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William Lyon Mackenzie King, a senior undergraduate who would later become Prime Minister of Canada, introduced a successful motion at the meeting to "abstain from attendance at lectures at University College until a proper investigation be granted by the provincial government into the difficulties existing at the university." During the boycott of classes, professor of history George Mac Kinnon Wrong wrote to Chancellor Blake in England that only one student turned up at one of his lectures.
The strike continued until February 20, when students voted to return to classes after the government agreed to call a commission of inquiry.
The current honour of U of T carillonneur is held by Roy Lee, who says making the bells sing requires a careful touch. “I can feel the instrument, and it is reacting to my touch.” The massive musical instrument is kept inside the Soldier’s Tower at the university, up 95 steps.
Some listeners might assume that the bells are automatic, but Lee says a trained ear can tell the difference.
“They wanted the carillon to be an audio reminder of the sacrifice made by the people in wartime,” said Kathy Parks, a Soldier’s Tower historian with the University of Toronto.
The carillon initially only had the standard 23 bells, all of which were cast in England.
Within two years, the library was replenished with donations from institutions throughout the British Empire.
On February 15, 1895, more than seven hundred University College students attended what was then described as the "largest mass meeting in the history of the University" to discuss the government's dismissal of William Dale, the popular professor of Latin at the college.
To achieve a picturesque approach, Cumberland ignored the classical symmetry and deliberately gave an asymmetrical architectural expression.Despite the initial fears, University College recovered from the fire with remarkable ease and speed.The board of trustees commissioned a swift restoration of the structure with insurance compensations and additional investments.They're the dramatic peals of a carillon, a musical instrument consisting of at least 23 cast bronze bells.Since 1927, the art of playing the carillon has been passed from one musician to the next.
"If they listen carefully they will know that it's a human up here and not a machine that's playing this," he said.