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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Infrastructure growth

Pre-2003: How Durham Region’s dream of a university became reality

As a rapidly growing centre of industry and innovation in the eastern Greater Toronto Area, throughout the 1980s and early 1990s leaders in Durham Region cherished the dream of establishing its own university. At the time, the number of residents in Durham Region was projected to approach nearly one million by 2021.

For more than a decade, prominent figures in the community developed a vision for a student-focused institution dedicated to great teaching, groundbreaking research, and the use of leading-edge learning technology. The dream was to build a university that would offer programs to prepare students for critically needed, knowledge-intensive careers. This university would ensure bright futures for its graduates and generate economic growth for Durham Region, Northumberland County and the entire province.

In one of the earliest efforts in Ontario to combine university and college studies in one location, the Durham University Centre was created in 1996 at the same location the university today shares in north Oshawa with Durham College. Although the university courses offered at the centre were taught by professors from both Trent University and York University, the community never abandoned its desire for a made-in-Durham university.

May 9, 2001 was an historic day for Durham Region and Northumberland County. The Government of Ontario announced plans for the first brand new university in the province in 40 years, earmarking $60 million in startup funds through Ontario SuperBuild Corporation. An operations centre was immediately established next to the Durham College President's office where 11 teams, working seven days a week, produced a to-do list of 856 tasks and hundreds of sub-tasks. Team members toured top institutions across North America to study best practices.

The university officially came into being on June 27, 2002, with the legislature's passage of Bill 109, Schedule O, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Act, 2002. Administrators had 14 months to prepare for opening day in September 2003. The university would become Ontario’s first university to use the latest technology to deliver its curriculum, giving students a competitive edge in tomorrow's workplace.

The university met that challenge welcomed its first class of 947 students on September 4, 2003, ushering in a new era of post-secondary in Durham Region and in Ontario.

 

Infrastructure growth since 2003

The university's early history has been marked by tremendous accomplishment and growth, all boosted by government, community and donor support. 

By September 2014, the university's enrolment had grown to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Through Convocation 2017, the university had conferred more than 16,000 degrees – bachelor’s, master’s and PhDs. 

The university’s first two state-of-the-art academic buildings–the Science Building and Business and Information Technology Building–as well as its architecturally award-winning Campus Library were completed by Fall 2004. Each was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc.   

Thanks in part to a $10-million, multi-year partnership with Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the university opened the OPG Engineering Building in early 2007. The large three-storey building houses 17 state-of-the-art labs that were carefully equipped to provide innovative and industry-specific technology for the university's Engineering students. The OPG partnership was renewed in 2011 and again in 2016).

On June 1, 2007, the university celebrated its historic first all-faculty Convocation. The ceremony saw the conferring of nearly 700 degrees to next-generation scientists, engineers, IT security specialists, health-care professionals, criminal justice experts, teachers and business leaders.

Also that year, the 8,400 square metre Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre (CRWC) opened, featuring a huge cardio, weight and fitness centre overlooking Oshawa Creek and green space. The CRWC also houses a triple gymnasium for intramural and varsity sports; a 200-metre indoor jogging track overlooking the gym space; two large aerobic/dance studios; as well as other training rooms, lounges and club offices.

Also in 2007, the campus expanded north across Conlin Road, thanks to the estate of industrialist E.P. Taylor and the donation of a portion of Windfields Farm, a world-class thoroughbred racing operation that once nurtured the great champion Northern Dancer. On this property stands the Campus Ice Centre (featuring two NHL-size ice pads, 10 change rooms, a sports retail outlet, offices, a community room, and full-service restaurant); along with the year-round Campus Tennis Centre (transformed into the Campus Fieldhouse in 2016).

The university has also developed a significant presence in downtown Oshawa. In 2008, the Faculty of Education relocated to a refurbished building at 11 Simcoe Street North. Two years later, the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities moved into Bordessa Hall at 55 Bond Street East. the university’s downtown Oshawa footprint also includes the 61 Charles Street Building, the Regent Theatre at 50 King Street East, and sixth-floor space at 2 Simcoe Street South.

In 2010, the multi-million dollar Clean Energy Research Laboratory (CERL) opened. CERL houses the first lab-scale demonstration of a copper-chlorine cycle for thermochemical water splitting and nuclear hydrogen production. Hydrogen is a clean energy carrier of the future and potentially a major solution to the problem of climate change. 

To further support its expansion efforts, the university received $73.4 million in funding through the joint federal and provincial Knowledge Infrastructure Program toward the construction of two buildings at the north Oshawa location. The Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) and the Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC) both opened in 2011. ACE is the first commercial research, development and innovation centre of its kind in Canada, and the ERC serves as the premier training ground for future energy scientists and nuclear engineers while fostering research in the development of clean and green energy and technology.

In 2014, the university officially opened the UOIT-Baagwating Indigenous Student Centre at the downtown Oshawa location. The Centre recognizes and celebrates Indigenous histories and cultures, enhancing the university’s unwavering commitment to the success of all students.

In 2015, following two years of extensive consultation with stakeholders, the university completed the Campus Master Plan, the document that will guide expansion proposals for the development of 190 acres of property to the north and west of the Simcoe Street/Conlin Road intersection (the former Windfields Farm lands).  

Also in 2015, the Government of Canada announced a $26.9 million investment in the university's future Centre for Advanced Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CARIE). CARIE will act as a catalyst for a new cluster of advanced manufacturing research and development in strategic industries such as nuclear, electrical and alternative energy systems, automotive and transportation, new materials and robotics. CARIE will integrate and co-locate the university's information technology, gaming and predictive analytics strengths with its advanced manufacturing expertise and facilities. The university is seeking further partners and supporters to facilitate construction of CARIE.

In 2016, the former Campus Tennis Centre was transformed into the Campus Fieldhouse, a multi-sport turf centre featuring two playing fields that can accommodate a variety of intramural sports and activities.

In 2017, the university opened the Software and Informatics Research Centre (SIRC) a hub for research in health and business analytics, IT security, networking, gaming, and software engineering. SIRC promotes interdisciplinary and experiential learning for students in computer science, IT and engineering. SIRC also enables e-learning and more e-guest lectures and interactions with industry through innovative digital and conferencing technology. SIRC is also the home of the Office of the Registrar and other student services.