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Glendon’s History

Glendon is York University’s founding faculty and campus

We’re so glad you’re here. Glendon College is York University’s founding faculty and campus. From day one, our mission was to offer our students a supportive multi-language education while training them for leadership roles. We are proud of our legacy of preparing the global leaders of tomorrow.

In the 1920s, financier and philanthropist E. R. Wood built a family mansion on the beautiful grounds that would eventually become Glendon campus, at the intersections of Bayview and Lawrence Avenues in Toronto.

In 1950, Wood’s widow bequeathed the estate for educational purposes. In the years that followed, the manor served as a temporary home for art, law and botany and forestry programs, which eventually led to the creation of York University in 1959.

Glendon College opened its doors in 1959, and was officially inaugurated in 1966.

Glendon’s evolution was shaped by the vision of founding Principal Escott Reid, a diplomat, scholar, and high-level public servant. Reid gave Glendon its unique focus on bilingualism, the liberal arts, and global affairs.

In 2007, Glendon opened Canada’s first bilingual School of Public and International Affairs and launched the first bilingual and trilingual international Bachelor of Arts (iBA) degrees in Canada.

The original mansion is still in use today. This is where administrative offices, student counselling services, Café Lunik and the Canadian Language Museum, located in the Glendon Gallery, are housed.

What’s in a name?

The name "Glendon" is inspired by the land it sits on – a “glen” (a valley) near the “Don” River.

Glendon is set on 85 acres of beautiful gardens, parkland, forest and protected nature sites.

Traditional land acknowledgement

We recognize that many Indigenous Nations have longstanding relationships with the territories upon which York University campuses are located that precede the establishment of York University. Glendon as part of York University acknowledges its presence on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. The area known as Tkaronto has been care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Huron-Wendat. It is now home to many First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities. We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region.

Glendon historical highlights

Glendon Hall Mansion.


Glendon Hall Mansion is built


Glendon Hall, and its 85 acres of parkland and protected forest, are bequeathed for educational purposes

An exterior shot of Glendon Campus.


York University is incorporated under the York University Act legislation and Glendon College, the first permanent establishment of the university, opens its doors

ProTem team.


ProTem, Glendon’s bilingual student newspaper, is founded

A landlot grant is offered by the Province of Ontario to build Keele Campus

Keele Campus


Keele Campus opens its doors in North York

Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.


Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson officially inaugurates Glendon, the founding campus of York University

Students on Glendon Campus.


Glendon grows and diversifies its program offering, while continuing to offer a post-secondary bilingual education focused on the liberal arts, global action and leadership


Canada’s first bilingual School of Public and International Affairs officially opens at Glendon

Glendon launches first bilingual and trilingual international Bachelor of Arts (iBA) degrees in Canada


Ontario government names Glendon the Centre of Excellence for French-language and Bilingual Post-Secondary Education in Southern Ontario

An exterior shot of Glendon Campus.


Glendon celebrates the official opening of the Centre of Excellence building at the front of campus


Glendon celebrates its 50th anniversary through year-long celebrations with alumni and community members in Toronto, across Canada and around the world

Glendon is granted partial designation under the Ontario French Language Services Act, which means that some of the services offered by Glendon must be offered in French