York University
#204 Overall Influence

York University

University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

By James Barham, PhD

York University (AKA Université York) is a public research university which was founded in 1959. With a student body approaching 56,000 in size, York University is the third-largest institution of higher learning in Canada, after the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia.

Initially associated with the University of Toronto and housed on its campus, from its inception York University was intended to serve the inner northern and eastern Greater-Toronto suburbs, three of which are named “York” (York, North York, and East York) and which were independent municipalities at the time.

In 1961, the university moved as planned to the campus of Glendon College, located in eastern North York, which had also been founded two years earlier.

Although Glendon College was administratively absorbed into York University, the main part of the university moved once again in 1965—his time to a brand-new campus on Keele Street in North York, to the west of the Glendon campus.

In this way, York University became a dual-campus institution. Note that the Keele Campus is primarily English-speaking, while the Glendon Campus is officially bilingual (English and French).

In 1998, both campuses were brought within the official city limits of Toronto through the amalgamation of North York with Old Toronto, along with four more previously independent towns: York, East York, Etobicoke (to the west), and Scarborough (to the east).

York University is associated with many prominent persons, including the following:

  • Mathematicians, Lee Lorch & Jianhong Wu
  • Computer scientist, John Tsotsos
  • Philosophers, Ian C. Jarvie, Stuart Shanker & Lorraine Code
  • Crime author, Peter Robinson
  • Literary scholar, Deanne Williams
  • Actors, Nate Nelligan, Henry Czerny, Scott Thompson, Rachel McAdams, Katheryn Winnick & Thea Gill
  • Comedian, Lilly Singh
  • Science illustrator, John C. McConnell
  • Classical composer and music theorist, James Tenney
  • Popular musician, Kim Gordon
  • Physicists, Eric Hessels & Norbert Bartel
  • Space scientist, Gordon Shepherd
  • Chemists, Clifford Leznoff, Gerald O. Aspinall & K.W. Michael Siu
  • Geologist, John Tuzo Wilson
  • Molecular biologist, Robert Haynes
  • Immunologist, Gillian Elizabeth Wu
  • Zoologist and evolutionary theorist, Helen Rodd
  • Ornithologist and ecologist, Bridget Stutchbury
  • Neuroscientist, J. Douglas Crawford
  • Psychologists, James Alcock, Leslie S. Greenberg, Ian P. Howard, Debra Pepler & Ellen Bialystok
  • Historians, John Saywell, Christopher Innes, David F. Noble, Orest Subtelny, Jerome Ch’en & Susan Mann
  • Medievalist, Michael Herren
  • Economist, James G. MacKinnon
  • Political scientist, Isabella C. Bakker
  • Anthropologist, Philip Gulliver
  • Feminist media critic, Anita Sarkeesian
  • Journalist, Daniel Dale
  • TV talk show host, Cynthia Loyst
  • Newspaper publisher, Conrad Black
  • Former Canadian Member of Parliament, Lincoln Alexander
  • Current Canadian Member of Parliament, Jagmeet Singh

What is York University known for?

#90 World Rank
Political Science
#114 World Rank
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#154 World Rank
#205 World Rank
Social Work
#209 World Rank
Religious Studies
#214 World Rank
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Computer Science
#238 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#279 World Rank
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#539 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#680 World Rank
#763 World Rank

Influential People

Who are York University's Most influential alumni?

York University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Political Science, Literature, and Communications. York University’s most academically influential people include John Bellamy Foster, Israel Zangwill, and Rachel McAdams.

John Bellamy Foster
John Bellamy Foster

Sociology professor and Marxist writer

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Israel Zangwill
Israel Zangwill

British writer

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Rachel McAdams
Rachel McAdams

Canadian actress

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Anita Sarkeesian
Anita Sarkeesian

American blogger

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Ann Cavoukian
Ann Cavoukian

Civil servant

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Yvonne Vera
Yvonne Vera

Zimbabwean writer

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Kim Sawchuk

Canadian philosopher

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Bernard M. Levinson

American academic

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Andromache Karakatsanis

Canadian judge

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Ashley Deans
Ashley Deans

Canadian educator

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Barrie Wilson

Canadian historian

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Nino Ricci
Nino Ricci

Canadian writer

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