Ontario College of Art & Design

Ontario College of Art & Design

The Ontario College of Art & Design has more depth and breadth in visual arts and design programs than any school of its kind in Canada. OCAD offers its students a unique environment that combines studio-based learning with critical inquiry. Programs lead to a BFA or BDes and, as of 2008/2009, an MA, MFA or MDes.

At OCAD, we educate imaginations. We consider the future. We also honour our history, recognizing the more than a century of achievement that distinguishes our alumni. Joining the remarkable artists and designers we’ve graduated are established cultural leaders, educators, innovators, creative thinkers and strategists.

OCAD students experience a range of research contexts and methodologies via the university’s significant research arm. Now, they also have the opportunity to experience graduate programs.

OCAD is located in the heart of Toronto, Canada’s largest centre for design, culture and business. This vibrant nexus brings together a diversity of creative forces. And where great minds meet, magic happens.

The Digital Futures Initiative is one such meeting. Breakthrough partnerships like this one represent the emerging imagination economy, and open the door to greater innovation, collaboration and research at OCAD and beyond. They unleash a wave of talent whose imaginings will revolutionize how Canada works, builds, designs, thinks and lives.

With the Age of Imagination upon us, creativity and innovation are transforming cultures and economies worldwide. Now more than ever before, we speak the language. We are the currency. Members of the OCAD community – our students, faculty and graduates – are uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.


Leading Canadian and international artists, designers and scholars, OCAD professors represent Canada’s largest art and design faculty. Diverse, vibrant and provocative, these are working professionals who love to teach – and academics who pursue research that extends the boundaries of what we know.

Many members of the OCAD faculty have achieved national recognition with honours such as the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts and membership in the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. A number have also achieved worldwide recognition through their participation in major international events and exhibitions and their publication in international awards annuals.

Campus Life

OCAD’s Orientation welcomes new and first-year students at the beginning of September. For a few exciting days, the main campus building and Butterfield Park become a hub of activity with fun and engaging events, greetings from President Sara Diamond and the administration, the annual Aboveground Art Materials Fair, information sessions,  tours, locker assignment and the issuing of OCAD Student identification cards. OCAD Student Union (OCADSU), Peer Mentors from the Student Mentor Program, and enthusiastic volunteer student Orientation Leaders are on hand to meet new students and help orient them to their new life at OCAD.

If you’re interested in getting involved with the campus community, there are many different ways to do so. There are numerous opportunities to sit on university committees and participate in shaping our educational community. The OCAD Student Union (OCADSU) has paid, elected and volunteer positions, as does XPACE, the student-run gallery. Campus Life & Career Services seeks volunteers for the Mentor Program in the spring of each year and also keeps a database of students who want to volunteer on campus for other events.

An important part of campus life is getting involved in student groups and interactingwith other students who share similar interests. Student groups at OCAD create an atmosphere of diversity, excitement and support. It’s worth noting that students who are involved in groups and other activities on campus often do better academically, since they have more balanced lives and good time-management skills. Find out more about Student Groups at OCAD.


OCAD students who wish to be physically active, work out, or keep fit, can take advantage of affordable student memberships at a variety of recreation and fitness centres within two kilometres of campus.

The Health & Wellness Centre, located in the Student Centre, Level 2, 51 McCaul Street, is your on-campus health centre. Please feel welcome to see members of our clinical team to discuss your health and well-being questions or concerns. Health service is confidential and respectful of your needs.

Ride your bike to school. OCAD is a bicycle-friendly campus! There are many bike racks around campus: a series on both sides of the main entrance at 100 McCaul Street as well as city posts on both sides of the street.

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