About OCAD University
OCAD U is Canada’s University of the Imagination
Founded in 1876, OCAD U is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD U continuously builds on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, members of the OCAD U community are uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology, and quality of life for all Canadians.
Our programs and research bridge fields of digital media and design, sustainability, health and wellness, cultural diversity and indigenous cultures.
Our students engage in creative studio-based, aesthetic and technical learning, together with critical, theoretical, scientific and historical knowledge and methods.
Finally, our location inspires. OCAD U is situated at the heart of the nation's art, design, business, and new media capital, on the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat — the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand.
1876 - Ontario School of Art
1886 - Toronto Art School
1890 - Central Ontario School of Art and Industrial Design
1912 - Ontario College of Art
1996 - Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
2010 - The Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U)
OCAD University is located in the heart of Toronto, beside the Art Gallery of Ontario and the historic Grange Park. Its growing south campus is five minutes away in the city’s thriving Arts and Entertainment District.
Sharp Center for Design
Now a Toronto architectural landmark, the iconic Sharp Center for Design opened in 2004 as part of a major $42.5-million campus redevelopment. The award-winning, black and white “tabletop” structure stands above OCAD University’s main campus building on 12 multi-colored steel legs. The center is named after benefactors Rosalie and Isadore Sharp, and is home to OCAD U’s Faculty of Design, with facilities for the Faculties of Art and Liberal Studies. It was designed by acclaimed British architect Will Alsop in partnership with Toronto-based Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc., along with structural engineers from Carruthers & Wallace Ltd. and MCW Consultants Ltd. In 2013, architecture critic Christopher Hume named the Sharp Center one of the “five most influential buildings” in Toronto.
- Royal Institute of British Architects Worldwide Award, 2004
- Award of Excellence, Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards, 2005
- Most Outstanding Technical Project, Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards, 2005
- Benjamin Moore Contract Exterior Award, 2006 (Awarded to Will Alsop)
Vision and Mission Statements
Transformed By Imaginations
OCAD University challenges you to audaciously and responsibly pursue the questions of our time through the powerful interplay of art, design, the social sciences, humanities, and the sciences.
- We invite you to build aware, generous and joyful communities that integrate multiple perspectives and critical practices.
Audacious and Responsible Pursuit
- We nurture diversity and resilience, and practice equity, inclusion, sustainability, and respect for Indigenous voices and cultures.
The Questions of our Time
- We seek and respond to the questions of our time to enrich our disciplines and act as transformative social, economic, environmental, and cultural agents.
The Powerful Interplay of Art, Design, the Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Sciences
- We engage with materials, data, technologies, ideas and pedagogy and diverse Indigenous perspectives to support unique research, studio practice and learning, creating interdisciplinary and emergent forms of knowledge.