Quiet Dwells – The College In The Country

Below is an excerpt from author Orland French’s book, PIONEERING: A History of Loyalist College (1992). While some references are no longer current, the publication provides a rich report on Loyalist’s history, which helps to contextualize its milestones. To read more from Mr. French’s book, please click here

While Loyalist College may be outstanding in its field, staff and students alike have wondered just why it has been built “out standing in a field”.

For many who have lived in downtown Belleville while attending Loyalist, the College’s peaceful and pastoral setting has not entirely compensated for the lack of nearby residences, shopping and entertainment areas, beer stores and other amenities of life.  

But the College wasn’t built to serve only Belleville. It was intended to serve a four-county region and be a “commuter” college, easily accessed by a road network and located in what was considered a modest growth area.

Of the original 19 Quinte sites considered, seven were studied intensively, these were: near Bata Footwear north of Trenton on land offered by the company; central Belleville fairground on Bridge Street at Palmer Road; sites along Highway 2 between Belleville and Trenton; and two other sites near Trenton.

The winner was the Wallbridge Road location because consulting engineers felt it best suited the requirements of a commuter college. Situated between Belleville and Trenton, the site was also near Highway 401, yet not too far from the Bay Bridge to Prince Edward County. The Minister of Education tried to limit college land purchases to 100 acres (40.5 hectares), but didn’t always succeed. Over the years, Loyalist has acquired 220 acres (89 hectares).