Royal Canadian Military Institute – Fostering of Art, Science & Literature

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1935 – Looking west towards the Royal Canadian Military Institute at 426 University Ave just south of Dundas St W in Downtown Toronto
1935 – Looking west towards the Royal Canadian Military Institute at 426 University Ave just south of Dundas St W in Downtown Toronto (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 80)

The Royal Canadian Military Institute, or RCMI, is located at 426 University Ave (just south of Dundas St W) in Downtown Toronto.

The 125-Year History of the RCMI

In 1890, Lieutenant-Colonel William Dillion Otter founded the member-supported organization which studies and discusses military history, defence, security and international affairs. For the first 15 years, the Institute rented a home just south of its present-day location, where the Canada Life Building stands today.

In 1905, the Institute purchased a 2½-storey house at ‪245 Simcoe St‬ , which backed onto University Ave. It was an ideal location as it was only 150 m or 500 ft, diagonally across the street from the University Avenue Armouries. In 1908, the fireproof museum and 3,500-volume library which fronted onto University Ave, were completed.

In 1910, the house at ‪243 Simcoe St‬ was purchased as land in the area was being taken up. In 1915, the address became listed as ‪96 University Ave‬ as, at the time, the southerly limit was at Queen St W. In 1931, the street was lengthened to Front St W, and the address was updated to ‪426 University Ave.‬

Royal Canadian Military Institute Today

2020 - The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave, south of Dundas St W, in Downtown Toronto
2020 – The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave, south of Dundas St W, in Downtown Toronto

While updates to the century-old building were made through the years, there were concerns about its declining state. The solution came in a complete redevelopment. The original building was demolished in 2010. Reconstruction of the historic façade, interior, and condo tower took four years to complete. The organization occupies the first 6 1/2 floors of the 42-storey residential condo.

For the benefit of its members, in addition to conferences, seminars and speaker events, the Royal Canadian Military Institute operates a library, museum and archives. The Library is the largest, privately funded collection of its kind in Canada, with over 15,000 volumes on military history, science and art. The Museum has 11,000 artifacts and archival materials. Other services include hosting private events, accommodations and fitness facilities. Visit RCMI for more details.

Royal Canadian Military Institute Photos

1935 – Looking west towards the Royal Canadian Military Institute at 426 University Ave just south of Dundas St W in Downtown Toronto
1935 – Looking west towards the Royal Canadian Military Institute at 426 University Ave just south of Dundas St W in Downtown Toronto (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 80)
2021 - Royal Canadian Military Institute and Residences
2021 – Royal Canadian Military Institute and Residences
Circa 1950 – The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave in downtown Toronto
Circa 1950 – The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave in downtown Toronto (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1128, Series 380, Item 249)
2020 - The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave, south of Dundas St W, in Downtown Toronto
2020 – The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave, south of Dundas St W, in Downtown Toronto
2020 - Royal Canadian Military Institute and Residences
2020 – Royal Canadian Military Institute and Residences
1960 – The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave
1960 – The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave (CU110499476, by Panda Associates, Courtesy of Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary)
2023 – Looking southwest toward the Royal Canadian Military Institute and Residences, in the right foreground, notice the Canada Life Building in the background
2023 – Looking southwest toward the Royal Canadian Military Institute and Residences, in the right foreground, notice the Canada Life Building in the background
2010's - Reading Room at the RCMI
2010’s – Reading Room at the RCMI (Royal Canadian Military Institute)
2010's - Red Barron Seat display in the Long Bar at the RCMI
2010’s – Red Barron Seat display in the Long Bar at the RCMI (Royal Canadian Military Institute)
2010's - Museum display at the Royal Canadian Military Institute
2010’s – Museum display at the Royal Canadian Military Institute (Royal Canadian Military Institute)
2010's - Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army display in the Long Bar at the RCMI
2010’s – Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army display in the Long Bar at the RCMI (Royal Canadian Military Institute)
2010's - Long Bar at the Royal Canadian Military Institute
2010’s – Long Bar at the Royal Canadian Military Institute (Royal Canadian Military Institute)
2010's - Long Bar and Fireplace at the RCMI
2010’s – Long Bar and Fireplace at the RCMI (Royal Canadian Military Institute)
2010's - Library entrance at the RCMI
2010’s – Library entrance at the RCMI (Royal Canadian Military Institute)
1960 – The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave
1960 – The Royal Canadian Military Institute is located at 426 University Ave (CU110497849, by Panda Associates, Courtesy of Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary)
1960 – Canon closeup  at the Royal Canadian Military Institute located at 426 University Ave
1960 – Canon closeup at the Royal Canadian Military Institute located at 426 University Ave (CU1104994116, by Panda Associates, Courtesy of Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary)
2022 – The three cornerstones laid by the Governor Generals of Canada at the Royal Canadian Military Institute
2022 – The three cornerstones laid by the Governor Generals of Canada at the Royal Canadian Military Institute
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