Designed mainly by Ron Thom himself, Champlain is the flagship college and nucleus of the campus, housing the university’s grand dining hall, residences, small seminar rooms, master’s residence (now Alumni House), and a bell tower that visually anchors it like a church spire. The entire complex is built with walls of aggregate rubble, a construction process that is highly labour intensive and expensive, but yields beautiful results evocative of medieval castles.
Named in honour of the explorer Samuel de Champlain, the college is situated right on the bank of the Otonabee River. Champlain’s spirit of adventure, discovery, and global citizenship are captured in the college motto: “continuer mes decouvertes”, “continue my discoveries”. That spirit lives on in the programs, people, and architecture of Trent’s Champlain College. To Champlainers, architecture matters. Its buildings are renowned for their avante garde use of natural materials and traditional elements in modernist form. Walking through its winding paths and staircases, or through the courtyards or to the banks of the river you’ll feel how the architecture creates a feeling of community, takes inspiration from the natural environment, and provides a safe space for intellectual discovery, adventure, reflection and hearty engagement with a community of learners. At the centre of the college is the impressive Great Hall, which serves as the college's gathering place for formal dinners and events, as well as a daily dining and study hall. Near the great hall are a Junior Common Room for student recreation and study, The Seasoned Spoon, an independent cooperatively run café serving healthy, organic, locally grown, affordable food, and the newly renovated Champlain Living Learning Commons.
Learn more about Champlain College here!