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20121003 Strategic Plan



1876 - 1886    Ontario School of Art
1886 - 1890    Toronto Art School
1890 - 1912    Central Ontario School of Art and Industrial Design
1912 - 1996    Ontario College of Art (OCA)
1996 - 2010    Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
June 8, 2010   OCAD University   


1876 - 1882: The Ontario School of Art, founded by the Ontario Society of Artists, opens at 14 King Street West.

1882 - 1886: As part of the Department of Education complex, the school moves to the Normal School building (present site of Ryerson University).

1886 - 1890: The school relocates to a building near Queen and Yonge Streets.

1890 - 1910: The school moves to the famous Princess Theatre at 173 King Street West. Second floor rooms are connected with the Art Museum of Toronto, also located in the building.

1910 - 1912; The Princess Theatre is demolished in order to extend University Avenue to Front Street, and the school moves into makeshift quarters at No. 1 College Street. Later, upper floors of The Grange are rented from the Art Museum of Toronto.

April 16, 1912: The "Act Incorporating the Ontario College of Art" receives royal assent and the College is given an annual grant of $3,000 and free premises on the third floor of the Normal School building on Gould Street (same location as from 1882 - 1886).

1920:  Painter G.A. Reid is appointed Principal with Arthur Lismer (of the Group of Seven) as Vice Principal.

OCA_Grange_1920September 30, 1921:  The Ontario College of Art (OCA) celebrates the official opening of its own building on a Grange Park site provided by the Art Gallery of Toronto. Designed by G.A. Reid and built through funds granted by the provincial and federal governments, it is the first building erected in Canada solely for the purpose of art education. The new building has a floor space of over 16,000 square feet.

OCA has a staff of seven instructors, six visiting instructors and three assistant instructors, under the direction of a Principal and Vice Principal, with 330 registered students.

1923:  An OCA Summer School is established in Port Hope, Ontario.

1929 - 1933:  Painter, and Group of Seven member, J.E.H. MacDonald is Principal.

1933 - 1952:  Fred S. Haines is Principal.

1945:  The school expands to the William Houston Public School on Nassau Street to house the Design School. The curriculum is broadened to include various forms of applied arts. Also, spaces in the Ryerson and Ogden Public Schools are obtained for classes in lithography and mural painting.

1951:  The first OCA Student Council is formed.

1952:  The Design School moves from Nassau Street to Glendon Hall on Bayview Avenue at Lawrence Avenue (present site of York University).

OCA_main_building_illustration_1951January 17, 1957: The main campus at 100 McCaul Street opens its doors. OCA is reunited under one roof with the first extension to the original Grange wing (built in 1921).

1963:  A second major extension containing the Nora E. Vaughan Auditorium is added to the south wing of the building.

1967:  A third small addition is made to the northern side of the building. Two floors and the atrium are added.

1970:  For the first time, OCA Council includes students and faculty as voting members.

1976:  Initiated by Franklin (Archie) Arbuckle in 1973, the first group of students participate in OCA's off-campus study program in Florence, Italy.

OCA's New York off-campus studio is opened.

The OCA Alumni Association is founded.

1979:  The Design Department opens The Design Department Store in the Village by the Grange.

September 1979: The first fundraising campaign in the history of OCA is launched.

To accommodate growing enrolment, the College purchases the Stewart Building at 149 College Street. The building is officially opened as the second campus of OCA, by Lieutenant-Governor Pauline McGibbon.

1988:  Trustees of the OCA Foundation vote to expand their custodial role with endowment funds to include fundraising activities.

1994:  Peter Caldwell is appointed OCA’s first Vice-President, Administration.

1995:  Alan Barkley is appointed President.

July 1, 1996: The name of the College is officially changed to the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD). Academic structure is redesigned to consist of three faculties: Foundation Studies (first-year), Art, and Design.

Foundation students are relocated from the Stewart Building to the newly created quarters on the main campus at 100 McCaul Street.

1997:  OCAD enters into partnership with the Open University in British Columbia which allows OCAD students to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Art or a Bachelor of Design degree.

OCAD sells Stewart Building, 149 College St. (after 20-years of ownership)

February 1998:  Dr. Catherine Henderson is appointed President.

Aboveground Art Supplies leases and renovates the building at 74/76 McCaul Street.

OCAD expands campus with the acquisition of 113 McCaul St. a 40,000 sq. ft. building, part of the Village by the Grange commercial complex; and it acquires the 15,000 sq. ft. building at 115 McCaul, named the Rosalie Sharp Pavillion, to give the College a vital through fair to Dundas St.

May 1998:  Ron Shuebrook is appointed Vice-President, Academic.

The newly renovated Integrated Media production and post-production facilities are opened and include a shooting studio, an audio studio, and non-linear editing suites and digital audio lab.

OCAD Council approves Ontario College of Art & Design's Mission Statement: to challenge each student to find a unique voice within a vibrant and creative environment; to prepare graduates to excel as cultural contributors in Canada and beyond; to champion the vital role of art and design in society.

May 2000:  OCAD announces $24 million investment from the Province of Ontario through SuperBuild to make possible a major capital expansion and renewal.

A review panel is appointed by the Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities, to assess OCAD's readiness to grant degrees. In fall 2000, review panel recommends to the Ministry that OCAD grants degrees provided certain conditions are met.

Fall 2000:  OCAD launches IDEAS NEED SPACE capital campaign, with campaign chair George Butterfield, founder of Butterfield & Robinson, to raise $14 million from the private sector to fully fund its building expansion project.

October 2000: OCAD announces the resignation of Dr. Catherine Henderson and names Ron Shuebrook as President and Peter Caldwell, Executive Vice-President.

November 2000:  OCAD announces that award-winning British firm Alsop Architects will work as design architect in a joint venture with Toronto-based Robbie, Young +Wright, project architect, to develop the new Centre for Design and facilities renewal.

2001:  OCAD Council ratifies a new OCAD Act to replace OCAD 1968 Act and submits it to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for legislative approval.

January 15, 2001:  OCAD announces an all-new labour agreement which introduces sweeping changes to working conditions for faculty, including professorial ranks, performance and merit provisions and new salary ranges for permanent faculty.

February 1, 2001:  OCAD announces that OCAD alumna Rosalie Sharp, together with husband, Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotels chain, will make a $5 million gift to the College's capital campaign, IDEAS NEED SPACE. In recognition of this gift, OCAD names its future building the Sharp Centre for Design.

June 27, 2002:  OCAD receives official status to confer the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) and Bachelor of Design (BDes).

July 19, 2002:  Dr. Sarah McKinnon is appointed to the position of Vice-President Academic.

The OCAD Gallery is re-located to 285 Dundas Street West in order to accommodate exhibitions of student, alumni, and faculty work.

Construction on OCAD's campus expansion begins in summer 2002. The beginning of construction on the Sharp Centre for Design was marked by a groundbreaking ceremony on November 19. At that event, Dr. Nicholas Olsberg, Director of the Centre for Canadian Architecture (CCA), announced that material documenting OCAD's building project would be collected as part of the CCA's archive.

2003:  OCAD Governing Council approves an increase in the private sector goal of the IDEAS NEED SPACE capital campaign to $17 million.

OCAD enrolls a record number of first-year students, with 1,165 offers of admission accepted.

May 2004:  OCAD receives of ficial approval for occupancy of the Sharp Centre for Design.

OCAD_S_full-view_daytime_thumbSeptember 2004:  The Sharp Centre for Design officially opens. McCaul Street is closed for a unique ribbon-cutting and celebration, to which 2,000 people attend.

November 2004: Rosalie Sharp is installed as OCAD’s first chancellor at a fall graduation ceremony.

2005:   OCAD announces a $2.5 million grant from Nancy Young to support the Beal Centre for Strategic Creativity.

July 2005:  Sara Diamond became the 21st President of OCAD.

October 2006:  OCAD was granted membership to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), which represents 90 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university-degree level colleges.

January 2007:  OCAD opened its first Student Centre at 51 McCaul Street. The facility makes innovative use of the building, which shelters a working streetcar loop.

May 2007:  The Ontario Government announces a $2 million annual investment in OCAD, making possible the new cross-disciplinary program Digital Futures.

August 2007:  OCAD announced the appointment of The Honourable James K. Bartleman, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, as the university’s Chancellor.

September 2007:  OCAD acquired a new building at 205 Richmond Street West (at Duncan Street). Historically known as the “New Textile Building”, this seven-storey office structure is approximately 70,000 sq ft in size.

October 2007:  Dr. Michael Owen is appointed as OCAD’s first Vice-President, Research & Graduate Studies.

November 2007:  OCAD introduced its first graduate studies programs including a Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial Practice (MFA) program, an Interdisciplinary Master in Art, Media, and Design (MFA, MDes, or MA depending on a student’s primary discipline) and an Executive Master of Design in Advertising degree (EMDes). Programs commence in the Fall of 2008.

January 2008:  The Government of Ontario announced that OCAD would receive $1.458 million as part of the Ontario Campus Renewal Funding. This grant is designated for projects aimed to improve OCAD’s energy efficiency, campus safety and security, and campus infrastructure renewal. Later in January, the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) announced OCAD would receive $87,500 towards a new Mobile Experience Innovation Centre project, as part of OMDC’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships program.

February 2008:  OCAD received $1.8 million in new funds from the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU) towards campus infrastructure, including the renovation of the newly acquired building at 205 Richmond Street West, Toronto. The new funds are also earmarked to support the creation of “The Learning Zone,” which includes an information commons and additional work space for students.

March 2008:  As part of its Ontario budget announcement the Ministry of Research and Innovation announced a $9 million investment to help establish a research and innovation laboratory in interactive design and digital media. The new facility will eventually be integrated into a planned Centre for Research & Graduate Studies.

April 2008:  The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) announced a $2.15 million investment into campus-renewal at OCAD. The additional funding will help the university address ongoing infrastructure needs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

February 2009: The Aboriginal Visual Culture program was launched as part of OCAD’s strategic plan Leading in the Age of Imagination. The program fosters expertise and scholarship in the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous Ontario from an Aboriginal perspective.

June 2009: OCAD launched its Continuing Studies program, offering a range of classes, workshops, seminars, lectures, non-credit certificates, and customized professional development courses for art and design professionals.

September 2009: OCAD launched its fourth graduate program: the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation.

January 2010: OCAD received $636,720 (divided over three years) to expand its Aboriginal Visual Culture Program, through the Aboriginal Post-secondary Education and Training Action Plan, a program of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

March 2010: OCAD purchased two adjoining buildings at 230 and 240 Richmond Street West in Toronto, adding an additional 114,000 ft² to the university’s campus. The purchase was financed in part by a Strategic Capital Infrastructure Program grant for $7.5 million from May 2009 from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The space is the proposed home of the Digital Futures Centre, the Centre for Visual Studies and the Aboriginal Visual Culture Centre. OCAD immediately occupied 15,000 ft² within the properties (while commercial tenants concluded the remainder of their leases).

April 2010: The Government of Ontario introduced legislation to officially change the name of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) to “Ontario College of Art & Design University.”

June 8, 2010: Bill 43, the Post-secondary Education Statute Law Amendment Act, 2010 received royal assent, legally changing OCAD’s name to “Ontario College of Art & Design University,” or commonly, “OCAD University.” The Act included language to officially recognize the role of the university’s chancellor, modify the powers of the Board of Governors and create an academic senate.


Ontario College of Art & Design 100 McCaul Street Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W1 Canada Tel. 416.977.6000 Fax. 416.977.6000 © OCAD 2007