University of Toronto in Toronto
The University of Toronto (U of T, UToronto, or Toronto) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada. Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed the present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution. As a collegiate university, it comprises twelve colleges that differ in character and history, each retaining substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs.
Academically, the University of Toronto is noted for influential movements and curricula in literary criticism and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School. The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first practical electron microscope, the development of multi-touch technology, the identification of Cygnus X-1 as a black hole, and the theory of NP completeness. By a significant margin, it receives the most annual research funding of any Canadian university. It is one of two members of the Association of American Universities located outside the United States.
The Varsity Blues are the athletic teams that represent the university in intercollegiate league matches, with particularly long and storied ties to gridiron football and ice hockey. The university's Hart House is an early example of the North American student centre, simultaneously serving cultural, intellectual and recreational interests within its large Gothic-revival complex.
The University of Toronto is ranked first in Canada and 27th worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities; first in Canada and 17th worldwide in the Times Higher Education global ranking; second in Canada and 23rd globally in the QS World University Rankings; and first in Canada and third overall in Newsweek's ranking of top institutions outside of the United States. The university has educated two Governors General and four Prime Ministers of Canada, four foreign leaders, fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court, and has been affiliated with ten Nobel laureates.
The founding of a colonial college had long been the desire of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. The Upper Canada Executive Committee recommended in 1798 that a college be established in York, the colonial capital.
Under Strachan's guidance, 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. The university opened the Faculty of Law in 1887, and it was followed by the Faculty of Dentistry in 1888, when the Royal College of Dental Surgeons became an affiliate.
A devastating fire in 1890 gutted the interior of University College and devoured thirty-three thousand volumes from the library, but the university restored the building and replenished its library within two years. The David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill opened in 1935, followed by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1949. The centrepiece is the main building of University College, built in 1857 with an eclectic blend of Richardsonian Romanesque and Norman architectural elements. The dramatic effect of this blended design by architect Frederick William Cumberland drew praise from European visitors of the time: "Until I reached Toronto," remarked Lord Dufferin during his visit in 1872, "I confess I was not aware that so magnificent a specimen of architecture existed upon the American continent." The building was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1968. Built in 1907, Convocation Hall is recognizable for its domed roof and Ionic-pillared rotunda. Although its foremost function is hosting the annual convocation ceremonies, the building serves as a venue for academic and social events throughout the year. The sandstone buildings of Knox College epitomizes the North American collegiate Gothic design, with its characteristic cloisters surrounding a secluded courtyard. The adjacent Soldiers' Tower stands 143 ft tall as the most prominent structure in the vicinity, its stone arches etched with the names of university members lost to the battlefields of the two World Wars. The tower houses a 51-bell carillon that is played on special occasions such as Remembrance Day and convocation. The oldest surviving building on campus is the former Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory building, built in 1855. North of University College, the main building of Trinity College displays Jacobethan Tudor architecture, while its chapel was built in the Perpendicular Gothic style of Giles Gilbert Scott. The chapel features exterior walls of sandstone and interiors of Indiana limestone, and was constructed by Italian stonemasons using ancient building methods. Philosopher's Walk is a scenic footpath that follows a meandering, wooded ravine linking with Trinity College, Varsity Arena and the Faculty of Law. Victoria College is on the eastern side of Queen's Park, centred on a Romanesque main building made of contrasting red sandstone and grey limestone.
Developed after the Second World War, the western section of the campus consists mainly of modernist and internationalist structures that contain laboratories and faculty offices. The library is undergoing renovations to increase indoor space. The Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building, completed in 2006, exhibits a modern style of glass and steel by British architect Norman Foster.
Governance and colleges
The University of Toronto has traditionally been a decentralized institution, with governing authority shared among its central administration, academic faculties and colleges. The Governing Council is the unicameral legislative organ of the central administration, overseeing general academic, business and institutional affairs. Before 1971, the university was governed under a bicameral system composed of the board of governors and the university senate. The colleges hold substantial autonomy over admissions, scholarships, programs and other academic and financial affairs, in addition to the housing and social duties of typical residential colleges. In 1885, they entered a formal affiliation with the University of Toronto, and became federated schools in 1890. The idea of federation initially met strong opposition at Victoria University, a Methodist school in Cobourg, but a financial incentive in 1890 convinced the school to join. Decades after the death of John Strachan, the Anglican seminary University of Trinity College entered federation in 1904, followed in 1910 by the University of St. Michael's College, a Roman Catholic college founded by the Basilian Fathers. Among the institutions that had considered federation but ultimately remained independent were McMaster University, a Baptist school that later moved to Hamilton, Massey College was established in 1963 by the Massey Foundation as a college exclusively for graduate students. Regis College, a Jesuit seminary, entered federation with the university in 1979.
In contrast with the constituent colleges, the colleges of Knox, Massey, Regis, St. Michael's, Trinity, Victoria and Wycliffe continue to exist as legally distinct entities, each possessing a separate financial endowment. While St. Michael's, Trinity and Victoria continue to recognize their religious affiliations and heritage, they have since adopted secular policies of enrollment and teaching in non-divinity subjects. Described as "the theory of the primacy of communication in the structuring of human cultures and the structuring of the human mind", The collections include more than 10 million bound volumes, 5.4 million microfilms, 70,000 serial titles and 1 million maps, films, graphics and sound recordings. The largest of the libraries, Robarts Library, holds about five million bound volumes that form the main collection for humanities and social sciences. The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library constitutes one of the largest repositories of publicly accessible rare books and manuscripts. Its collections range from ancient Egyptian papyri to incunabula and libretti; the subjects of focus include British, European and Canadian literature, Aristotle, Darwin, the Spanish Civil War, the history of science and medicine, Canadiana and the history of books. Most of the remaining holdings are dispersed at departmental and faculty libraries, in addition to about 1.3 million bound volumes that are held by the colleges. It also includes glassware and stone reliefs from the Greco-Roman period, and the painting Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder, dated from 1538. while the University College Art Collection holds significant works by the Group of Seven and 19th century landscape artists. by academic subject, it ranks 21st in engineering and computer science, 27th in medicine, 34th in natural science and mathematics, 49th in life and agricultural sciences, and 48th in social science. and 14th in the High Impact Universities ranking. In 2010, the university received a grade of B for environmental sustainability from the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
The University of Toronto ranked as the nation's top medical-doctoral university in Maclean's magazine for twelve consecutive years between 1994 and 2005. Since 2009, it has joined 22 other national institutions in withholding data from the magazine, citing continued concerns regarding methodology. The university places second in the Maclean's ranking of 2009. The university has placed first among Canada's research universities in the annual ranking by Research Infosource since 2001. The federal government was the largest source of funding, with grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council amounting to about one-third of the research budget. About 8 percent of research funding came from corporations, mostly in the health care industry. The first successful single-lung transplant was performed at Toronto in 1981, followed by the first nerve transplant in 1988, and the first double-lung transplant in 1989. Researchers identified the maturation promoting factor that regulates cell division, and discovered the T-cell receptor which trigger responses of the immune system. The university is credited with isolating the genes that cause Fanconi anemia, cystic fibrosis and early-onset Alzheimer's disease, among numerous other diseases. Between 1914 and 1972, the university operated the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories, now part of the pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis. Among the research conducted at the laboratory was the development of gel electrophoresis.
The University of Toronto is the primary research presence that supports one of the world's largest concentrations of biotechnology firms. MaRS Discovery District is a research park that serves commercial enterprises and the university's technology transfer ventures. In 2008, the university disclosed 159 inventions and had 114 active start-up companies. Since intercollegiate seasons began in 1898, the Blues have won four Grey Cup, two Vanier Cup and 25 Yates Cup championships, including the inaugural championships for all three trophies. Blues hockey competed at the 1928 Winter Olympics and captured the gold medal for Canada. At the 1980 Winter Olympics, Blues coach Tom Watt served as co-coach of the Canadian hockey team in which six players were Varsity grads. In swimming, the men's team has claimed the national crown 16 times since 1964, while the women's team has claimed the crown 14 times since 1970. Established in 1897, the University of Toronto Rowing Club is the oldest collegiate rowing club in Canada.
Culture and student life
In the heart of social, cultural and recreational life at the University of Toronto lies Hart House, the sprawling neo-Gothic student activity centre that was conceived by alumnus-benefactor Vincent Massey and named for his grandfather Hart. Opened in 1919, the complex established a communitarian spirit in the university and its students, who at the time kept largely within their own colleges under the decentralized collegiate system. At Hart House, a student can read in the library, dine casually or formally, have a haircut, visit the art gallery, watch a play in the theatre, listen to a concert, observe or join in debates, play billiards, or go for a swim and find a place to study, all under the same roof and within the span of a day. The confluence of assorted functions is the result of a deliberate effort to create a holistic educational experience, a goal summarized in the Founders' Prayer. Smaller debating societies at Trinity, University and Victoria College have served as initial training grounds for debaters who later progress to Hart House. The theatre also hosts annual variety shows run by several student theatrical companies at the colleges and academic faculties, the most prominent of which are U.C. Follies of University College, Skule Nite of the Faculty of Engineering, and Daffydil of the Faculty of Medicine, the latter in its hundredth year of production in 2010-2011.
The main musical ensembles at Hart House are the orchestra, the chamber strings, the chorus, the jazz choir, the jazz ensemble and the symphonic band. The Jazz at Oscar's concert series performs big band and vocal jazz on Friday nights at the period lounge and bar of the Hart House Arbor Room. Open Stage is the monthly open mike event featuring singers, comics, poets and storytellers. The Sunday Concert is the oldest musical series at Hart House; since 1922 the series has performed more than 600 classical music concerts in the Great Hall, freely attended by the university community and general audiences. The public may also screen midday events held at noon, when concerts are recited prior to formal debut.
The Varsity is one of Canada's oldest student-run newspapers, in publication since 1880. After Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau decriminalized homosexuality in 1969, a medical research assistant placed an advertisement in The Varsity seeking volunteers to establish the first university homophile association in Canada.
Each college at the University of Toronto operates its own set of residence halls and dining halls clustered in a different area of the campus. Innis, New, St. Michael's, Trinity, University, Victoria, and Woodsworth colleges reserve most of their dormitories for their undergraduate students within the Faculty of Arts and Science, while setting a portion available to students from the professional and postgraduate faculties. Massey College is exclusively for graduate students, while Knox and Wycliffe Colleges mainly house graduate theology students. Annesley Hall of Victoria College, a National Historic Site, was the first university residence for women in Canada. After St. Hilda's College became coeducational in 2005, Annesley Hall and Loretto College of St. Michael's College are the last remaining women's halls at the university.
As campus residences accommodate just 6,400 students in all, the university guarantees housing only for undergraduates in their first year of study, while most upper-year and graduate students reside off-campus.<ref name="factsandfigures"/> Traditionally, the adjacent neighbourhoods of The Annex and Harbord Village are popular settling grounds for University of Toronto students, forming a distinct student quarter enclave. In 2004, the university purchased and converted a nearby hotel into the Chestnut Residence, which houses students from all colleges and faculties. There are also numerous fraternity houses and student housing cooperatives, where boarders pay reduced rent for assuming housekeeping duties.
In addition to Havelock, Innis, Frye, Carpenter and McLuhan, former professors of the past century include Frederick Banting, Harold Scott MacDonald Coxeter, Robertson Davies, John Charles Fields, Leopold Infeld and C. B. Macpherson. Ten Nobel laureates studied or taught at the University of Toronto. As of 2006, University of Toronto academics accounted for 15 of 23 Canadian members in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (65%) and 20 of 72 Canadian fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (28%).<ref name="researchReport2006"/> Among honorees from Canada between 1980 and 2006, University of Toronto faculty made up 11 of 21 Gairdner Foundation International Award recipients (52%), 44 of 101 Guggenheim Fellows (44%), 16 of 38 Royal Society fellows (42%), 10 of 28 members in the United States National Academies (36%) and 23 of 77 Sloan Research Fellows (30%).<ref name="researchReport2006"/>
Alumni of the University of Toronto's colleges, faculties and professional schools have assumed notable roles in a wide range of fields and specialties. In government, Governors General Vincent Massey and Adrienne Clarkson, Prime Ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King, Arthur Meighen, Lester B. Pearson and Paul Martin, and 14 Justices of the Supreme Court have all graduated from the university, while world leaders include President of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Premier of the Republic of China Liu Chao-shiuan and President of Trinidad and Tobago Noor Hassanali. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith, political scientist David Easton, historian Margaret MacMillan, philosophers David Gauthier and Ted Honderich, anthropologist Davidson Black, sociologist Erving Goffman, psychologists Endel Tulving and Daniel Schacter, physicians Norman Bethune and Charles Best, geologists Joseph Tyrrell and John Tuzo Wilson, mathematicians Irving Kaplansky and William Kahan, physicists Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Bertram Brockhouse, architect James W. Strutt, engineer Gerald Bull, computer scientists Alfred Aho and Brian Kernighan, astronauts Roberta Bondar and Julie Payette are also some of the most well-known academic figures from the university.
In business, University of Toronto alumni include Rogers Communications' Ted Rogers, Toronto-Dominion Bank's W. Edmund Clark, Bank of Montreal's Bill Downe, Scotiabank's Peter Godsoe, Barrick Gold's Peter Munk, Research In Motion's Jim Balsillie, eBay's Jeffrey Skoll and Fiat S.p.A.'s Sergio Marchionne. In literature and media, the university has produced writers Stephen Leacock, John McCrae, Rohinton Mistry, Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje, film directors Arthur Hiller, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan, actor Donald Sutherland, screenwriter David Shore, musician Paul Shaffer, television producer Lorne Michaels, journalists Malcolm Gladwell, Naomi Klein and Barbara Amiel.
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- Ford, Ann Rochon. (1985). A Path Not Strewn with Roses. University of Toronto Press. .
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- Levi, Charles Morden. (2003). Comings and Goings. McGill-Queen's University Press. .
- McKillop, A. Brian. (1994). Matters of Mind. University of Toronto Press. .
- Slater, John G. (2005). Minerva's Aviary: Philosophy at Toronto. University of Toronto Press. .
- Wallace, W. Stewart. A History of the University of Toronto, 1827-1927. University of Toronto Press, 1927.