University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine

There’s Nothing Buttery About It

The Trinity College cafeteria draws its name from the French word for "cask" or "barrel"

In these health-conscious times, why is the Trinity College cafeteria called The Buttery? It has nothing to do with butter. In the Middle Ages, a buttery was a room in a castle for storing wine, ale, and other alcoholic beverages. The word derives from the medieval French word botte, meaning “cask” or “barrel.” At Oxford and Cambridge universities, it became a place where students could get a drink.

There was a buttery in Old Trinity (where Trinity Bellwoods Park is situated) from which beer and biscuits were served to students until 1902. Trinity College moved to its current location on Hoskin Avenue in 1925 – but that wasn’t the last of the buttery. After Strachan Hall was built in 1941, the room in the basement – commonly called “the Buttery” – was the centre of informal social life. Twenty years later, when the Larkin BPlauilding was built, a café named the Buttery was incorporated into it, and stands today as a casual eatery where students, faculty and staff can enjoy a hot meal.

Recent Posts

Photo of front campus field and Convocation Hall with flower emoji illustrations floating above

Clearing the Air

U of T wants to drastically cut carbon emissions by 2050. It’s enlisting on-campus ingenuity for help

Abstract illustration showing a red-coloured body and face, with small black and white pieces flowing from inside body out of the mouth, and the U.S. Capitol Building dangling on puppet strings from one hand

The Extremism Machine

Online disinformation poses a danger to society. Researchers at U of T’s Citizen Lab are tracking it – and trying to figure out how to stop it

Prof. Mark V. Campbell with a beige background and red lighting

Charting Hip Hop’s Course

Professor Mark V. Campbell grew up during the early years of rap music. Now, he is helping preserve Canadian hip-hop culture for future generations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *