Time Capsule: 1970

With its limestone clock tower and the spacious green out front, Johnston Hall has been a consistent symbol of the University of Guelph since its opening in 1932 – at least on the outside.

But inside, its corridors, rooms and spaces have changed and been rearranged over the years. The basement once housed a bar, a tuck shop and even a barbershop. Tenants have included U of G administrators, government broadcasters, war service officials and – then and now — students.  

Constructed after the original Johnston Hall was demolished in 1928, the building has always doubled as a student residence. It also provided numerous student gathering spaces, such as the one in this photo. 

We believe the photo was taken in a common area on the third floor of the centre portion of the building (note the spiral staircase that would have led to the fourth floor). The plaid carpeting hints at the 1970s, but we are not sure. 

Can you date the photo? Do you see yourself in the shot? Recognize anyone? Bonus points if you can recall what this gathering was about or you can name the mystery bearded speaker. Send us a note and let us know! 


  • The University approves plans to develop the U of G Arboretum 
  • An exhibit of sculptures and drawings by the renowned French artist Auguste Rodin comes to campus   
  • An observatory opens atop the then-Physical Sciences building for teaching, research and star-gazing 
  • The Dairy Cattle Research Centre opens in Elora 
  • U of G gets its own radio station, Radio Gryphon 
  • Campus discusses whether educational TV has a place in the classroom 


  • Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invokes the only peacetime use of the War Measures Act  
  • The Beatles call it quits 
  • Canada amends its Criminal Code to outlaw hate propaganda 
  • Four unarmed Kent State University students protesting the Vietnam War are shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard 
  • Thousands of Canadian lakes are declared devoid of life due to acid rain
  • The world watches as NASA works to return the crew of the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft to Earth 

Do you have a memory to share from your time at U of G? Email a high-resolution photo to porticomagazine@uoguelph.ca and it could appear in Time Capsule.