Université de l'Ontario français

Coordinates: 43°38′40.6″N 79°22′06.9″W / 43.644611°N 79.368583°W / 43.644611; -79.368583
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Université de l’Ontario français
TypePublic university
Established9 April 2018; 5 years ago (2018-04-09)[1]
Academic affiliation
PresidentPierre Ouellette[2][3][4]
Total staff
Over 50[5]
Undergraduates233 (2023)[6]
Location, ,

The Université de l’Ontario français (abbreviated as UOF; lit.'University of French Ontario')[note 1] is a French-language public university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The university campus is situated in the East Bayfront neighbourhood of downtown Toronto, near the Toronto waterfront.

The university is the first stand-alone francophone university opened in the province, having been incorporated by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in April 2018.[note 2] The institution offered its first academic certificate program in September 2019, and accepted its first cohort of full-time undergraduate students in 2021.


Efforts to establish a Francophone university in Central and Southwestern Ontario date back to the 1970s and the demands gained political traction in the 2010s with several Franco-Ontarian groups, including the Francophone Assembly of Ontario, releasing a report that recommended the creation of a Francophone university within that region on 3 October 2014.[10] A private member's bill to establish a Francophone university was later introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on 26 May 2015. However, the bill failed to pass as the legislature was prorogued.[10] While the legislature was prorogued, a report released by the Advisory Committee on French-language Post-secondary Education in Central and Southwestern Ontario noted that post-secondary Francophone education was insufficient in central and southwestern Ontario, and recommended establishing a Francophone university within Greater Toronto to help rectify the issue.[10]

On 22 September 2016, a provincial planning committee was created to help establish the institution, chaired by Dyane Adam, the former federal Commissioner of Official Languages, and made up of members from Toronto-based universities including Ryerson University and the University of Toronto; the president of the provincial French-language public broadcaster TFO; and members from Franco-Ontarian organizations.[10] The legislation establishing the institution, the Université de l’Ontario français Act, 2017, received royal assent on 14 December 2017, and formally went into effect on 9 April 2018 at the same time as the appointment of the university's first board of governors.[11][10][12] Normand Labrie was appointed by the board of governors as the university's interim president on 1 July 2018 and served until 30 June 2019.[13][14] He was succeeded by Professor André Roy who was appointed president in August 2020.[15] In February 2021, Roy resigned for personal reasons and the university's two vice-presidents at the time, Denis Berthiaume and Edith Dumont, served as the university's interim co-presidents until July 2021.[16]

Following the 2018 Ontario general election, the newly formed Progressive Conservative government announced plans to cancel funding for the establishment of the institution.[12][17] The question of funding became a major political issue for the new government among the province's Franco-Ontarian residents and it resonated with francophones across the country. Franco-Ontarian Member of Provincial Parliament Amanda Simard crossed the floor from the Progressive Conservatives, eventually joining the Liberal party, citing the decision as part of the reason for her move.[12] However, in September 2019, the governments of Ontario and Canada announced they had signed a memorandum of understanding, which would see both governments provide C$126 million to fund the institution over the following eight years.[12]

The university offered its first academic program in September 2019, a graduate-level higher education pedagogy program for members of the teaching faculty at Collège La Cité.[18] The university's first graduate certificates were issued for those who completed the program.[18] In January 2021, it was announced the university had only received 19 applicants from Ontario secondary school students for admission into its Fall 2021 cohort, much lower than the expected 200 applicants.[19] There were a total of 151 full-time undergraduate students enrolled at the university when classes began in September 2021.[20] Enrolment rates has increased since its opening year, with the university seeing a growth of over 160 per cent from 2021 to 2022 and an additional 20 per cent increase from 2022 to 2023. In 2023, there were 233 students at the university, with nearly one-third of them enrolled the university's Bachelor of Education program.[6]In its first two years, most students were international students.[21] For the 2023-24 academic year, about 50 per cent of students will be from Canada.[22]


Entrance to the university's campus at 9 Lower Jarvis Street

The Université de l'Ontario français is situated in downtown Toronto, near the shoreline of Lake Ontario. The university campus is located at 9 Lower Jarvis Street, at the base of a high-rise in the East Bayfront neighbourhood of downtown Toronto.[23] The university leases 4,654 square metres (50,100 sq ft) of space within the building.[23]


The bicameral system of the university's governance consists of two governing bodies: the Board of Governors and the Senate, both of which are established in the Université de l'Ontario français Act, 2017.[1] The board of governors is responsible for governing and managing the university.[1] The Board is made up of up to 13 external members (appointed by the Board and by Ontario's Lieutenant Governor in Council) and 9 internal members from the university's administration, faculty, and student body.[1] The senate is responsible for the university's academic and education policy, including standards for admission and qualifications for degrees, diplomas, and certificates issued by the university.[1]

The university's president and vice-chancellor serve as the university's chief executive officer.[1] Pierre Ouellette was appointed by the board of governors as president in June 2021 and took office on 7 July 2021.[2][3][4] The position was previously held by André Roy, who served as the university's president from August 2020 to February 2021. Denis Berthiaume and Edith Dumont served as interim co-presidents from Roy's departure to Ouellette's appointment.[15][16] On 20 October 2021, the board of governors appointed Paul Rouleau as chancellor and titular head of the university.[24]


French is used as the primary language of instruction.[17] The institution is the first stand-alone Francophone university to open in Ontario.[17][note 2] As French is the instructional language of the university, prospective students are required to have either taken three years of French language studies in secondary school or pass a French language proficiency test.[25]

In November 2022, the university offered four Bachelor of Social Science degree programs.[5][26] The university launched its Bachelor of Education program in January 2023.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The institution's name is sometimes translated as the University of French Ontario by English-language publications.[7][8] However, Université de l’Ontario français is the formal name of the university, and is used in both English and French provincial legislation.[1]
  2. ^ a b French is also used as an official instructional language at several other Ontario-based universities, although most of these universities operate as bilingual English and French institutions, where both languages are used for university operations.[9] In addition to these institutions, there exists several affiliated institutions in Ontario that operate as either French language- or bilingual institutions.[9] Several other Francophone universities have been chartered in Ontario since the Université de l’Ontario français was incorporated.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Université de l'Ontario français Act, 2017". www.ontario.ca. Queen's Printer for Ontario. 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b "New French-language university located in Toronto appoints new president". Sudbury.com. 2021-06-24. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  3. ^ a b "L'ex-recteur de l'Université de Hearst prend les rênes de l'UOF". Le Droit (in French). 2021-06-23. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  4. ^ a b "Pierre Ouellette devient directeur de Radio-Canada Ontario". Radio-Canada.ca (in Canadian French). 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  5. ^ a b Martin, Megan (1 November 2021). "New university fills gap for French post-secondary education in Ontario". nationalpost.com. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  6. ^ a b Tomlinson, Sarah (12 September 2023). "L'Université de l'Ontario français accueille 233 étudiants cet automne". ici.radio-canada.ca (in French). Société Radio‑Canada. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  7. ^ Levesque, Anne (22 January 2020). "Ontario's new French commissioner's vision a chilling vision for province's minorities". The Toronto Star. Torstar Corporation. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  8. ^ "MPP Mitzie Hunter Has Committed To More Bilingualism In Ontario With Her Policy For Franco-Ontarians". www.mitziehunter.ca. Mitzie Hunter. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Collèges et universités de langue française". www.ontario.ca (in French). Queen's Printer for Ontario. 27 January 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Historique". uontario.ca (in French). Universite de l'Ontario français. 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  11. ^ Université de l’Ontario français Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 34, Sched. 43 (English); Loi de 2017 sur l’Université de l’Ontario français, L.O. 2017, c. 34, ann. 43 (français).
  12. ^ a b c d "Ford and Trudeau governments team up to establish new Francophone university". Nation Valley News. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Normand Labrie Appointed Interim President". www.newswire.ca. CNW Group Ltd. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Direction". uontario.ca (in French). Université de l'Ontario français. 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  15. ^ a b "André Roy to become the first president of the Université de l'Ontario français". concordia.ca. Concordia University. 15 April 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Université de l'Ontario français: Changes to the Executive Leadership's office".
  17. ^ a b c Morello, Vincenzo (3 February 2020). "Ontario set to open first French university in 2021". Radio Canada International. Radio Canada. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  18. ^ a b Nicolle, Rozenn; Ratel, Marie-Hélène (20 June 2019). "L'Université de l'Ontario français annonce un premier programme pour l'automne 2019". ICI Toronto (in French). Radio Canada. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Ontario's French university receives only 19 applications from province's students". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  20. ^ Lechat, Clément (30 September 2021). "Rentrée à l'Université de l'Ontario français: des défis pour Pierre Ouellette". l-express.ca (in French). l‑express.ca. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  21. ^ Cayouette, Julien (16 December 2021). "Une première rentrée pour la nouvelle université franco-ontarienne" (in French). Affaires universitaires. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  22. ^ Cayouette, Julien (2 October 2023). "The state of French-language postsecondary education in Ontario". University Affairs. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  23. ^ a b "Le campus de l'Université de l'Ontario français sera sur les berges du lac Ontario". ICI Toronto (in French). Radio Canada. 25 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Paul Rouleau devient chancelier de l'Université de l'Ontario français". uontario.ca (in Canadian French). Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  25. ^ "101 – Université de l'Ontario français". www.ouac.ca. Ontario Universities' Application Centre. 22 September 2022. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  26. ^ "A look inside Toronto's only francophone university". www.macleans.ca. St. Joseph Communications. 18 November 2022.
  27. ^ Trickey, Anne Marie (6 January 2023). "Université de l'Ontario français : le nouveau baccalauréat en éducation voit le jour". ici.radio-canada.ca (in French). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 January 2023.

External links[edit]

43°38′40.6″N 79°22′06.9″W / 43.644611°N 79.368583°W / 43.644611; -79.368583