Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.
view all

Profiles

  • Lorie Tarshis (1911 - 1993)
  • David Charles Rotenberg
    David Rotenberg, is a Canadian author and professor emeritus of theatre studies at York University, where he taught graduate students for over 25 years.
  • Jack Layton (1950 - 2011)
    Jack LaytonLeader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaJack Layton is leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada and is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Toronto—Danforth in Ontario.In the f...
  • Albert Greer
    He is a recognized member of the arts community in Canada. He is a composer, teacher, and music conductor, for which he was appointed The Order of Canada in 2012. He is a graduate of the University of ...

York University (French: Université York) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is Canada's third-largest university.

York University has approximately 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and 275,000 alumni worldwide. It has eleven faculties, namely the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Faculty of Science, Lassonde School of Engineering, Schulich School of Business, Osgoode Hall Law School, Glendon College, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Health, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Graduate Studies, the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (formerly the Faculty of Fine Arts), and 28 research centres.

York University participates in the Canadian Space Program and is home to Canada's only Space engineering program. The Faculty of Science and Lassonde School of Engineering are Canada's primary research facility into Martian exploration, and have designed several space research instruments and applications currently used by NASA. York has pioneered several PhD programs in Canada, including women's studies. The School of Social Work is recognized as having one of the most socially responsive programs in the country. York's psychology program is the largest in North America. York University's business school and law school have continuously and consistently been ranked among the top schools in Canada and the world.

History

York University was established in 1959 as a non-denominational institution by the York University Act, which received Royal Assent in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on 26 March of that year. Its first class was held in September 1960 in Falconer Hall on the University of Toronto campus with a total of 76 students.

The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society. The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906, which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to perform institutional leadership.

In the fall of 1961, York moved to its first campus, Glendon College, and began to emphasize liberal arts and part-time adult education. It became independent in 1965, after an initial period of affiliation with the University of Toronto (U of T), under the York University Act, 1965. Its main campus on the northern outskirts of Toronto opened in 1965.

Murray Ross, who continues to be honoured today at the University in several ways – including the Murray G. Ross Award, was still vice-president of U of T when he was approached to become York University's new president. At the time, York University was envisaged as a feeder campus to U of T, until Ross's powerful vision led it to become a completely separate institution.

In 1965, the university opened a second campus, the Keele Campus, in North York, located in the Jane and Finch community. The Glendon campus became a bilingual liberal arts college led by Escott Reid, who envisaged it as a national institution to educate Canada's future leaders, a vision shared by Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who formally opened Glendon College in 1966.

The first Canadian undergraduate program in dance opened at York University in 1970. In 1972, Canada Post featured the nascent institution on 8¢ stamps, entitled York University Campus, North York, Ont. The first Canadian PhD. program in Women's Studies opened with five candidates in January 1992.

Its bilingual mandate and focus on the liberal arts continue to shape Glendon's special status within York University. The new Keele Campus was regarded as somewhat isolated, in a generally industrialized part of the city. Petrol storage facilities are still located across the street. Some of the early architecture was unpopular with many, not only for the brutalist designs, but the vast expanses between buildings, which was not viewed as suitable for the climate. In the last two decades, the campus has been intensified with new buildings, including a dedicated student centre and new fine arts, computer science and business administration buildings, a small shopping mall, and a hockey arena. The Aviva Centre tennis stadium, built in 2004, is a perennial host of the Canada Masters tennis tournament. As Toronto has spread further out, York has found itself in a relatively central location within the built-up Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and in particular, near the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Its master plan envisages a denser on-campus environment commensurate with that location. Students occupied the university's administration offices in March 1997, protesting escalating tuition hikes.

On November 6, 2008, the York University Senate suspended classes because of a strike by CUPE Local 3903. The local represents contract professors, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants. Classes resumed on Monday, February 2, 2009 after back-to-work legislation was passed by the Ontario Legislative Assembly