University of Toronto

Office of the Chancellor

Past Chancellors of the University of Toronto

History of the Position

On March 15, 1827, the University of Toronto, then called “King’s College”, was granted its royal charter by King George IV. In the years since its founding, the university has been home to a series of colourful Chancellors who, together with an extraordinary cast of presidents, governors, faculty, staff, students, and alumni have guided the university through a history filled with dramatic events — from the admission of women in the 1880s, the University College fire of 1890, two world wars, the student protests of the 1960s and 1970s, decades of growth and underfunding, to the new wave of building, renewal, and excellence today.

Below is a list of the University of Toronto’s past Chancellors. Click on a name to show (and hide) a photo where possible and a brief blurb about the Chancellor. The blurbs are not intended to be comprehensive, but rather representative and interesting. They are based on material from Martin Friedland’s University of Toronto: A History, The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, University of Toronto archives, and other sources.

  • The Honourable Peter Boyle DeBlaquiere 1850-1852

  • The Honourable William Hume Blake, 1853-1856

  • The Honourable Robert Easton Burns 1856-1863

  • The Honourable George Skeffington Connor 1863

  • Joseph Curran Morrison 1863-1876

  • The Honourable Edward Blake 1876-1900

  • The Honourable Sir William Ralph Meredith 1900-1923

  • Sir Byron Edmund Walker 1923-1924

  • Sir William Mulock 1924-1944

  • The Honourable and Reverend Henry John Cody 1944-1947

  • Charles Vincent Massey 1947-1953

  • Samuel Beatty 1953-1959

  • François Charles Archile Jeanneret, 1959-1965

  • Omond McKillop Solandt, 1965-1971

  • The Honourable Pauline McGibbon, 1971-1974

  • Eva Mader MacDonald, 1974-1977

  • Arthur B.B. Moore, 1977-1980

  • George Ignatieff, 1980-1986

  • John Black Aird, 1986-1991

  • Rose Wolfe, 1991-1997

  • The Honourable Henry Newton Rowell ‘Hal’ Jackman, 1997-2003

  • The Honourable Vivienne Poy, 2003-2006

  • The Honourable David Peterson, 2006-2012 | Slideshow Tribute | Flashmob Tribute