Trent University is located in Peterborough, Ontario, 90 minutes northeast of Toronto and about three hours from Ottawa. The University’s main campus, the Symons Campus sits on a 580-hectare property, much of it preserved as nature areas, along both banks of the Otonabee River at the northern edge of the city. Catharine Parr Traill College in downtown Peterborough focuses on the University’s growing Graduate Studies programs. Trent also offers full degree programs at its satellite campus in Oshawa, Ontario.
Trent was born out of years of planning by public-spirited citizens of Peterborough. An Academic Planning Committee and a Campus Planning Committee were formed after T.H.B. Symons was appointed president-designate in 1961, and the University was formally created by the Ontario Legislature in April 1963. Trent opened its doors to its first students in September 1964. In 1967, Leslie M. Frost, former Premier of Ontario, was elected first Chancellor of the University. The University was admitted to full membership in the Association of Colleges and Universities of Canada in 1968.
The core of what is now the Symons Campus was donated by GE Canada, and has provided Trent with an uncommonly beautiful setting in which to develop its facilities. Guided by master planning architect, Ronald J. Thom, a long-range plan was devised. Today the Symons Campus is home to four residential colleges; the main library; three science buildings, including the award-winning Chemical Sciences building with the Worsfold Water Quality Centre; the First Peoples House of Learning, the DNA Building; a child care facility and central administrative offices, along with recreational facilities which include an athletics complex, new artificial turf playing field, tennis courts and rowing facilities. In addition to the residential colleges, part-time study is offered through Julian Blackburn College.
Now in its forty-sixth teaching year, the University has approximately 6,007 undergraduates in the full-time program, and 1,341 part-time students. In addition, there are 282 Master’s degree candidates and 104 Ph.D. candidates.
Recognized as one of Canada’s top universities, Trent University is consistently renowned for striking a unique balance between excellence in research and a commitment to teaching.
Trent’s Residential Colleges
Trent’s residential colleges are central to the organizational structure of the University and to the intellectual and social experience of Trent students. All Trent students, regardless of whether they live in residence, are affiliated with one of Trent’s colleges. Over the years, each of the colleges has developed its own unique character, creating for Trent students a variety of distinct communities.
For students who choose to live in residence, the colleges provide all the resources and facilities necessary for comfortable on-campus living. For those who live off-residence, the colleges are focal points of social and cultural activity.
Trent University stresses the importance and the value of a liberal education, and is committed to ensuring, through a general emphasis on interactive learning, that each student has the opportunity to pursue fields of interest intensively and with ample access to the University’s teaching resources. Eighty-five percent of first- and second-year classes have fewer than 60 students and 95% of third- and fourth-year classes have fewer than 60 students.