Accessible main/south entrance; no auto door


Elevator access to all floors; to left and around corner from accessible entrance


Marked single, accessible unisex washroom on second floor, across from the main office


P5 off Trent Lane, P8 off South Ring Road

Charles A. Zavitz (1863-1942) was an accomplished researcher and during his years with the Ontario Agricultural College he implemented innovative selective breeding techniques, small experimental plots and meticulous measurements and testing. He was responsible for increasing alfalfa production and pioneered the culture of soybeans in Ontario. Zavitz was best known for the development of cereal crops, particularly OAC 21 barley. This variety was used extensively for over 30 years and provided the basis for all subsequent varieties and became the standard malting barley used in breweries.

Zavitz Hall, built in 1914 for Field Husbandry, is now home to the School of Fine Art and Music.

Charles A. Zavitz

Charles A. Zavitz 1863-1942

President, Ontario Agricultural College and Experimental Farm, 1904-1920
Assistant Chemist and Assistant Superintendent of Experiments, 1898-1904
Head, Field Husbandry Department, 1904-1927

Charles Zavitz was born in Coldstream, Ontario, in 1863. He graduated from the two-year program at the Ontario Agricultural College in 1886 and was appointed assistant chemist. When the three-year degree program was introduced, Zavitz enrolled and was one of the first five students to receive a BSA, conferred by the University of Toronto in 1888.

At that time, he was also appointed assistant superintendent of experiments. Within five years, Zavitz was solely responsible for experiments, and he was named head of the new Department of Field Husbandry in 1904.

Using a variety of seeds from around the world, Zavitz implemented innovative selective breeding techniques, small experimental plots, and meticulous measurements and testing. He increased Ontario’s crop yields exponentially by using the Ontario Agricultural and Experimental Union to distribute his experimental materials throughout the province.

Zavitz increased alfalfa production, experimented with potatoes, and pioneered the use of soybeans. He is best remembered, however, for his development of cereal crops, particularly OAC21 barley. The leading variety of barley for over 30 years, OAC21 provided the basis for almost all subsequent varieties and became the standard malting barley in the brewing industry.

The University of Toronto awarded Zavitz an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1916 to honour him as a scientist, teacher and a man of peace. In 1935, the University of Western Ontario awarded a Doctor of Laws degree. He was inducted posthumously into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1974 and received a Doctor of Science from the University of Guelph in 1999 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Ontario Agricultural College.

The plaque is located between the front doors and administrative offices on the main floor.

For more information about the Historical Walking Tour, please contact:

Alumni Affairs & Development
(519) 824-4120 ext. 56934