french university toronto

Ontario government cancels French university and Toronto's not happy

Sorry, Francophones: Doug Ford announced Thursday that he's scrapping the province's plans to open Toronto's first ever French-language university.

The premier's decision was part and parcel with the release of his fiscal roadmap for the rest of the year, which included other controversial decisions like scrapping rent control and dismantling the Ontario Place Corporation.

Ford met with Quebec's new premier François Legault today, who said he was "disappointed" with Ford's decision. 

Franco-Ontarians and French speakers across the country—including Canada's most famous Francophone, Justin Trudeau—have also weighed in on Ford's decisions.

Kathleen Wynne's Ontario government had announced its plans for an exclusively French-language university last year, catering to the province's fast-growing Francophone population (the largest in Canada outside of Quebec). 

The intention was to eventually open the university somewhere in downtown Toronto, possibly somewhere in the East Waterfront development. 

Ford has cited the province's $15-billion deficit as his reason for cutting funds to the university, as well last month's decision to pull funds for three university expansions

But more troubling than the axeing of the French-language university is the province's plans to eliminate the position of a French language services commissioner, whose job is to ensure that the government abides by the French Language Services Act. 

Many had hoped that Ford's mind could be changed at today's meeting with Legault, but evidently, the Premier refused to reverse the decision. 

Lead photo by

Nuno Salgado


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