history of utsc

from Scarborough College to

The University of Toronto Scarborough

1964 – 2020

aerial views of the land between Morningside Avenue and Military Trail 1964 and 1965; photos courtesy of the Scarborough Historical Society and Archives


We see three key themes as the starting points for our oral history and archival research: the land, the people and the institution.

Oral History

Collecting oral histories is a significant part of our research methodology.


Take a look at the key moments in UTSC history and the larger social, cultural, political context of the history of higher education from the 1950s through to the present.

Our Team

We are a dynamic collaborative team of undergraduate student researchers and faculty.

Faculty members


We have embarked on a journey to tell the story of our campus, the University of Toronto Scarborough, from it’s beginnings as Scarborough College in 1964 to the present.  We hope that this site will allow you to share in some of our discoveries along the way.

In the early stages of our archival and oral history research we quickly discovered that the struggles of today have deep roots in our collective past – identity,  diversity and all forms of representation, a focus on technology and innovation, and the ever changing external political and economic context.  It is not our intent to produce a history focused  achievements and progress but one that considers stories and perspectives not often told.  Geographer Doreen Massey argued that “the identity of places is very much bound up with the histories which are told of them, how those histories are told, and which history turns out to be dominant.” (1995, 183)

In our own lives we understand the meaning behind our family traditions and values through the stories the we tell – the importance of struggles, moments of joy and tears, to our understanding of the present. We have all also likely experienced

feelings of regret when we realize that there is no one left to ask about a particular family story.  It is only through the retelling those stories, passing them down from one generation to another, that we preserve our family memories.

Preserving our institutional history is similarly important.  To understand how our academic  community evolved into the institution it is today, we must preserve the stories of the struggles, achievements and understand the larger historical factors that influenced policy and program development.  As the events in the past become more distant there is the risk that we will lose the connection with our institutional past and see current events as a historical, as brand new experiences disconnected from their past.  The belief that understanding these historical struggles and achievements can positively inform our present and future actions is what makes preserving the institutional memory of UTSC an important enterprise.