The London Goodenough Association of Canada (LGAC), originally the London House Association of Canada, was formed in 1951 as a nationwide association of former residents and supporters of London House and (later) William Goodenough House, two uniquely different residences for postgraduates located in Mecklenburgh Square in the west end of London. In turn, these residences are part of Goodenough College (formerly the London Goodenough Trust for Overseas Graduates), which was established in 1931 to provide accommodation in a congenial academic setting for single and married graduate students from the Commonwealth and the United States of America.
Goodenough College is now open to postgraduates from around the world. Canada’s Hart House at the University of Toronto is said to have provided part of the inspiration for the founding of the parent London Goodenough Trust by Sir Frederick Goodenough, the then-chairman of Barclays Bank, who visited Canada in the 1920s..
From the outset, Canada has made a very real contribution to the Trust in terms of the significant number of Canadian postgraduates who have resided there, and played leadership roles in College life, and the financial support Canadians have provided the College over the years. The membership of the LGAC currently numbers about 1000, is spread across Canada, and represents a wide variety of academic disciplines, professions and businesses. The Canadian academic, arts, business, and professional worlds are well stocked with LGAC “alumni” – a reflection of both of the calibre of the postgraduates who reside in the College’s residences and how the unique Mecklenburgh Square experience rubs off on them.
In its earliest years the LGAC provided financial support for building and renovation campaigns for the premises in London. However, beginning in the early-1990s, as the College itself got on a firmer financial footing, the focus switched to allocating the income from a growing investment portfolio and other fundraising activities to residential scholarships for deserving Canadians proceeding to London for postgraduate study. Awarded on the basis of academic achievement and expected contribution to life in Mecklenburgh Square, our scholarships have become an integral part of the LGAC’s reason for being. Please refer to Scholarship Programme section for full details on our cumulative investment plan – we resolve to increase their number and value. In 1995, the mounting demand for scholarships prompted the LGAC to launch a Corporate Sponsorship Programme directed at internationally-minded Canadian companies. This particular programme has come under great pressure as economic conditions have deteriorated, but to those who have stayed with us – and also joined us as new sponsors – we are most grateful. Thanks to their generous contributions, more than $1 million in Scholarships has been awarded as of 2020.
No mention of the LGAC would be complete without paying tribute to Walter Bilbrough, our Founding Patron and longstanding director who passed away on April 24, 2000 in his 93rd year. The first Canadian to live at London House at its inception, Walter embodied what the Trust and the LGAC are all about. He always maintained that the friendships he established on Mecklenburgh Square, and the encouragement given him by the likes of Frederick Goodenough were key influences in his life.
In a tribute, Sir Anthony Goodenough, Britain’s High Commissioner to Canada from 1996 to 2000, recalled how excited he was to meet Walter, who knew the grandfather he himself had never known. Sir Anthony noted that Walter’s support of the London Goodenough Trust “helped maintain and strengthen the solid fabric of Canadian/British friendship in which he took such pleasure”.
Walter’s autobiography, The Unexpected and the Unplanned, is a piece of London Goodenough history that is available through us for $20 plus $4 for shipping and handling, with the proceeds to be added to our Scholarship Fund, according to Walter’s wishes. Contact us to order a copy of the book (email and mailing address in the footer).
Thanks to the solid foundations laid long ago and to the close links established, the parent College can make ever more distinctive marks on the world, and the LGAC can build on its investment in gifted young Canadians and Canada’s future.
LGAC Board and Executive Members – As of November, 2022
Tim Costigan – Toronto, ON – Board Chair; Nominations & Governance Committee Chair
Lucia Liscio – Toronto, ON – Board Vice-Chair
James Garcelon – Toronto, ON – Treasurer; Finance Committee Chair
Kristine Alexander – Lethbridge, AB
Selena Beattie – Ottawa, ON
Robert Berard – Halifax, NS
Robert Black – Toronto, ON
Raymond French – Rothesay, NB
Sarah Gibbs – Calgary, AB
Andrew Hammond – Peterborough, ON
Norman Hillmer – Ottawa, ON – Scholarship Committee Co-Chair
Jamil Jaffer – Vancouver, BC – Alumni Engagement Committee Chair
Yohanna Loucheur – Gatineau, QC
Jane McGaughey – Montreal, QC
Pujan Modi – Toronto, ON – Membership & Social Committee Chair
Karen Morton – Calgary, AB
Maureen Simpson – Toronto, ON – Scholarship Committee Co-Chair
Greg Smith – Winnipeg, MB
Christopher Wilkie – Ottawa, ON
Paul Zed – Toronto, ON – Past Board Chair
Ireneus Zuk – Outrement, QC / Kingston, ON
Goodenough College is an independent charitable trust which provides accommodation and fellowship, in a collegiate atmosphere and pleasant surroundings, for some 400 single and 120 married graduate students from the Commonwealth, the USA and Europe. The two main residences in Mecklenburgh Square are London House and William Goodenough House. Facilities at each House may be used by all College residents. It is expected that most students will stay for at least one year.
London House, founded in 1931, offers accommodation for 280 single men and women in single study bedrooms. Facilities include the Dining Hall, Frederick’s café-bar, computer rooms, the Chapel, the Charles Parsons Library and a number of public rooms.
William Goodenough House, founded in 1950, has accommodation for 120 single men and women in single study bedrooms and 119 flats for married couples, with or without children. Facilities include the Campbell Stuart Library, computer rooms, attractive common rooms and a bar. There is a day nursery for children over two and two children’s playrooms. All accommodation is fully furnished, centrally heated and equipped with a telephone, refrigerator and cable television outlet. In single accommodation, bedding is provided and the cost of electricity is included in the monthly rate. Each study bedroom is provided with a wash hand basin and bathroom facilities are communal.
Q: If I apply for an LGAC Scholarship, can my Scholarship Application be used as a residence application for London?
A: No. The Scholarship application and residence processes are entirely separate. You must send your residence application directly to the College in London
Q: How can I apply to live at Goodenough College?
A: You can apply for residence through the Goodenough College website.
Q: If I win an award, do I still have to apply for residence separately?
A: Yes, but your space is guaranteed.
Q: Are there married student flats?
A: Married/family flats are available at a higher cost. Please see the College’s website for further information.
Q: Can my spouse/companion work in London while I study?
A: You should check visa requirements with the British High Commission.
Q: I noticed from the Goodenough College website that there are two rates quoted for residence cost, a “lower” rate that is “income based” and a “higher rate”. Which rate will apply to me?
A: For most students without significant other income sources, the lower rate will apply.
Q: When is the best time to apply for residence?
A: Students should apply when their plans become firm, but certainly by May of each year, if possible.
Q: I am going to London this summer for a holiday, can I stay in residence?
A: Student rooms and flats may be available during the summer months. Suites with ensuite facilities are available in London House throughout the year. In addition, the Goodenough Club, a part of the College, more highly priced and with high quality accommodations, is open throughout the year. See section on Short Term Accommodation in Mecklenburgh Square.
Goodenough College is much more than a hall of residence and perhaps is best described as a non-teaching residential college for those undertaking academic or professional post graduate studies in London.
It is made unique by the quality of those living here. Competition for places, currently at a ratio of 4:1, is fierce and therefore the College selects its residents not only on their academic qualifications, which are expected to be of the highest order, but also on their ability and willingness to contribute to the community of the College.
Living in a community such as this brings with it intangible advantages in educational, professional and social terms and to leave here without a world-wide network of friends and professional contacts is unusual. The College looks to each and every individual to take an active part, whether that be participating, helping or just spectating, in the busy programme of social, cultural and sporting activities that create the essence of the College.
The table below gives some indication of the variety of activities available. However, the list is by no means binding and each year produces its own crop of new clubs, sports and other activities.The College’s founder’s aim was to establish a collegiate community where friendship and exchange would breed international tolerance. His concept has succeeded to a remarkable degree.
The College hope that applicants will not be daunted by the contribution expected of them but will come here with the determination to maintain and strengthen this very special institution.