O'Keefe House • 137 Bond Street • Toronto, ON • M5B 1Y2
O’Keefe House 50th Anniversary Dinner & Dance
On behalf of the O'Keefe House Alumni Association, you are invited to celebrate with past and present alumni the 50th Anniversary of O'Keefe House:
Saturday, October 5, 2013
6:00 PM – Cocktails, Hors D'oeuvres and Silent Auction
7:30 PM – Dinner & Speeches
9:30 PM – Dance Party!
Please purchase your tickets in advance, as tickets will not be sold at the door.
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Tickets are $100.00 each and are available for purchase at http://okeefeanniversary.eventbrite.com
Every attendee will receive a special gift card from UBER, everyone's private driver.
Ryerson Alumni Association
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The land at what is today 137 Bond Street was sold to a dry goods importer by the name of William Mathers on April 14, 1855. Along with the land, Mathers received the not yet completed, golden bricked house. The building would host its most prominent tenant and proprietor in 1879 when it was purchased by Eugene O’Keefe. He was attracted to the house at the corner of Bond and Gould because he could keep tabs on his neighbouring brewery and reside within a block of St. Michaels Cathedral. The next year, the house was evaluated as having a value of $6,000. To accommodate his growing family, O’Keefe had the third floor added in 1889. O’Keefe lived at 137 Bond Street until his death on the night September 30, 1913 in his second floor bedroom.
The house eventually fell into the hands of Longman’s Publishing and was converted from an adoring mansion to administrative space. The layout that can be found at today’s residence can trace its origin to the Longman’s offices. The Canadian Congress of Labour, the United Mine Workers and the Canadian Railroad Employees all utilized the Bond Street house at one point or another.
On March 6, 1963, S.E. Lyons and Son Realty Limited sent a letter to Ryerson Principal Howard H. Kerr offering the premises at Bond and Gould for $85,000. Kerr struck a deal at $80,000, a stark contrast from its $6,000 1880 value or the $677,000 renovation in the summer of 2004. In time for the fall semester of 1964, Ryerson opened “The Bond Street Annex” along with other new residencies on Church Street and Oakham House, then known as Kerr Hall. Time saw the demolition of the Church Street residencies and Oakham House was shut down as a residence for lack of fire code compliance. From the late 1960s through to the construction of Pittman Hall in 1991, O’Keefe was Ryerson’s only official residence space.
Every year, O'Keefe House becomes home to nearly thirty first year Ryerson students and a core group of returning O'Keefers. These seniors and dons are there to welcome the newcomers and educate them about the house's many quirks and customs. As a residence, O'Keefe House's unique layout (featuring predominantly shared rooms) makes each year's occupants a tight-knit community from day one.
Throughout the year, O'Keefers participate in much-loved events like Tour De O'Keefe, Food Olympics, Alumni Football, Wine and Cheese, Fort Building, the annual Love Exchange, Dress Like Your Roommate Night, and more! They bond in the house's shared cooking and lounge facilities. And as many a former O'Keefer will tell you, they soon become a new family for one another.
To date, there are hundreds of former Ryerson students who called O'Keefe House (formerly Bond House) home. From its days as a male-only residence; to its first years as a co-ed facility in; to today, O'Keefe has seen countless "brewers" come and go. But even after they're gone, these former residents always think of 137 Bond St. as a home away from home.
The O'Keefe House Alumni Association preserves the legacy and community of former residents of Ryerson University's historic residence. The association hosts annual social events and fundraising activities to raise funds for the Ted Brock Memorial Award scholarship, and to facilitate lasting camaraderie among alumni.
Site by Mark Corrigan and Chris Taylor.