The University of Toronto (UToronto or U of T) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located 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 its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution. As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history. The St. George campus is the main campus of the University of Toronto tri-campus system, the other two being satellite campuses located in Scarborough and Mississauga.
The University of Toronto offers over 700 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs. In all major rankings, the university consistently ranks in the top ten public universities in the world and as the top university in the country. It receives the most annual scientific research funding and endowment of any Canadian university and is one of two members of the Association of American Universities outside the United States, the other being McGill University in Montreal.
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, the first artificial cardiac pacemaker, and the site of the first successful lung transplant and nerve transplant. The university was also home to the first electron microscope, the development of deep learning, neural network, multi-touch technology, the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.
The Varsity Blues are the athletic teams that represent the university in intercollegiate league matches, primarily within U Sports, with ties to gridiron football, rowing and ice hockey. The earliest recorded instance of gridiron football occurred at University of Toronto’s University College in November 1861. 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 alumni include three Governors General of Canada, five Prime Ministers of Canada, nine foreign leaders, and seventeen justices of the Supreme Court of Canada. As of March 2019, twelve Nobel laureates, six Turing Award winners, 94 Rhodes Scholars, and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the university.
In the 2021 Academic Ranking of World Universities (also known as the Shanghai Ranking), the university ranked 22nd in the world and first in Canada. The 2023 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 34th in the world, and second in Canada. In 2019, it ranked 11th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. The 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked the university 18th in the world, and first in Canada. In the Times’ 2020 reputational ranking, the publication placed the university 19th in the world. In the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking, the university ranked 16th in the world, and first in Canada. The Canadian-based Maclean’s magazine ranked the University of Toronto second in their 2022 Canadian Medical Doctoral university category. Maclean’s 2021 university rankings also ranked the University of Toronto first in its reputation rankings, the sixth consecutive time the university placed there. The university was ranked in spite of having opted out — along with several other universities in Canada — of participating in Maclean’s graduate survey since 2006.
The university’s research performance has been noted in several bibliometric university rankings, which use citation analysis to evaluate the impact a university has on academic publications. In 2019, the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities ranked the university fourth in the world, and first in Canada. The University Ranking by Academic Performance 2019–2020 rankings placed the university second in the world, and first in Canada.
Along with academic and research-based rankings, the university has also been ranked by publications that evaluate the employment prospects of its graduates. In the Times Higher Education’s 2021 global employability ranking, the university ranked 12th in the world, and first in Canada. In QS’s 2022 graduate employability ranking, the university ranked 21st in the world, and first in Canada. In a 2013 employment survey conducted by the New York Times, the University of Toronto was ranked 14th in the world.
In 2018, the University of Toronto Entrepreneurship was ranked the fourth best university-based incubator in the world by UBI Global in the “World Top Business Incubator – Managed by a University” category.