Seneca College

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Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
Seneca College logo.svg
Type Public
President David Agnew
Students17,000 full-time; 90,000 part-time
Undergraduates Available
Postgraduates Available
Location, ,
Campus Urban
Colours Red     
Nickname The Sting
AffiliationsColleges Ontario, CCAA, CICan, AUCC, CBIE, Polytechnics Canada, OCAA
MascotSammy Sting

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology is a multiple-campus public college located in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada. It offers full-time and part-time programs at the baccalaureate, diploma, certificate and graduate levels.


Seneca opened in 1967 as part of a provincial initiative to establish an Ontario-wide network of colleges of applied arts and technology providing career-oriented diploma and certificate courses as well as continuing education programs to Ontario communities. The province was responding to the increasing need for sophisticated applied learning as technology continued to change the nature of work and the provincial economy. General education was considered an important element in postsecondary education, and breadth courses continue to be a part of every program. In 2001 the colleges were granted the ability to offer baccalaureate degrees. Seneca is one of six colleges that can offer up to 15 per cent of its program activity at the degree level. [1]

A sign marks the future site of Seneca's Finch Campus (later renamed Newnham Campus), June, 1968. Image: Seneca Archives and Special Collections Finch Sign.jpg
A sign marks the future site of Seneca's Finch Campus (later renamed Newnham Campus), June, 1968. Image: Seneca Archives and Special Collections


Seneca has campus locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area and in Peterborough as of May 2020. Each campus has its own academic specialties.

Newnham Campus

Newnham Campus's 1,113-bed student residence opened in 1998. SenecaNewnhamStudentResidence.jpg
Newnham Campus's 1,113-bed student residence opened in 1998.

The Newnham Campus is one of the largest college campuses in Canada. It is home to more than 11,000 full-time students in business, engineering, aviation, early childhood education, fashion, opticianry, information and communications technology and liberal arts. The campus, initially known as Finch Campus, was renamed in 1984 after founding president William T. Newnham, is also the site of extensive continuing education activity during the evenings and weekends. The campus also includes a 1,113-bed residence, sports centre and daycare centre. It is located west of the intersection of Highway 404 and Finch Avenue East.

The campus's first building was opened in 1969 and over the years has involved various architects (William H.D. Hurst (Phase 1); John B. Parkin (Phase 2 with Searle, Wilbee and Rowland); Abram, Nowski and McLaughlin (arena)). In 1973 a 1,100 square foot domed planetarium was added to the Phase 3 section of the campus, but it has since closed. [2]

In fall 2011, Seneca's newest addition, designed for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, was officially opened at the campus. The new building, designed by Craig Applegath of Dialog, features: three 80-seat classrooms; twenty-three 40-seat classrooms; fourteen 40-seat computer labs; a multi-purpose auditorium for 240 students that can be turned into a conference room or two 120-seat lecture halls; increased computing commons and library space; several new areas of collaborative student study and work space; a new "front door" for the campus and improved campus access for people with disabilities. The atrium in the new space was named after Frederick Minkler, Seneca's first chair of the board of governors.

In 2019, Seneca's Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) opened at Newnham Campus, representing a major expansion to the campus. [3]

Seneca @ York

Seneca@York's Stephen E. Quinlan Building Senecaatyork.JPG
Seneca@York's Stephen E. Quinlan Building

Seneca @ York Campus, located on York University's Keele Campus, features the Stephen E. Quinlan Building, designed by architect Raymond Moriyama and named after Seneca's third president Steve Quinlan. Seneca also shares the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (formerly known as TEL building) with York. Several schools are located at this Toronto campus, including the Schools of Creative Arts and Animation, Media, Biological Sciences & Applied Chemistry, English & Liberal Studies and Information & Communications Technology.

King Campus

Seneca's Eaton Hall, located on the shores of Lake Seneca at King Campus. EatonHall3.JPG
Seneca's Eaton Hall, located on the shores of Lake Seneca at King Campus.

King Campus is located in a natural setting of 282 hectares (697 acres) of woods, lake and fields in King City. It is home to full and part-time programs in Applied Arts, Health Sciences and Community Services; which include Police Foundations, Nursing, Social Service Worker], Child and Youth Care, Behavioural Sciences, Early Childhood Education, Environmental Landscape Management, Recreation and Leisure Services, Underwater Skills, and Veterinary Assistant and Veterinary Technician. There is a residence for Seneca students on campus. Seneca Residence is a two bedroom suite where there are amenities such as lounge room, laundry room, and a common kitchen.

One of the most striking and historically significant features of King Campus is Eaton Hall, the former summer home of the Eaton Family, which sits on the shores of Lake Seneca. Eaton Hall was the former home of Seneca's Management Development Centre, and has also been the setting of several films, including David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, Mrs. Winterbourne, The House By The Lake, and others.

In June 2011, the Government of Ontario announced a $43 million project to expand services at the campus, including a new building with 25 classrooms, a library, computer services, and health care training laboratories. Once complete, it will support an additional 1,450 students, for a complement of 5,000 overall. [4]

The project eventually became known as Magna Hall, a 200,000 square foot facility that officially opened on September 27, 2018. [5] Named in recognition of Magna International, it includes 25 classrooms, computer labs, specialty labs, a library, a student centre and a multi-purpose athletic and recreation space.

A 25-acre (100,000 m2) parcel of the campus at the northwest corner of Dufferin Street and 15th Sideroad will house a community centre for King City. [6] The township of King will lease the land for $1 per year for 60 years. [6]

Markham Campus

Seneca's Markham Campus SenecaMarkhamCampus21.jpg
Seneca's Markham Campus

Markham Campus opened its doors in 2005, becoming the first post-secondary education facility in the city of Markham, Ontario. The campus houses full and part-time programs in the areas of business, marketing and tourism, and also the college's departments of Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology Services. Since 2011 the campus has also been home to the Confucius Institute. [7]

In 2017, York University announced its final plans to open a new campus west of the Markham Pan Am Centre in partnership with Seneca. [8] This facility was expected to open in 2021. [9] [10] Funding of the project, $127 million, had been approved in June 2018 by the provincial government then in power. [11] On 23 October 2018 however, the new Provincial government (elected in June) withdrew the funding for plans such as this, effectively cancelling the York/Seneca satellite campus. [12]

Peterborough Campus

Peterborough Airport in Peterborough is the home of Seneca's aviation campus, including a fleet of aircraft and flight training devices used by students enrolled in the Bachelor of Aviation Program. Opened in January, 2014, [13] in response to the pending closure of Buttonville Airport, the campus serves the second, third and fourth years of the degree program, while first-year students study at Newnham Campus. Some courses and services at the Peterborough Campus are offered in partnership with Fleming College.

Seneca's fleet currently consists of 22 aircraft: 16 Cessna 172s (8 G1000 equipped), 3 Beechcraft Bonanzas and 3 Beechcraft Barons (1 G1000 equipped).

Seneca Downtown

Opened in October 2019 and located in Downtown Toronto, Seneca Downtown provides a mix of in-class, online and hybrid courses for post-secondary graduates and working professionals.

Yorkgate Campus

Open since the 1990s, Yorkgate Campus has post-secondary programs as well as customized programs in academic upgrading and office systems. Serving as an access and outreach centre for the Jane-Finch community, Yorkgate also offers the Literacy and Basic Skills program along with a variety of employment-related provincial and federal programs, including since 2013 Practical Nursing and Social Service Worker. The Employment Resource Centre offers assisted services and extended hours on evenings and Saturdays. The facility is located on the second floor of the Yorkgate Mall at Finch Avenue West and Jane Street in Toronto.

Former locations

Seneca's first homes from 1967 to 1969 were various buildings in North York:

Other former Seneca College campuses include:


Seneca@York Library Seneca@YorkLib.JPG
Seneca@York Library

Seneca offers more than 145 full-time programs and 135 part-time programs including 14 Bachelor's degrees and 30 graduate certificates. [18]

Many programs offer experiential learning opportunities such as co-op, placements, internships and community service options, and some include a mandatory co-op period prior to graduation. Seneca also offers career search assistance to graduating students. Seneca College programs are developed and kept current with the assistance of advisory committees made up of industry members.

Seneca College has more than 70 transfer agreements with both local and international post-secondary institutions, including universities in Australia, England, South Africa and the U.S. These agreements allow students to apply their college education to obtain credit towards a university degree.

Faculties, Schools and Centres

Applied Arts & Health Sciences

Applied Science & Engineering Technology

Centre for Development of Open Technology, School of Information and Communications Technology SenecaCentreForDevelopmentOfOpenTechnology.jpg
Centre for Development of Open Technology, School of Information and Communications Technology


Faculty of Business on Newnham Campus FacultyOfBusinessSenecaCollege.jpg
Faculty of Business on Newnham Campus

Communication, Art & Design


Liberal Arts

Part-time Studies (Continuing Education)

Training and Employment Services

Seneca libraries

Seneca libraries offer print, audiovisual and electronic resources including books, magazines, journals, videos, DVDs, slides, recordings and a variety of topical databases. Services include research support, library instruction and a large circulating collection. The libraries provide online help through e-mail and the live reference chat services, "AskUS" and “askON". The Seneca Libraries' website also hosts research guides tailored to program-specific offerings. The library facilities are located at the Newnham, York University, Markham and King campuses and offer facilities for group and individual study and electronic training centers,the Sandbox, and workstations equipped with instructional software and information resources tailored to course requirements.

Seneca Archives and Special Collections

Seneca Archives and Special Collections, Markham Campus Repository Wallpaper 1.jpg
Seneca Archives and Special Collections, Markham Campus

Seneca Archives and Special Collections identifies, preserves, and makes available for use the documentary heritage of Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. This area of the college collects inactive records of long-term value produced by Seneca's departments and other services, as well as the records of individuals and organizations closely associated with the college. Seneca Archives and Special Collections holdings consist of textual records, graphic records, sound and moving image records, architectural drawings, publications, artifacts, and more. The Archives' resources are open to all members of the College community and outside researchers for the purposes of research, teaching, publication, television and radio programs, and for general interest.


Seneca has been active in international education for decades and now attracts more than 3,500 international students each year. The largest sending countries are, in order, China, India and South Korea, followed by Russia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.[ citation needed ] Seneca's English Language Institute prepares international students for post-secondary study through intensive language training that can last anywhere from two months to more than a year. The college has several partnerships with overseas institutions and is expanding its activities in joint applied research and work/study abroad options.

Student life

The Seneca Student Federation (SSF), offers services for campus clubs, athletics, chances to get involved in the wider community, student government, and a campus pub and an in-house radio station.


King Campus Student Residence SenecaKingResidence.jpg
King Campus Student Residence

Seneca College currently offers residence at both the Newnham Campus and the King Campus. Seneca residences are composed of suite-style units containing two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchenette. Each bedroom contains a double bed, desk, chair, closet and dresser space, as well as cable TV, internet access and phone. Students also have access to a common kitchen, laundry rooms, lounge areas, a games room and a convenience store. Buildings have a front desk and 24-hour video monitoring, and are accessed by swipe card. The King Campus residence houses 233 students in a three-storey low-rise structure, while the Newnham Campus residence houses 1,113 students in a high-rise tower with a dining hall, convenience store, and restaurant all within the building. Seneca College Residence have organized a free shuttle service from the Newnham Campus to the Markham, Seneca@York and King campuses.


The school's athletic teams are named "The Sting". The Seneca Sting is one of the most-decorated athletic programs in the history of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA), having won more than 450 medals since 1967.[ citation needed ] Seneca has sixteen varsity sports teams, including Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Curling, Fastball, Golf, Rugby, Soccer, and Volleyball, for both male and female student athletes. The Seneca Sports Centre located at the Newnham Campus includes a full ice arena, a triple gymnasium, six tennis courts, a softball diamond, two beach volleyball courts, a soccer field, and a fitness center with a dance studio. Seneca College also offers various fields, gymnasiums and fitness equipment at other campuses.


Seneca hosted a number of concerts in the 1970s and 1980s at the Minkler Auditorium and Seneca Field House (both at Newnham Campus). The Grateful Dead performed at Seneca College's Field House on November 2, 1977. Other famous artists who performed in the late seventies and eighties at Seneca include Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen(in one of his first Canadian appearances), David Bowie, Thin Lizzy (1977), Graham Parker, Sparks (band), Teenage Head (band),and Iggy Pop. [19]

Notable Senecans




See also

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