University of Toronto

University of Toronto

Established in 1827, the University of Toronto is Canada’s largest university, recognized as a global leader in research and teaching. U of T’s distinguished faculty, institutional record of groundbreaking scholarship and wealth of innovative academic opportunities continually attract outstanding students and academics from around the world. U of T is committed to providing a learning experience that benefits from both a scale almost unparalleled in North America and from the close-knit learning communities made possible through its college system and academic divisions. Located in and around Toronto, one of the world’s most diverse regions, U of T’s vibrant academic life is defined by a unique degree of cultural diversity in its learning community. The University is sustained environmentally by three green campuses, where renowned heritage buildings stand beside award-winning innovations in architectural design.

The University of Toronto is a world-renowned university in a celebrated city where knowledge meets achievement, history meets future and ambition meets inspiration.

According to the Times Higher Education Supplement, 2008, the University of Toronto is one of only five universities worldwide ranked in the top 16 for all fields. The other four are UC Berkeley, Cambridge, Oxford and Stanford.

History and Traditions

The University of Toronto was founded as King’s College in 1827 and has evolved into a large and complex institution. It now occupies three campuses: Scarborough and Erindale and the historic St. George campus. It has federated with three smaller universities which are on the St. George campus, and is affiliated with several colleges and institutes. There are ten fully affiliated teaching hospitals in metropolitan Toronto. Faculty conduct research in many places in Canada and around the world.

The University is Canada’s most important research institution and has gained an international reputation for its research. It enrolls more students, employs more faculty, and offers a greater range of courses than any other Canadian university.

A liberal arts education is the heart of the undergraduate curriculum at Toronto, and the Faculty of Arts and Science has more students than any other faculty. The education of students for the professions has always been an important part of the University’s role, and the University accordingly maintains a wide range of professional faculties. The University’s insistence on the importance of research in all disciplines has made it the major centre for graduate education in Canada. In many fields it produces a majority of the nation’s doctoral candidates. The quality and range of the programs – undergraduate, graduate and professional – attract students from all parts of the province, from around the country and from abroad.

To support its work of teaching and research, the University has collected a library that is the largest in Canada and among the best in the world. The University maintains many laboratories and specialized aids to research. The Library and many of these research facilities are available for use by members of other universities. The University of Toronto Press Inc. is the chief institution of its kind in Canada and one of the most important scholarly publishers in North America.

U of T At A Glance

* FTE: Full-Time Equivalent

  • Students (2008-2009):
    • 55,352(46,940 FTEs) undergraduate degree-seeking students
    • 13,702 (12,499 FTEs) graduate degree-seeking students
    • 2,038 (902 FTEs) certificate, diploma and special students
    • 2,593 residents and post-graduate medical students
  • International students (2008-2009):
    • 5,182 undergraduate degree seeking students
    • 1,579 graduate degree seeking students
    • 326 certificate, diploma and special students
    • 779 residents and post-graduate medical students
  • Faculty (2008-2009):
    • 2,260 (2,185 FTEs) Professorial
    • 432 (378 FTEs) Teaching Stream
    • 1,079 (216 FTEs) Term-limited Sessional and Stipendiary
    • 3,913 (2,351 FTEs) Clinical
    • 2,707 (1,071 FTEs) Other
  • Staff: 9,845
  • Alumni: 475,717
  • Undergraduate programs: 600+
  • Graduate programs (including doctoral and master’s): 168
  • Professional programs: 42
  • Operating budget: $1.4 billion
  • Research grant and contract support: $844.5 million
  • Library: Over 18 million holdings and one of the top 5 research libraries in North America


  • St. George (downtown Toronto) campus: 52,296 students
  • University of Toronto Scarborough: 10,465 students including joint programs with Centennial College
  • University of Toronto Mississauga: 10,924 students including joint programs with Sheridan College
  • Institute for Aerospace Studies in north-west Toronto
  • Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill, King Township

Research Achievements

  • developed first electronic heart pacemaker, artificial larynx, single-lung transplant, nerve transplant and artificial pancreas
  • isolated gene that allows plants to grow in salt water
  • developed the chemical laser
  • developed the anti-blackout suit, later adapted to create the astronaut space suit
  • created the infant cereal Pablum

Economic Impact

  • 108 spin-off companies
  • 15th-largest employer in the Greater Toronto Area
  • U of T’s overall estimated economic impact on the GTA economy is $5.4 billion

Noted Faculty: Past and Present

  • Sir Frederick Banting and J.J.R. Macleod won the Nobel Prize in 1923 for their work with Charles Best in the discovery of the role of insulin in controlling diabetes
  • John C. Polanyi won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  • Political scientist Janice Gross Stein
  • Peter St. George-Hyslop led the team that discovered two genes responsible for early-onset Alzheimer’s
  • Medical biophysicist Lap-Chee Tsui led the team of researchers who discovered the cystic fibrosis gene
  • Geneticist Tak Mak, the first to clone a T-cell gene
  • Literary critic and author Northrop Frye
  • Author and dramatist Robertson Davies
  • Communications guru Marshall McLuhan
  • Engineering pioneer Ursula Franklin
  • Astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg.

Campus Life

Life on all three U of T campuses is rich and vibrant — each has their own unique set of resources, services and extra-curricular opportunities that help make the U of T experience about more than just academic excellence.

Learn how the amenities on the St. George , University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) campuses can help you make U of T your home away from home, or find out how to see what we have to offer in person.

Student Housing

Whether you’re a seasoned Torontonian or it’s your first time overseas, finding a place to live can be both a thrill and a challenge. U of T has many resources to help you feel at home, including information about on- & off-campus housing, emergency housing and adapting to life in Toronto.

Want to see and learn more about the University of Toronto? Take a Virtual Tour.

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