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Stepping Into the Next Chapter at Old Vic

Jun. 12, 2024
Stairs lined with decals resembling book covers in the Old Vic building.

The west entrance staircase of Old Vic, now adorned with book spine decals, is the latest photo hotspot at Vic. (Photos by Minh Truong)

The newest stop on #VicsBeautifulCampus is the west entrance staircase of Old Vic. The stairs have received a makeover just in time for convocation photo ops. 
Students often stop on the stairs to take photos after donning their graduation gowns in Victoria Chapel and waiting to get into the Isabel Bader Theatre. But this iconic stairwell wasn't always a very attractive backdrop. 
Victoria University President Rhonda McEwen suggested a little home improvement in the form of decals for the stair risers—each one the spine of a book representing one of the eight academic streams in the Vic One program. McEwen sponsored a contest for students to nominate books that honoured their stream or celebrated Vic’s rich literary history. Professors from each stream made the final selection and content officer Minh Truong of the university's Communications Department designed the decals. 
“My goal was to illustrate the content of each book in the simplest way possible, making them all stand out,” Truong said. “I took a lot of inspiration from the memorable covers of the books, including the mounds of earth on the cover of [former Bank of Canada Gov.] Mark Carney's book, Value(s): Building a Better World for All,” the windmill from Don Quixote and the colour scheme of Margaret Atwood’s The Tent.” 

Stairs in Old Vic building with book spine decals.

The books represented on the stairs, their authors and their streams:   

  • Value(s): Building a Better World for All, Mark Carney (Chambers stream) 
  • Right to Education Handbook, UNESCO (Education stream) 
  • Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes (Northrop Frye stream) 
  • Paul and Religion: Unfinished Conversations, Victoria University President Emeritus Paul W. Gooch (Gooch stream) 
  • The Tent, Vic alum Margaret Atwood (Norman Jewison stream) 
  • The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir, Samantha Power (Lester B. Pearson stream) 
  • Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science, Vic Assistant Professor Hakob Barseghyan, Nicholas Overgaard and Gregory Rupik of St. Michael’s College (Schawlow stream) 
  • The Everyday Practice of Science, Frederick Grinnell (Stowe-Gullen stream) 

Swing by and snap a pic with these new book spine decals today! Just be sure to tag us and use #VicGrad2024 #UofTGrad24 in all your posts!

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