Latlng: (42.772692, -81.192570)

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St. Thomas

Alma College- St. Thomas

St. Thomas, Ontario

Location Owner shahna
Creation Date Feb 09 2009
Status Demolished
Category Educational
Location St. Thomas, Ontario
Site number #546

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(a) 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(a)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(a)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(a)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.

Latlng: (42.772692, -81.192570)


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unknown user avatar
Unknown User This makes me upsetti spaghetti.
Aug 24 2015
avatar of Storytrail
Storytrail This makes me so sad every time I see it.... Ontario doesn't have very many impressive abandoned locations like this was.
May 28 2015
unknown user avatar
Unknown User The people who set it on fire were 2 young teenage boys, aged 14 & 15 at the time of the arson.. How sad.
Sep 20 2014
avatar of mattgrant1
mattgrant1 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.
Jun 25 2014
avatar of mattgrant1
mattgrant1 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.
Jun 23 2014
avatar of H-G
H-G 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!)
Jun 04 2014
avatar of MrE4ever
MrE4ever Here's a short documentary I made on Alma
Dec 07 2013
avatar of portable232
portable232 yes whoever light tht fire should be thrown in prison for life
Oct 27 2013
avatar of SaintSi1999
SaintSi1999 That would have been an awesome place to explore.
Apr 06 2012
avatar of canadavey
canadavey You have no idea how badly I would have loved to shoot this place. I cry whenever I see pictures of the fire.
Nov 28 2011