Canada’s Top School by Reputation 2018: University of Toronto

In the heart of Canada’s largest city, a multicultural campus, stunning architecture and bleeding-edge research have earned global renown

      With almost 90,000 students, 14,000 faculty and a network of almost 600,000 alumni, the University of Toronto is often described as a “city within a city.” Students from across the globe are drawn to the school’s 700-plus undergrad and almost 300 graduate programs for a world-class education at the institution that turned out grads including Margaret Atwood, Adrienne Clarkson, David Cronenberg and Michael Ondaatje. In fact, the number of foreign students who accepted admissions in 2017 rose 20 per cent over the previous year. A recent report in the Boston Globe cites the school’s cultural diversity as one of the reasons for the influx.

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      A glance around the university’s three campuses reveals that the student body reflects the multicultural city that surrounds them. And a big part of what students love about U of T is its location. The leafy-green and bustling St. George campus is located in the middle of downtown, while the Mississauga and Scarborough campuses cover the east and west of the city, and have a more suburban feel.

      The most recent addition to U of T facilities is One Spadina, the new home of the John H. Daniels faculty of architecture, landscape and design. Designed by acclaimed architects Nader Tehrani and Katherine Faulkner, the glass-fronted, zigzagging concrete structure has been lauded by the Globe and Mail as “one of the best Canadian buildings of the past decade.”

      A stellar reputation in research areas including science, medicine and artificial intelligence are the school’s big draws. One of the world’s foremost authorities on AI, Google fellow Geoffrey Hinton, is U of T’s professor emeritus of computer science. He and his students are responsible for turning Canada into what the New York Times calls a “high-tech hotbed.” U of T associate professor Raquel Urtasun, a researcher in the field of self-driving vehicles, has been tapped by Uber to run its first international research lab in Toronto.

      Also in the realm of cutting-edge tech, the Rotman School of Management’s Creative Destruction Lab is now providing start-ups with access to the world’s only commercially available quantum computers, thanks to a seed-stage accelerator program run by U of T.

      U of T research often makes the headlines with fascinating new discoveries and creative solutions. For example, researchers at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics recently converted Saturn’s rings and moons into two pieces of music in celebration of NASA’s Cassini mission. And earlier this year, an undergrad student led a team of palaeontologists in classifying ancient, mythical-looking cone-shaped marine creatures called hyoliths.

      The school’s faculty draws a lot of attention as well. Assistant professor Angela Schoellig of the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies was recently named one of the world’s top innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review for her work on applying machine learning to drones and robots. And Aisha Ahmad, an assistant professor of political science at U of T Scarborough and the Munk School of Global Affairs, is receiving attention for her new book Jihad & Co., an exploration of how exploiting local businesses in conflict zones helps groups like Islamic State rise to power.

       

      National reputational ranking

      Maclean’s surveyed university faculty and senior administrators, high school guidance counsellors, and a variety of businesspeople across the country, asking for their views on quality and innovation at Canadian universities. This list show the results of the reputational ranking, combining all the universities from the Primarily Undergraduate, Comprehensive and Medical Doctoral categories into one group.

      1 Toronto

      2 Waterloo

      3 UBC

      4 McGill

      5 Alberta

      6 McMaster

      7 Western

      8 Queen’s

      9 Simon Fraser

      10 Calgary

      11 Guelph

      12 Montréal

      13 Ryerson

      14 Dalhousie

      15 Concordia

      16 Ottawa

      17 Victoria

      18 Laval

      19 Sherbrooke

      20 Carleton

      21 York

      22 Memorial

      23 Saskatchewan

      24 Wilfrid Laurier

      25 Manitoba

      26 Mount Allison

      27 St. Francis Xavier

      28 New Brunswick

      29 UQAM

      30 UOIT

      31 Lethbridge

      32 Acadia

      33 Trent

      34 UNBC

      35 Brock

      36 Regina

      37 Winnipeg

      38 Windsor

      39 UPEI

      40 Saint Mary’s

      41 Lakehead

      42 Bishop’s

      43 Moncton

      44 St. Thomas

      45 Laurentian

      46 Mount Saint Vincent

      47 Cape Breton

      48 Nipissing

      49 Brandon