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Founded in 1836 in Cobourg, Ontario, by royal charter from King William IV, Victoria federated with the University of Toronto in 1890. It comprises Victoria College, an arts and science college of the University of Toronto, and Emmanuel College, a theological college associated with the United Church of Canada.

As one of the oldest universities in Canada, Victoria has earned a distinguished reputation for excellence and creativity, with alumni that include some of the country’s most recognized innovators, writers, artists, scientists, educators, theologians, and political leaders: literary critic and scholar, Northrop Frye; Nobel laureate and prime minister, Lester B. Pearson; pioneering doctor, Augusta Stowe-Gullen; Nobel laureate and co-inventor of the laser, Arthur Schawlow; authors Margaret Atwood, John Bemrose and Elizabeth Hay; artist, Robert Bateman; poet, Dennis Lee; actor, Donald Sutherland; the Honourable Bill Blaikie; former ambassador, Kenneth Taylor; and filmmaker, Norman Jewison.