of the inside of the chapel this weekend. I wasn't wearing the right clothing to actually climb in so I just shot through the open window, but it wouldn't be hard to get in as long as you wore decent shoes, long pants, & a long shirt. (Ceiling is looking quite unstable, though, so a hard hat may be a good option if you have one!)

MrE4ever says:
12/7/2013 9:27:08 AM

Here's a short documentary I made on Alma

portable232 says:
10/27/2013 9:41:10 PM

yes whoever light tht fire should be thrown in prison for life

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On 11/8/2018 9:05:47 PM user DDR12 uploaded photos : 1.jpg / 45596931_1516598301777155 / 45652622_285686748746072_ / 45870463_1132306193586595 / to SID: 118201818421
On 11/8/2018 9:04:51 PM user DDR12 created gallery : Photos from Early 2008
On 2/23/2017 9:29:49 PM user Cheyhill8 uploaded photos : IMG_2957.JPG / to SID: 2232017182116
On 2/23/2017 9:21:31 PM user Cheyhill8 created gallery : Church
On 5/10/2016 9:05:59 PM user Bandit440p uploaded photos : alma 1.jpg / alma 2.jpg / alma 3.jpg / alma 4.jpg / alma 5.jpg / to SID: 5102016173516
On 5/10/2016 9:05:05 PM user Bandit440p created gallery : Last Few Days
On 12/26/2015 9:18:13 AM user Motleykiwi uploaded photos : DSC06836.JPG / to SID: 692015161115
On 6/13/2015 9:15:56 PM user OAP uploaded photos : 1.jpg / 2.jpg / 3.jpg / 4.jpg / 5.jpg / to SID: 613201518130
On 6/13/2015 9:13:07 PM user OAP created gallery : July 2015
On 6/11/2015 12:44:50 AM user Talker uploaded photos : DSC_0134.JPG / DSC_0140.jpg / DSC_0141.JPG / DSC_0147.JPG / DSC_0148.JPG / DSC_0150.JPG / DSC_0151.JPG / DSC_0158.JPG / DSC_0170.JPG / DSC_0178.JPG / to SID: 6102015212138
On 6/11/2015 12:21:44 AM user Talker created gallery : Shell of Glory
On 6/9/2015 7:14:40 PM user Motleykiwi uploaded photos : DSC09208.JPG / DSC09211.JPG / DSC09213.JPG / DSC09219.JPG / DSC09222.JPG / to SID: 692015161115
On 6/9/2015 7:13:21 PM user Motleykiwi uploaded photos : DSC09160.JPG / DSC09162.JPG / DSC09163.JPG / DSC09167.JPG / DSC09169.JPG / DSC09176.JPG / DSC09184.JPG / DSC09186.JPG / DSC09195.JPG / DSC09199.JPG / to SID: 692015161115
On 6/9/2015 7:11:24 PM user Motleykiwi created gallery : Church Time '15
On 5/28/2015 9:33:49 AM user OAP deleted gallery with SID : 546doom2930
On 5/27/2015 9:36:27 PM user Ouroboros uploaded photos : 008.JPG / 016.JPG / 017.JPG / 021.JPG / 028.JPG / 029.JPG / 031.JPG / 034.JPG / 036.JPG / 037.JPG / to SID: 5272015182859

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