Laboratory History

Over a Century of History

The Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory is housed in the Macdonald Institute (MINS) which was initially built in 1903 as an educational facility for advanced learning in domestic science for young rural women. From 1941 to 1946, the facilities were also used by the Royal Canadian Air Force to train chefs. The Macdonald Institute became the largest and most popular domestic science program in Canada in the 1950s and one of the three founding colleges of the University of Guelph in 1964.

Cooking Class Photo in 1904



  • 1904: A cooking class in the newly opened Macdonald Institute lab.

1915 to 1929 Lab



  • 1915: Details of the kitchen set up for classes.

1915 to 1929 Photo


  • The ladies getting ready for another lesson.

1937 Food Lab



  • 1937 cooking class. 

Post WWII Photo


  • 1945 Post WWII: Baking Class. 

Post WWII Photo


  • A cooking class in the newly opened Macdonald Institute lab.

Photo taken in 1962 Food Prep and Tasting


  • 1962:  Classes in food preparation and tasting. 

Tony Marston and Students


  • 1975: Cooking with Professor Tony Marston.

Jo Marie Powers Teaching in the Food Lab



  • Making fondue in the lab with Professor Jo Marie Powers.

1990 Cooking in the Lab



  • 1998: Cooking in the lab with HTM*2700 instructor Professor Valerie Allen.

2006 HTM2700 Class



  • 2006: HTM*2700 Introductory Foods class photo.

Garden2Table 2011 with Chuck Hughes


  • 2011: Garden2Table elementary school event in the lab with Chef Chuck Hughes, Canadian chef, television personality, and restaurateur.
  • 2019:  Michel-Éric Fournelle, a 1992 University of Guelph graduate and long-time real estate developer and philanthropist provided a $1.33 million gift to transform the Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory into a state-of-the-art culinary classroom, broadcast studio and event space.

Lab Construction 2020


  • 2020 (September 3): Construction of the lab Anita Stewart Food Laboratory begins.
    • (October 29):  Our hearts are broken with the passing of Anita Stewart.
  • 2021: Partnership with Whirlpool Canada. Thank you for your generous donation!