Remember 1925? College Royal does.

It’s been a century since the largest university open house event of its kind in North America started. Now, the University of Guelph’s College Royal opens its doors to the public for the 100th year in a row this March 16 and 17

Attracting more than 20,000 visitors annually, this campus-wide event’s rich and ever-growing list of traditions continues in full force, from square dancing to animal shows, tug of wars, food competitions and more. 

The Open House weekend welcomes all ages. 

“We are beyond excited to celebrate College Royal’s centennial anniversary this year,” says Lexi Johnston, College Royal president. “It’s an event that has roots that run deep in agriculture but has diversified into a truly campus-wide and community tradition. We ensure to respect our traditions and continue to bring positive changes and new events to College Royal.”

College Royal event poster, promotional text reads "A Century of College Royalty, 100 years, March 16 & 17, Open House Weekend." Cartoon animals dressed in purple celebrate on field.
A century of college royalty drives this year’s theme.

What to expect on the March 16 weekend? Let’s see:

  • The famous livestock shows, where students have prepped to showcase horses, dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep.
  • Plenty of family-friendly learning at Old MacDonald’s New Farm, where guests can get up-close-and-personal time with live animals—including the inside of a cow’s stomach.
  • A new plant-based ice cream, mango and green tea flavoured, developed by undergraduate students in collaboration with the Guelph Food Innovation Centre
  • A pancake flip competition on March 17, in which breakfast-goers serve as taste testers and judges.  
  • Art shows, dog shows, cat shows, outdoor games, chemistry magic performances, club displays and exhibits. 

100 years of College Royal 

To commemorate the centennial anniversary, the College Royal team will unveil a new painted mural in the University Centre. 

The artist, Shelby Bohn, is a postdoctoral researcher and local artist who graduated with a PhD from the College of Biological Science. She’ll start the painting during the Open House weekend, revealing the design on an easel during the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. on March 16.  

A history book will also be available to purchase, detailing how College Royal started and its ongoing legacy. As an agricultural show begun by the Ontario Agricultural College, College Royal has since grown to involve all colleges.

For U of G students, staff and alumni, College Royal offers programming from March 6 to 17. U of G and other community members are invited to dance through the ages at the College Royal Ball on March 9 in the University Centre and to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment. Tickets for the ball are available to purchase now. 

See you at the 100th celebration.


College Royal Society Office

A group of contestants in the College Royal Square Dance competition pose for a group photo.
College Royal’s square dancing competition, 2022
Three students pose with brown cow, holding trophies and wearing celebratory badges and banners.
College Royal livestock show winners, 2023