It is one of two members of the Association of American Universities outside the United States, the other being Mc Gill University in Montreal, Quebec.
Beginning in the 1980s, reductions in government funding prompted more rigorous fundraising efforts.
The university grounds lie about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north of the Financial District in Downtown Toronto, and immediately south of the neighbourhoods of Yorkville and The Annex.
The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first practical electron microscope, the development of multi-touch technology, the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.
By a significant margin, it receives the most annual scientific research funding of any Canadian university.
The dramatic effect of this blended design by architect Frederick William Cumberland drew praise from European visitors of the time: "Until I reached Toronto," remarked Lord Dufferin during his visit in 1872, "I confess I was not aware that so magnificent a specimen of architecture existed upon the American continent." Built in 1907, Convocation Hall is recognizable for its domed roof and Ionic-pillared rotunda.
Although its foremost function is hosting the annual convocation ceremonies, the building is a venue for academic and social events throughout the year.The architecture is epitomized by a combination of Romanesque and Gothic Revival buildings spread across the eastern and central portions of campus, most dating between 18.The traditional heart of the university, known as Front Campus, is near the campus centre in an oval lawn enclosed by King's College Circle.With its green spaces and many interlocking courtyards, the university forms a distinct region of urban parkland in the city's downtown core.The namesake University Avenue is a ceremonial boulevard and arterial thoroughfare that runs through downtown between Queen's Park and Front Street. George, Museum, and Queen's Park stations of the Toronto subway system are nearby.During the American Civil War, the threat of Union blockade on British North America prompted the creation of the University Rifle Corps, which saw battle in resisting the Fenian raids on the Niagara border in 1866.