St. George Campus, 172 St. George Street
Granted a Royal Charter in 1827
Canada’s Largest and Oldest University,
Ranked 16th in the world
10 Nobel Laureates were based at U of T inc luding Dr. Frederick Banting who along with Charles Best discovered insulin and overnight gave those with diabetes hope.
University without borders
Everyone somewhat has a connection to the University of
Toronto, perhaps you are a student, or someone you know has
attended the university, a family member, friend or neighbour.
When you are walking downtown in the area of College Street,
Spadina Avenue, Bloor Street and Bay Street, part of Toronto’s
colourful and active street life, you might also find yourself
in the middle of University of Toronto’s St. George Campus.
40,000 students study, learn, and build future careers.
With its other two campuses (Scarborough and Mississauga), U
of T is home to about 63,000 students. The student population
is made up of individuals from over 150 countries!
A Lesson in Architecture
The buildings were erected at different times over the university’s
history. University College and St. Michael’s College are the
oldest buildings on campus, many new buildings also went up
in the 1960s as well as in recent years. Taking in the various
structures is a course in itself. The building styles include:
- University College, a mixture of Norman and Romanesque
and on Canada’s list of National Historic Sites.
- Gothic-style Soldiers’ Tower that houses a 51-bell carillon
that is rung for special occasions.
- Classical Greek, Convocation Hall with its round dome
roof and ionic pillar
- Trinity College, Jacobethan Tudor architecture
- One of several student centres, Hart House, a wonderful
example of Gothic Revival with an expansive Great Hall
lined with magnificent stained glass windows. Just wander
in one day and channel “Harry Potter!”
- “Collegiate” Gothic design, Knox College, a reminder of
the architecture of US ivy-league schools like Yale and
- Richardsonian Romanesque (late Victorian era) style of
- Modern Brutalist, Robarts Library
- Ultra modern Leslie Dan Pharmacy Building with it’s
“Star Trek” feel
The Leading Edge of Everything
The University of Toronto has long been recognized not only as
one of the top universities in the world, but also as a university
that encourages diversity and innovation. It was founded in
1827 as King’s College and granted its royal charter by King
George IV. Initially controlled by the Church of England, the
university deliberately broke away from its church roots in
early 1850s and declared itself non-denominational.
By 1884, the first women were admitted, a true victory for the
time, and in 1974, U of T offered the first gay studies class to be
taught at a Canadian university, which quickly became the subject
of a huge public controversy. Today, the university welcomes over
11,000 foreign students as part of its student complement.
Famous Alumnae and Accomplishments
The history of the university follows the history of many
of our country’s accomplishments. One of the most
important scientific breakthroughs in the world took
place in a U of T lab. A young doctor, Frederick Banting,
received permission from Professor John Macleod at the
university to conduct experiments in pancreas research.
Banting enlisted the help of medical student Charles
Best, resulting in the discovery of insulin in 1921 which
changed the face of medicine forever.
Before insulin, those with severe diabetes had days left to
live. Once they could be given insulin, they could live an
almost normal life. Banting and Macleod were awarded
the Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine in 1923.
8 other Nobel Laureates were based at the U of T. Other
notable graduates who’ve made a mark on Canadian art,
culture, music and science and political life included
Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan, writers Margaret
Atwood, Farley Mowat, Michael Ondaatje, film directors
Atom Egoyan, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg,
actors Donald Sutherland, Raymond Massey, and
astronaut Roberta Bondar.
Name that Movie
Just wander through the St. George campus and you’ll
have no doubt as to why the U of T has been a favourite
for Hollywood when it wants to depict an historical
educational institution. Among the many movies
shot, are the Incredible Hulk, Mean Girls, Good Will
Hunting, Capote, Chicago, Cocktail, Scott Pilgrim vs.
the World, Paper Chase, Total Recall.