Media Releases

U of T Reviving Marshall McLuhan’s Global Village of Intellectual Thinkers

September 13, 2016

Toronto, ON – The Group of Seven. The Rat Pack. The Toronto School of Communication. Groups that became famous worldwide for their expertise.

Each had a disruptive, genius leader.

The University of Toronto’s was the late Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar who worked at the intersection of culture and technology—the very foundation of Toronto’s mushrooming power in digital media. He did so in ways that only later became mainstream, like his famous observation, “the medium is the message.”

Now, the University seeks to revive the spirit of McLuhan’s theories and the work conducted in his modest “Coach House,” where he spent much of his 30-year career at U of T. The Centre is now housed within UofT’s Faculty of Information.

Between 1930 and 1970, a growing conversation grew among Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, Eric Havelock, Northrop Frye, and Glen Gould, all community intellectuals based out of U of T. The world took notice of these thinkers, dubbed The Toronto School of Communication. McLuhan in his Centre for Culture and Technology, taught and held court during his famous Monday Night Seminars. Together with this group, he achieved international recognition for innovative and trans-disciplinary approaches to the evolving societal challenges. The University maintains this commitment today.

What’s next is the subject of upcoming events, exhibitions, and honours. To get the conversation going, we invite members of the media to participate in any number of discourse-stimulating events, from October 12 to 16, and/or interview John Ralston Saul (Canada’s leading public intellectual), Gail Lord (Lord Cultural Resources), Mark Kingwell (Philosophy Professor), David Mulroney (President of University of St. Michael’s College), Randy Boyagoda (Principal of St. Michael’s College), Paolo Granata (Conference Chair), and David Nostbakken (McLuhan Centre strategist).

  • Wednesday, October 12, 12-12:30 pm, Toronto Heritage Plaque Unveiling (McLuhan Centre)
  • Thursday, October 13, 5:30-7 pm, Lectio Magistralis by Paul Elie on “Glenn Gould and Marshall McLuhan” and opening of a Multi-Media Exhibition “McLuhan on Campus: Local Inspirations, Global Visions” (St. Michael’s College)
  • Friday, October 14, 9-9:30 am, opening ceremony The Toronto School: Then, Now, Next International Conference (Victoria College Building).
  • Sunday, October 16, 5:30-6:30 pm, Town Hall Meeting “Rethinking the Global Village in an era of Cities and Soft Power” at the Then, Now, Next International Conference (Isabel Bader Theatre).

For a full event listing, please see: http://thetorontoschool.ca/

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To schedule a one-on-one interview or confirm your attendance, please contact:

Kathleen O’Brien, Communications Officer, Faculty of Information, U of T
416.978.7184 or kathleen.obrien@utoronto.ca