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The Institute of Child Study kicks off a fundraising campaign as it marks 80 years

The Institute of Child Study will celebrate its 80th anniversary next year and has kicked off an $8-million capital campaign with a major gift from the grandchildren of one of its earliest benefactors.

Leighton Goldie McCarthy – a former member of U of T’s Governing Council and the first Canadian ambassador to the United States – donated his residence at 45 Walmer Road to U of T in 1952. The facility became home to the Institute of Child Study (ICS) the following year, but now lacks sufficient space for the 200 children enrolled in the nursery-to-Grade-6 laboratory school and more than 150 faculty and graduate students who work and study there.

The recent donation from McCarthy’s grandchildren and the Hope Charitable Foundation will help fully modernize the Walmer house at ICS, which will be officially named the Leighton Goldie McCarthy House. “I visited my grandfather at the Walmer home while studying at U of T in the 1940s,” says McCarthy’s grandchild Ernest Howard (BA 1950 TRIN). “With the restoration and renovation of the Walmer home, we can pay tribute to a great Canadian and a great Canadian learning institution.”

“We deeply appreciate this gift from the McCarthy Family and Hope Foundation,” says Professor Jane Gaskell, dean of the Ontario Institute for the Studies of Education of U of T (OISE/UT). “Renovating the space will allow us to use it in ways that will further benefit children’s education.”

OISE/UT is also seeking a leadership gift to name the Institute of Child Study and to support the construction of a new building behind Leighton Goldie McCarthy House. The new facility will include classrooms and a gymnasium for the laboratory school, and provide the institute with space to host conferences and workshops, community outreach programs and visiting researchers.

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