Ontarios Royal Commission on the University of Toronto, 1905-06: Political and Historical Factors that Influenced the Final Report of the Flavelle Commission


Master of Arts, OISE, University of Toronto, 2007

Andrew Michael Boggs

Theory & Policy Studies, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

University of Toronto






lthough much has changed in the relationship between Canadian governments and publicly-assisted universities over the last century, the principles of institutional autonomy and annual public grants remain sacrosanct. The codification of this relationship may be found in a document written in 1906; the final report of the Royal Commission on the University of Toronto and University College, also known as the Flavelle Commission of Ontario. Appreciating the forces that acted upon the commission is important to understanding the fundamental principles of government/university interaction in Canada today. The forces that acted on the commission included a growing recognition of the United States as a comparable jurisdiction for Canadian public policy questions, the background and personal relationships of some commissioners and the political landscape of Ontario at the time. This paper examines some of these issues and the impact they had on the commissions recommendations.


Higher Education Perspectives. ISSN: 1710-1530