Our History

Humber has a 48-year history and an international reputation for providing high-quality postsecondary education. Today, the college serves more than 27,000 full-time and 56,000 continuing education registrants.

Humber is located in Adobigok, which means Place of the Alders in the Ojibwe Algonquian dialect, and is where the modern-day name Etobicoke comes from. The Humber River itself has long been significant to the Aboriginal peoples of this area.

In the early years of Toronto, the Humber River provided the local industry with the energy source and communications link it needed to flourish. In 1967, Humber College took on that heritage, dedicating itself to the communication of ideas and energy that would foster lifelong learning.

Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) were established by provincial legislation in 1967 in response to the need for a skilled workforce. The mandate of CAATs was to provide accessible, quality career education and training to enhance the social and economic development of Ontario and to meet local, regional and global marketplace demand.


1967 - Humber’s first few hundred students began classes in the skilled trades.

1970's - Humber developed into a comprehensive postsecondary institution, providing education through Schools of Applied Arts, Business, Creative Arts, Health Sciences, Human Studies and Technology.

1980's – More technology programs are offered to satisfy the needs of a changing workplace.

1990's - Humber was the first college to offer Ontario Graduate Certificates to university graduates who, after attaining a general arts or science degree, require specific, job-related training. The college began planning to respond to the needs of a more global, information-based workplace. 

2001 - Following provincial Ministry consent, Humber began offering the University of New Brunswick-Humber collaborative Bachelor of Nursing degree. Today it is the largest Bachelor of Nursing program in Ontario.

2002 - Humber welcomed the inaugural class of the University of Guelph-Humber, which offers integrated degree-diploma programs through a partnership between the University of Guelph and Humber College.

2003 – On February 10, 2003, the provincial Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities designated Humber College as an Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. This designation enabled Humber to develop and offer bachelor degrees. The objective was to offer up to 15 per cent of programming in baccalaureate degrees.

2006 - Humber adopted a new vision: "Humber - Excellence in polytechnic education."

2007 - The first graduates of Humber degrees entered the workforce after successful work placements in their chosen sector and Humber grew its commitment to applied research.

2008 - Humber enrolled 24 per cent - or one in four - students taking a degree program at all Ontario colleges. At this point, Humber offered 12 degree programs.

2009 - Humber continues the revitalization of the Lakeshore Campus with the opening of the Centre for Justice Leadership, opens 95,000-square-foot Centre for Trades & Technology facility on Carrier Drive, and announces plans for Orangeville Campus.

2010 - Humber is recognized for sustainability leadership by the City of Toronto’s Better Buildings Partnership, opens The Business School’s Fashion Institute and the Humber Arts & Media Studios at Lakeshore Campus.

2011 - Humber hosts first TEDx event at a Canadian college, opens the LEED Silver-designated Lakeshore Commons, and is named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People by MediaCorp Canada, Inc.

Humber provides a rich academic experience for students. Our award-winning faculty has advanced academic credentials, industry experience and employs the latest technology and teaching methodologies in state-of-the-art labs and classrooms that simulate a real-world working environment.

Moving forward, Humber will continue to offer industry-focused programs with relevant curriculum that provide job-ready graduates with the academic learning and hands-on training they need to impress potential employers.