A Brief History Of Ontario Tech University

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

The Ontario Tech University (OTU), formerly known as University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) was founded in 2002 on roughly 400 acres of land in the Ontario city of Oshawa. This university resides in the Durham Region and is a public university that focuses on fields and programs pertaining to science and technology, and it was established as part of the Ontario government’s plan to expand post-secondary schools to accommodate the influx of students in 2003. To completely understand the exponential growth of this university, we have to take a look at the growth in the number of enrolled students it’s had over the past two decades. Graduate and post-graduate programs, as well as research opportunities, are available at Ontario Tech. In September 2003, there were 947 pupils enrolled, and by the 2007–2008 academic year, the overall enrolment had risen to almost 5,000. Today, there are almost 10,000 students enrolled. The university’s initial buildings, built by Diamond Schmitt Architects, were completed in 2002 and incorporated a 190-meter-long geothermal heating and cooling system beneath the main campus square. By the end of 2004, the first three buildings had been finished. In comparison, 9 buildings currently stand under the name Ontario Tech in the northern Oshawa campus. The 10 being, ACE, BIT, Campus Library, Clean Energy Research Laboratory, Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre, OPG Engineering Building, Science Building, SIRC and the student life building. All this minus the consideration of the university’s latest and newly constructed building which is to be given the name Shawenjigewining Hall. During the pandemic, construction continued under the terms set by the Ontario government. They are continuing to work with contractors and other stakeholders to finish the project as close to the planned completion date of Fall 2021 as feasible, while acknowledging that delays are unavoidable due to events beyond their control. Inside this building they aim to experiment with the most effective approaches to offer flexible and dynamic learning to adapt to the always changing educational landscape. It’s critical that we stay current and adapt to new developments. This building has cost the university $48 million due to its extensive technological features and capabilities. As for the rest of the buildings, in 2007, the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre (CRWC) and the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) building (both sponsored by OPG) were completed. In 2009, the university bought the historic Regent Theatre in downtown Oshawa and restored it in 2010 for use as a lecture hall. In 2010, the Clean Energy Research Laboratory (CERL) was established. The Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC) and the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) both launched in 2011. The UOIT-Baagwating Indigenous Student Centre (UBISC) first opened its doors in 2014. The Software and Informatics Research Centre (SIRC) was established in 2017. Up until this point all the 9 buildings and the university itself belonged to the brand name University of Ontario Institute of Technology or UOIT for short. It was rebranded as the Ontario Tech University or OTU for short in March of 2019. Ontario Tech University was ranked tenth in the predominantly undergraduate university category and 32nd in national reputation in Maclean’s 2021 ranking of Canadian universities. Several worldwide post-secondary school rankings have included Ontario Tech University. The institution was ranked 801–900 in the globe in the Academic Ranking of World Universities for 2020. Ontario Tech had established a reputation as one of Canada’s best engineering and computer science institutions. In the year 2020, the school was ranked third in Ontario for engineering. Overall this is a university with a very modern and short history but with a very bright future as it excitedly awaits the opening of it’s brand new building and climbs the charts of university rankings.

Published on September 3, 2021

About Raj Patel

Raj is a third-year student at Ontario Tech University. He is a natural-born leader who thrives under pressure. His path to his goals begins with setting short-term objectives to achieve his long-term target.