University of Toronto
A view of U of T's Trinity College quad   (Photo credit: Klara Vanzella Yang)

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2019), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):

Here are some of the reasons why University of Toronto was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2019), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):

  • U of T supports families with generous maternity and parental leave top-up payments (available to mothers, fathers and adoptive parents) and provides workshops, discussion groups and access to wide range of resources through a dedicated Family Care Office -- additionally, the organization has multiple daycare options on campus and all three campuses offer variety of family-friendly spaces, including designated areas for breastfeeding and pumping, baby change stations and a new family study room at Robarts Library
  • U of T encourages employees to save for the future with generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and offers health benefits coverage that extend to retirees (with no age limit and 75 per cent premium coverage) -- additionally, the organization maintains a Senior College Centre to provide retired academics and librarians with space to meet and discuss topics of shared interest
  • U of T implemented a number of transit initiatives and partnerships to help address traffic congestion in Canada's largest city, including operating a tri-campus shuttle bus services, carpooling and car sharing programs, supporting the "Bikechain" not-for-profit cycling organization, ongoing efforts to green its fleet, and supporting Bike Month, Smart Commute and the City of Mississauga's Cycling Advisory Committee
Staff and students inside a library at U of T Scarborough  

Employer Background

Industry Post secondary schools, university
Established in Canada 1827
Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON, Mississauga ON, Scarborough ON
Full-time employees in Canada 9,809
Part-time employees in Canada 10,354
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 11%
Average age of employees in Canada 46.8 years
Longest serving employee 62 years

Physical Workplace Rating: A+

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, online car-pool sign-up, subsidized parking, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features largest library system in Canada (with 40 libraries), the university's two suburban campuses are situated in ravine parkland settings offering students and employees easy access to beautiful walking paths and quiet spaces, while the centrally located St. George campus features some of the city's most recognized historic buildings alongside state-of-the-art research facilities, and some of the downtown's best open spaces, including King's College Circle, Queen's Park and Philosopher's Walk, telecommuter workstations, sit-stand workstations, religious observance room, outdoor patio, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue, discounts at local restaurants
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, fireplace, music, television, pool table, foosball table, table hockey, board games, table tennis
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus, special diet menus, take-home meals, onsite Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Second Cup coffee shops, a variety of food options from cafeterias to pubs to food trucks on campus that feature vegan, kosher, vegetarian, gluten-free, halal and many other options
Onsite fitness facility shared-use facility, subsidized membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (Zumba, CrossFit, cycle fit), rowing machines, weights, basketball court, sauna, shower facilities, multiple fitness facilities across all three campuses (including the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre constructed for the recent Pan Am Games), indoor running tracks, squash courts, swimming pools, all-season field house(s) and the historic Varsity skating rink
Other nearby amenities Hart House and Athletic Centre, fitness club, Queen's Park, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, Chinatown, Kensington Market, Queen's Park, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: B+

Employee social committee name social committees across the University
Recent social events Faculty and Staff Mix 'n Mingle event, employee appreciation events, variety of food-centred events (such as the Chowder Throwdown, Mac'n Cheese Smackdown, summer farmers' market, and the Indigenous Week Lunch, to name a few), Green Gala (to celebrate sustainability on campus), Rainbow Tie Gala (to celebrate the diversity of the community's gender and sexual identities), library staff dragon boat racing team, Pride Pub, and many more
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, dress-for-your-day policy, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, casual dress Fridays, music while working
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter, traditional/email suggestion box, internal social media

Financial Benefits & Compensation Rating: A

Financial benefits note University of Toronto has multiple employee groups, financial benefits may vary by position
Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings defined-benefit (DB) pension
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options
Additional financial benefits discounted home insurance, discounted auto insurance, discounted auto lease rates, subsidized home internet, discounted home and auto insurance, discounted cell phone plans, WorkPerks @ Work Program, which provides discounts on hundreds of products and services including dining, clothing, footwear, electronics and travel, matching RSP contribution program for sessional contractual teachers

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits Rating: A

Health plan note University of Toronto has multiple employee groups, health plans may vary by position
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 75% of the premiums
Minimum hours worked for coverage 9 hours per week
Waiting period for coverage 30 days
Family coverage option yes
Retiree coverage with no age limit yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Other health plan information employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, nutrition planning, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy)
Additional health and wellness information some employee groups have a health care spending account (from $650 for single coverage to $1,550 for extended family plans), annual "Celebrate It" Healthy Workplace Month (features educational sessions that address a range subject areas)
Family-friendly benefits note University of Toronto has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 95% of salary for 18 weeks
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 95% of salary for 10 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 95% of salary for 10 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 95% of salary for 18 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits extended parental leave to unpaid leave, daycare centre onsite, emergency short-term daycare
Alternative work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week, telecommuting, reduced summer hours
Additional family-friendly information faculty receive 20 weeks for maternity leave top-up and 30 weeks for parental top-up (for adoptive parents), Family Care Office (supports numerous family care initiatives, from infant to eldercare support), March break and summer break "Camp UofT" program for children and youth, specialized kids camps sponsored by various faculties (from computer coding to physical fitness camps), babysitting listing service (casual care service provided by U of T students/partners available to employees, faculty and student parents), reimbursement of childcare expenses for children under the age of 7 (up to a maximum of $2,000 per year), undergraduate tuition waiver for dependents (at U of T and other institutions)

Vacation & Personal Time-Off Rating: A

Vacation note University of Toronto has multiple employee groups, vacation policies may vary by position
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 9 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 5 weeks of vacation over their career
Paid holiday shutdown during the Christmas to New Year's holiday break, employees receive an additional 5 days off
Personal paid days off employees can schedule 3 personal days off each year, as needed
Company paid days off employees receive 3 personal days off, as determined by their employer
Unpaid leave maximum 12 months
Self-funded/deferred salary leave maximum 12 months
Additional time-off information varying by employee group, some employees start at 4 weeks of paid vacation

Employee Engagement & Performance Rating: A

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition individual performance bonuses, on-the-spot rewards, peer-to-peer recognition awards, long-service awards, tailored and unique rewards (i.e. travel), Early Career Teaching Awards (four annual awards available for new faculty, up to $3,000 each), the Excellence Through Innovation Award (for administrative staff, new "True Blue" recognition program to recognize employees who accomplish personal and institutional goals and mentor colleagues, President's Teaching Awards, President's Impact Awards and President's Impact Academy, and many other faculty and staff awards

Training & Skills Development Rating: A+

Career planning in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, mentoring, in-house training, online training, leadership training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Unrelated tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year for courses unrelated to current position
Unique training & development programs numerous faculty and departmental-specific training and development plans, subject-specific training (from environmental sustainability to diversity and inclusion training workshops)

Community Involvement Rating: A

Scope of charitable involvement local, national, international
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities, employees receive paid time off to volunteer
Some of the community organizations supported United Way, Hammer Heads, CIBC Run for the Cure, Canadian Cancer Society, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health's One Brave Night awareness event, Think Pink #BleedBlue (breast cancer health awareness program in partnership with the Varsity Blues games), Doors Open Toronto, Jane Goodall Earth Day Celebration

Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):

Here are some of the reasons why University of Toronto was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):

  • U of T's strategic recruitment centre hosted a job fair at the university's First Nations House to target Indigenous candidates and the organization also participated in the Indigenous Career Fair, hosted by Prince's Charities Canada
  • U of T's human resources and equity division created a diversity internship program for HR graduates who self-identify as Indigenous, racialized or having a disability
  • U of T is establishing a new bursary program for at-risk students and scholars with the goal of raising $1-million and creating up to 100 bursaries to be dispersed over the next 10 years -- bursaries will be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who have obtained refugee status in Canada
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland (second right) visiting the University of Toronto to announce funding support to U of T engineering researchers  


Industry Post secondary schools, university
Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON, Mississauga ON, Scarborough ON
Full-time employees in Canada 9,809
Formal diversity strategy has a defined strategy to achieve diversity and inclusion goals
Senior executive who oversees diversity initiatives Vice President of Human Resources & Equity
Formal commitment maintains 10 offices dedicated to issues of equity and diversity, including the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, First Nations House, Indigenous Initiatives, Sexual & Gender Diversity Office (SGDO), and an Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Office (AODA), to name a few
Employee resource groups Black Faculty Working Groups, Connections and Conversations affinity group for racialized staff and their supporters, Queer U of T Employees
Diversity training and awareness training on a variety of topics including demystifying academic accommodation, accessibility, Indigenous cultural competency, unconscious bias, practicing equity, diversity and inclusion, gender identity and gender expression
Diversity highlights eighth annual Rainbow Tie Gala to honour Positive Space, monthly Gender Talk conversation cafés for trans+ community members, OISE project called Deepening Knowledge (to infuse Aboriginal peoples' histories, knowledges and pedagogies into all levels of education in Canada), Indigenous Education Week (events to highlight the contributions of Indigenous knowledge to education), diversity mentorship program (matches undergraduate medical students from equity-seeking groups with faculty members), summer mentorship for high school students of Indigenous or African ancestry to explore health sciences, Queer Orientation (11th anniversary, hosted by SGDO), third annual TechKnowFile conference (best practices in IT, has a mandate to explore IT accessibility and usability), annual International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination campaign, conference and recognition award, offers additional gender option for employees to select in HR information systems
Some of the diversity-focused partnerships Dolphin Disabilities (mentoring for persons with disabilities), Prince's Charities Canada (Indigenous Career Market for help youth become job-ready), Hammer Heads (skills and employment training for at-risk youth), Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (mentoring for new Canadians)

Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2019):

Here are some of the reasons why University of Toronto was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2019):

  • U of T was one of the earliest campuses to ban disposable plastic water bottles (in response to a student-led initiative back in 2011), leading to the installation of new water filling stations across its campuses -- additionally, the university manages numerous initiatives through its food services programs to raise awareness and eliminate unnecessary waste, including the Lug-A-Mug, Eco-Tray and Eco-Takeout Container initiatives to facilitate the move to returnable and reusable take-out food containers
  • U of T takes the time to recognize and celebrate its many sustainability initiatives and champions across its campuses, including the Green Course Certification program to recognize courses that reduce their impacts through paper conservation, the Green Res certification program for residents, the Green Ribbon Awards to recognize individual and group sustainability efforts, and the annual Green Gala to celebrate its many sustainability accomplishments
  • U of T's varying building footprint offers an incredible window into the buildings of tomorrow -- the university's campuses are home to various new and renovated buildings (with many in the planning stages) that showcase the latest in green building and design, such as geothermal heating and cooling systems, green and reflective white roofs, rooftop gardens, wind and solar power generation, LED lighting systems, solar hot water heating and rainwater collection systems
Employees from the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design at the University of Toronto working at Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory (GRIT Lab)  


Industry Post secondary schools, university
Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON, Mississauga ON, Scarborough ON
Full-time employees in Canada 9,809
Employee green team Sustainability Offices (UTSC and St. George campuses) and the Environmental Affairs Office (UTM) coordinate with a Tri-Campus Sustainability Board, Green Ambassador Network (open to all employees), numerous environmentally-focused student groups and green teams (from beekeeping to chemistry research), Sustainability Work Study Team program for select students (to work with the St. George Sustainability Office)
Senior executive who oversees initiatives Chief Operations Officer, Property Services & Sustainability
Formal strategy/policy name University Environmental Protection Policy (est. in 1994 and updated in 2010)
Publishes sustainability report yes
Green highlights recently established the President's Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability (mandated to identify ways the university can meet the challenges of climate change and sustainability), Food Services' Lug-A-Mug, Eco-Tray and Eco-Takeout Container initiatives encourage use of returnable and reusable take-out food containers, Ban the Bottle (student-led initiative introduced in 2011 to stop the sale of bottled water on campus, leading to the installation of new water filling stations), Green Course Certification (in-house program to recognize courses that reduce their impacts through paper conservation), Green Res (certification program for student residences), Greener News (e-newsletter), Green Ribbon Awards (to recognize individual and group sustainability efforts), Green Gala (evening to celebrate sustainability initiatives across the university), food services awareness campaigns (including Veggie Mondays with a 10 per cent discount on vegetarian meals, Field to Fork to celebrate local fare, and Go Local Wednesdays to showcase specific local food and their producers), UTSC Farmers Market (May to October), UTSC Community Garden (ongoing for over 40 years with 50 active plots open to employees and community members), numerous sustainability-focused programs and courses across all faculties, from forestry to engineering to business administration
Noteworthy initiatives operates the "Swap Shop" that sells surplus university furniture, office equipment and supplies to the community (and donates funds to the United Way) and "The FreeStore" that collects everything students leave behind for reuse or proper recycling
Building footprint includes PV solar panels, rainwater collection, green roof, solar water heating, geothermal heating/cooling, LED lighting retrofits and occupancy sensors, rooftop garden, sustainable roofing standard (use of long-lasting lightweight concrete), use of Green Seal Certified cleaning products in all facilities, water conservation fixtures and smart-irrigation systems
Extended recycling batteries, light bulbs, organic composting available across campus, construction and demolition materials, laboratory glass and plastics (the university received Gold status through the Recycling Council of Ontario's 3R certification program)
Commuter amenities tri-campus shuttle bus services, carpooling and car sharing programs (Zipcar and Car2Go), preferred parking for low-emission vehicles, Bikechain (St. George campus not-for-profit cycling organization that supports both U of T and the city's large cycling community), UTM Bikeshare and Mississauga Cycling Advisory Committee, Smart Commute (UTSC is a founding partner), ongoing greening the fleet program (includes use of bicycles), walk to public transit, secure/sheltered bicycle parking, online car-pool sign-up, transit subsidies, electric vehicle charging stations
Community partnerships Ontario Universities Committed to a Greener World (signatory to the sustainability pledge), Gemini House (low-energy housing demonstration project in partnership with Ryerson University, Ontario Power Authority, Halsall Associates and ERA Architects), Evergreen Canada (partnership to naturalize areas at UTM's campus), Toronto Seed Library (organic, native, heirloom and pollinator seeds), Fair Trade certified campus (UTSC and UTM are fair trade designated campuses, St. George is in the process of applying)

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