The University of Toronto (U of T), in Toronto, Ontario, is the largest university in Canada with more than 60,000 students across three campuses.
The University was established on March 15, 1827, when King's College at York (Toronto) was granted its Royal Charter. King's College became the University of Toronto in 1849.
Several other universities joined the University of Toronto, becoming "federated" with it. The federated universities are St. Michael's, Victoria, and Trinity. University College is the name of the original portion of the University of Toronto from before federation. The other colleges were created later, to accommodate the school's growing size.
The University has borne witness to much activism over the years. The 1960s saw the creation of Rochdale College, a large high-rise residence where many students and staff lived, though it was "officially" not connected to the university. Rochdale was established as an alternative to what had been seen as the traditional, authoritarian, and paternalistic structures within universities.
In the fall of 1969, after Pierre Trudeau decriminalized homosexuality, the first gay and lesbian group in Toronto or on any Canadian campus — the University of Toronto Homophile Association — was formed. Jearld Moldenhauer, a research assistant at the Faculty of Medicine, placed an advertisement in The Varsity, asking others to join in setting up an organization. While the first meeting drew a meager 16 people — 15 men and one woman — the group quickly established a significant profile within the community and the city at large. Two decades later, David Rayside, a professor of political science, would organize the Committee on Homophobia. Ten years after that, he would help introduce a sexual diversity studies program at University College, to much success.
The University comprises three campuses, four constituent colleges, four federated colleges, and three federated universities (federated colleges and universities were incorporated into the University; constituent colleges were created by the University). U of T's four federated colleges are seminaries which are associated with the Toronto School of Theology.
Every arts and science student at U of T is a member of one of its seven "colleges" (the federated universities and constituent colleges), which acts, ideally, as a smaller-scale intellectual and social community for its members. In practice, however, they are simply residential and administrative in nature. While U of T's college system is based on the one in use at Oxford and Cambridge, U of T's colleges are not as autonomous, nor do they bear as much of an instructional responsibility to their students. However, some first-year seminars and academic programs are offered by some colleges.
The University of Toronto is widely acknowledged to be one of Canada's top schools. It attracts many of the best students from Ontario and the rest of Canada, and has a growing number of international students. U of T's endowment exceeds $1.5 billion, larger than that of any other Canadian university. U of T has also ranked first in the Maclean's rankings of Canadian medical-doctoral universities ten years in a row (as of 2004). Its student selectivity is generally thought to be between medium to high (though not exclusive, except in certain programs like law, medicine and dentistry). Selectivity varies from year to year and usually depends on the particular program and number of spaces available. But generally, the sheer size of the university means it has the capacity to enroll a huge number of students, thereby providing opportunities for many Ontario and Canadian students to pursue higher education.
Despite the prevalence of a wide variety of student interest groups and related organizations (likely more than in any other Canadian university), U of T suffers from the same impersonal atmosphere that plagues other large universities. Most students live off-campus, and for many the U of T experience is limited solely to attending classes. This has resulted in a general lack of school spirit and the disconnection many of its students feel from the school and other students. This lack of community has been detrimental to the solicitation of financial support from alumni. The school's rich and varied culture is available to those students who seek it out, however.
The university is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the Toronto Varsity Blues.
The St. George (downtown) campus has a rich architectural history, making it a popular attraction for visitors to the city, as well as a common location for shooting movies. It is bounded by Spadina Avenue to the west, Bloor Street to the north, Queen's Park Crescent to the east, and College Street to the south. Some U of T buildings, namely Victoria College and St. Michael's College, are located east of Queen's Park Crescent. The campus is well-served by public transportation (TTC), namely by the Spadina, St. George, and Queen's Park subway stations.
Thirty kilometres (18 miles) west of the St. George campus is the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM) or Erindale College in suburban Mississauga. Set on the banks of the Credit River, UTM's 224 acre (0.9 km²) campus is decidedly modern. It is off Mississauga Road between Dundas Street and Burnhamthorpe Road in the Erindale area. A shuttle bus connects the UTM and St. George campuses.
At the other end of the Greater Toronto Area is the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC) or Scarborough College, approximately 30 kilometres east of the downtown campus. The 300 acre (1.2 km²) campus is on Highland Creek in the Scarborough area of eastern Toronto.
Complete list of colleges and divisions
Professional and graduate faculties
Colleges and faculties comprising the Toronto School of Theology
Other academic units
Former affiliated colleges
Senior Officers of the University of Toronto
List of Chancellors
List of presidents
Noted graduates and faculty
- Margaret Atwood, author, Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.)
- Frederick Banting, scientist and physician, isolated insulin, Nobel laureate
- Charles Best, scientist, isolated insulin, Nobel laureate
- Allan Bloom, Plato scholar
- Christian Bök, poet
- Roberta Bondar, Canada's first female astronaut
- Ed Broadbent, leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada, 1975-1989
- Gerald Bull, artillery expert assassinated by Mossad
- Morley Callaghan, author
- Adrienne Clarkson, Governor-General of Canada
- Stephen Cook, computer scientist
- Robertson Davies, C.C., author
- Wilbur R. Franks, developed the G-suit
- Northrop Frye, C.C., scholar
- John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.)
- Frank Gehry, architect
- Gordon Graydon, interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1943 to 1945
- Geoffrey Hinton, computer scientist
- Michael Ignatieff, author
- Norman Jewison, C.C., director
- Dr. Arlette Lefebvre, child psycholigst at Sick Kids and founder of Ability Online.
- William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada 1921-1930 and 1935-1948
- Mark Kingwell, philosopher
- Jack Layton, NDP leader 2003 to present.
- Stephen Leacock, humour writer
- Daniel Libeskind, architect
- Elsie MacGill, first female aircraft designer, Member of the Order of Canada (C.M.)
- John McCrae, doctor and poet, authored In Flanders Fields
- John James Richard Macleod, physician, isolated insulin, Nobel laureate
- Marshall McLuhan, communications theorist
- Steve Mann, computer engineer and cyborg
- Paul Martin Jr., Prime Minister of Canada (2003 - present)
- Vincent Massey, First Canadian born Governor General, philanthropist
- Arthur Meighen, Prime Minister of Canada 1920-1921, 1926
- Rohinton Mistry, author
- Michael Ondaatje, O.C., author
- Lester B. Pearson, Prime Minister of Canada 1963-1968
- John Polanyi, chemist, Nobel laureate
- Bob Rae, NDP Premier of Ontario 1990-1995
- Frank Shuster, comedian
- Jeffrey Simpson, O.C., journalist and author
- Donald Sutherland, actor
- Lewis Urry, inventor of the alkaline battery
- Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia 1999-present
- Johnny Wayne, comedian