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History

The life of a college can be measured both by the success of its graduates and in its physical growth.

Seneca College has graduated thousands of students since its inception in 1967, and we have proudly seen them go on to be successful executives, senators, pilots, fashion designers, police officers, broadcasters and entrepreneurs.


A Sampling of Successful Seneca Alumni:
  • Marc Caira — former President & CEO of Tim Hortons Inc.
  • Hon. Alvin Curling — former MPP Scarborough North, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Ambassador to the Dominican Republic
  • Armand La Barge — Chief of York Regional Police (retired)
  • Vivienne Poy — Senator
  • Philip Sparks — Fashion Designer

Building Through the Years

The Seneca of today was a long time coming. When the College first opened its doors in 1967, classes were offered at a number of sites including a former Woolworth store and a renovated factory.

Ground was turned in 1968 to create Seneca’s first permanent location on Finch Avenue East at Highway 404. The modest building grew in phases over the years and is today named after our founding president William Newnham.

At the same time, Seneca created its Buttonville Campus to house its aviation program. Since then, the College’s fleet has grown to include a total of 19 planes (single and twin engine), as well as simulators that allow students to gain experience in single engine planes and multi-crew jet aircrafts.

The 700-acre King Campus, the former estate owned by the Eaton Family, followed in 1971.

Recent Years

Many other locations have housed Seneca programs but the next major expansion happened in 1999 with the opening of the Seneca@York Campus, the first college campus to be located on the grounds of a university.

In 2005, Seneca opened its Markham Campus. A former 10-storey office building, this unique campus is located in Markham’s business district, home to the head offices of many multinational and national businesses.

Seneca also has smaller campuses in Newmarket, Scarborough, Yorkgate and Vaughan offering community-based services.

In 2011, Newnham Campus celebrated the opening of the environmentally friendly A+ Building, providing a new entrance to the building and additional classrooms, study and meeting areas.

Students of the Bachelor of Aviation Technology program began classes at the Peterborough Aviaton Campus in January 2014. The new campus was created after the owners of the Buttonville Airport, where Seneca’s aviation program had been based for more than 40 years, announced their intent to close the airport. The new state-of-the-art campus is located at the Peterborough Municipal Airport.

The Future

King Campus was awarded provincial funding to revitalize the campus by modernizing current facilities and building more space for students while expanding programming in health and community services, pathways and natural environment and sustainability. The $100+ million project to expand infrastructure at the Campus is made possible through a partnership with the Ontario government, Seneca Student Federation and the Student Athletic Association. Construction has already started on the 200,000 square foot Magna Hall, named in recognition of the $3-million donation to the Campaign for King Campus made by Magna International. It will feature 25 classrooms, labs, a library, a student centre, gymnasium and fitness facilities and provide space for 1,500 additional students.

At Newnham Campus, Seneca has broken ground on the Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE).

CITE, financially supported by the federal and provincial governments, will bring applied research and commercialization, specialized training and both student and business-led entrepreneurial activities under one roof.

It will include classrooms, labs and a presentation gallery that incorporates indigenous design. There will also be space and entrepreneurial supports to help small-to-medium-size enterprises from North Toronto and York Region build their innovation capacity through access to the facility’s maker spaces, labs, equipment and research expertise.

Construction has also started, on a new multi-purpose artificial turf field and seasonal dome at Newnham Campus. It will serve both recreation and varsity programs, Seneca Summer Camps and the community through space rentals. It was made possible by funding from the Student Athletic Association and through the support of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.