Gwendolyn Grant

Fonds number:
Title: Gwendolyn Grant
Dates of Material:
17 cm of textual records
4 photographs: col.
3 photographs: b&w
Biographical sketch

Gwendolyn Margaret Grant (nee Irwin) was born in Toronto on May 14 1920, the daughter of John S. Irwin and Ethel Brookbank. After attending St. Clement’s School and Trinity College, she went on to receive a B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1941. During World War II she worked for the Farm Radio Forum outside Montreal, and then in Ottawa for the Wartime Prices and Trade Board. In June 1944 she married the United Church minister John Webster Grant; and in 1946 she earned an M.A. from Dalhousie University.

Gwen accompanied her husband at Oxford from 1946 to 1949, and then in British Columbia, where he taught at Union College to 1959. During her time in Vancouver she directed student theatre and originated a weekly words and music radio program. When John Webster Grant was on sabbatical leave in India, 1957–1958, she wrote descriptive letters used by CBC Radio, and subsequently wrote a study book on south Asia for the Woman’s Missionary Society of the United Church.

In 1959 Gwen and John Webster Grant moved to Toronto, and Gwen spent an increased amount of time writing poetry. At one point she read two poems on a local radio station. In later years her poetry was influenced by Asian culture and religion; she visited a brother who was teaching in Linfen, China.

Gwendolyn Grant died on September 1 2002.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of poem collections, 1987–2002, notes and other writings, and printed material, 1952–2002, and photographs of Gwen Grant and others

Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of the fonds.


The fonds is stored in 1 box.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from John Webster Grant in 2005

Access restrictions

There are no restrictions on access

Finding aids

Box/file list available


No further accruals are expected

Access points

Provenance access points:
Grant, Gwendolyn Margaret, 1920–2002

Related special collections at Victoria University Library

See also: John Webster Grant Fonds 14
See also: Earle Toppings Fonds 63