- University of Toronto
University of Toronto
Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. We are proud to be one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, driven to invent and innovate.
U of T’s globally-recognized network of faculty members, alumni and partners creates a unique educational experience for undergraduate and graduate students. With one of the strongest teaching faculties across all disciplines – spanning medicine to business, urban studies to engineering, humanities to education, and more – our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with professors who are some of today’s thought leaders.
The ideas and inventions that are created here make their way into the global economy in many ways, through start-ups, small businesses, commercialization and partnerships. You can see U of T members engaged in community projects, our faculty experts in the news, and over 500,000 graduates spread across 140 countries.
The University of Toronto is dedicated to fostering an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish, with vigilant protection for individual human rights, and a resolute commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, equity and justice.
Within the unique university context, the most crucial of all human rights are the rights of freedom of speech, academic freedom, and freedom of research. And we affirm that these rights are meaningless unless they entail the right to raise deeply disturbing questions and provocative challenges to the cherishedbeliefs of society at large and of the university itself.
It is this human right to radical, critical teaching and research with which the University has a duty above all to be concerned; for there is no one else, no other institution and no other office, in our modern liberal democracy, which is the custodian of this most precious and vulnerable right of the liberated human spirit.
The University of Toronto is determined to build on its past achievements and so enhance its research and teaching. The University anticipates that it will remain a large university. It will continue to exploit the advantages of size by encouraging scholarship in a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, sciences and the professions. It will continue to value its inheritance of colleges and federated universities that give many students an institutional home within the large University. It will strive to make its campuses attractive settings for scholarly activity.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- Faculty of Arts and Science
- Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
- Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design
- Faculty of Music
- Faculty of Forestry
- Faculty of Information
- Faculty of Medicine
- Faculty of Nursing
- Faculty of Pharmacy
- Faculty of Dentistry
- Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education
- Dalla Lana School of Public Health
- Faculty of Law
- Rotman School of Management
- School of Public Policy and Governance
- Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
- Faculty of Social Work
- Toronto School of Theology
The founding of a colonial college had long been the desire of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.As an Oxford-educated military commander who had fought in the American Revolutionary War, Simcoe believed a college was needed to counter the spread of republicanism from the United States. The Upper Canada Executive Committee recommended in 1798 that a college be established in York, the colonial capital.
On March 15, 1827, a royal charter was formally issued by King George IV, proclaiming “from this time one College, with the style and privileges of a University … for the education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and for their instruction in the various branches of Science and Literature … to continue for ever, to be called King’s College.” The granting of the charter was largely the result of intense lobbying by John Strachan, the influential Anglican Bishop of Toronto who took office as the first president of the college. The original three-storey Greek Revival school building was constructed on the present site of Queen’s Park.
Under Strachan’s stewardship, King’s College was a religious institution that closely aligned with the Church of England and the British colonial elite, known as the Family Compact. Reformist politicians opposed the clergy’s control over colonial institutions and fought to have the college secularized. In 1849, after a lengthy and heated debate, the newly elected responsible government of Upper Canada voted to rename King’s College as the University of Toronto and severed the school’s ties with the church. Having anticipated this decision, the enraged Strachan had resigned a year earlier to open Trinity College as a private Anglican seminary. University College was created as the nondenominational teaching branch of the University of Toronto. During the American Civil War, the threat of Union blockade on British North America prompted the creation of the University Rifle Corps, which saw battle in resisting the Fenian raids on the Niagara border in 1866.
Established in 1878, the School of Practical Science was precursor to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, which has been nicknamed Skule since its earliest days. While the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1843, medical teaching was conducted by proprietary schools from 1853 until 1887, when the faculty absorbed the Toronto School of Medicine. Meanwhile, the university continued to set examinations and confer medical degrees during that period. The university opened the Faculty of Law in 1887, and it was followed by theFaculty of Dentistry in 1888, when the Royal College of Dental Surgeons became an affiliate. Women were admitted to the university for the first time in 1884.
A devastating fire in 1890 gutted the interior of University College and destroyed thirty-three thousand volumes from the library, but the university restored the building and replenished its library within two years. Over the next two decades, a collegiate system gradually took shape as the university arranged federation with several ecclesiastical colleges, including Strachan’s Trinity College in 1904. The university operated the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1896 to 1991 and the Royal Ontario Museum from 1912 to 1968; both still retain close ties with the university as independent institutions. The University of Toronto Press was founded in 1901 as the first academic publishing house in Canada. The Faculty of Forestry, founded in 1907 with Bernhard Fernow as dean, was the first university faculty devoted to forest science in Canada. In 1910, the Faculty of Education opened its laboratory school, the University of Toronto Schools.
The First and Second World Wars curtailed some university activities as undergraduate and graduate men eagerly enlisted. Intercollegiate athletic competitions and the Hart House Debates were suspended, although exhibition and interfaculty games were still held. The David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill opened in 1935, followed by theUniversity of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1949. The university opened satellite campuses in Scarborough in 1964 and in Mississauga in 1967. The university’s former affiliated schools at the Ontario Agricultural College and Glendon Hall became fully independent of the University of Toronto and became part of University of Guelph in 1964 and York University in 1965, respectively. Beginning in the 1980s, reductions in government funding prompted more rigorous fundraising efforts. The University of Toronto was the first Canadian university to amass a financial endowment greater than C$1 billion.
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