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Letter from our President

As we headed into 2020, we not only welcomed the new year, we also celebrated the start of a new decade. The passing of time, whether one year or ten, often leads to reflection and in Durham College’s (DC) case, we have certainly come a long way.

When I think back to our humble beginnings as an institution – one temporary building, a small group of students and only a handful of programs – we may have been small but we had a strong sense of where we wanted to go. Anchored in a desire to lead, innovate and educate at the highest level, this commitment has remained unwavering as the decades passed and the college grew.

Throughout our history, we’ve remained nimble, adapting as times changed, evolving to meet the needs of our students, employees and community, and delivering market-driven programs that get grads jobs.

For the last ten years we have lived our mission – the student experience comes first. However, as we consulted with college and community stakeholders while developing our new 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, it became very clear that we have reached a tipping point. In looking at all that we have accomplished we are not only putting the student experience first; we are reinventing it.

As we find our way through the unprecedented times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, DC continues to evolve. What is happening on our campuses, across our communities and around the globe is a transformation of the way we learn, teach, work, live and lead. What used to be a clear-cut path to post-secondary education is now varied and diverse, but no matter the format of delivery, we are not losing focus on advanced learning at home and abroad.

It truly is a team effort, both before and now, as we navigate this new reality, drawing on the strengths of our four pillars – our students, our people, our work and our community – to shape this transformation.

Together, we are leading the way.

As you read through this year’s annual report, you will see examples of this leadership. From investing in capital projects including the Phase IV Whitby Campus Expansion, to driving innovation with the launch of two new applied research centres, we are incredibly DC proud of all we have achieved.

We are also eagerly anticipating our future and all that is to come. Guided by our new mission, which truly represents who we are as a college and what we stand for, I know our record of growth, development and student success will continue.


Don Lovisa's signatures

Don Lovisa
President, Durham College

A Decade in review

In recognition of the start of a new decade at DC, we not only want to look at the past year, but also at the nine preceding it. Each achievement and milestone have helped lay the foundation for leading the way today and in the future.

As you will see, a lot can happen in 10 years. Here are some highlights.

We are DC

    • Domestic and international enrolment increased by more than 80 PER CENT.
    • While the college was home to 200 international students in 2010, 1,998 are now studying at DC.
    • The community of DC grads grew from 50,000 alumni to 95,000 in 2020.
    • The Whitby campus experienced a 130 PER CENT increase in the student population.
  • Our campus:

    • One new construction project started or completed per year since 2010. These include Phase 2 of the Whitby campus, the Centre For Food, the Student Services Building, the Pickering Learning Site, Whitby residence, the Centre for Collaborative Education and the Energy Innovation Centre.
    • Four satellite locations in Oshawa, Bowmanville, Port Hope and Uxbridge were launched.
    Image for Decade in Review - Campuses
  • Our leadership:

    • Since 2010, there have been 10 years of consecutive, balanced budgets.
    • DC President Don Lovisa has provided leadership and vision for the college since 2008.
    Image for Decade in Review - Leadership
  • Our academics:

    • The number of programs offered nearly doubled, from 89 in 2010 to over 160 by 2020.
    • DC has launched two bachelor honours degree programs.
    • Students have accessed numerous experiential learning opportunities through services offered to the broader community, as clients dine at DC’s teaching-restaurant Bistro ’67, book meetings, weddings and catering services through the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food and pamper themselves at the DC Spa.
    Image for Decade in review - academics
  • Our research:

    • Four applied research centres were developed and launched – The AI Hub, The Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation, The Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation and the Mixed Reality Capture Studio.
    • DC was been named one of Canada’s Top 50 Research College’s for six consecutive years.
    Decade in review - research
  • Our awards:

    • The college has been named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers nine times.
    • DC has been recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers three times.
    • Two alumni received Premier’s Awards since 2010 – Brent Lessard (2017) and Debbie Low (2015).
    • DC was honoured by Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards when it received the 2010 Innovative Technology Award.
    Decade in review - awards 1
  • Our awards (continued):

    • The W. Galen Weston Centre for Food won second place in the prestigious Canadian Design-Build Institute Awards of Excellence, making it the second-best design-build project in all of Canada for 2014.
    • The W. Galen Weston Centre for Food and its unique field-to-fork vision was recognized internationally, winning gold in the Green Colleges category at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Awards of Excellence in 2016.
    Decade in review - awards 2
  • Our awards (continued):

    • The Centre for Collaborative Education won the 2018 Urban Design Award from the City of Oshawa.
    • In 2016, DC was awarded the Whitby Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award in the category of Business Achievement (50+ employees).
    • DC succeeded in achieving a second silver rating from the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS), through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), for its on-campus sustainability initiatives.
    Decade in review - awards 2

DC By the Numbers

We are DC
  • 95,000
    Greenest Employer award logo

    consecutive balanced budget

    Top GTA
  • 2,259
    Professional and Part-time Learning students
    (Oshawa and Whitby)
  • 13,000 +
    full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students
    learning site (Pickering)
    employment Service locations (Bowmanville, Oshawa, Port Hope and Uxbridge)
  • $913+
    million economic impact on Durham Region
    jobs supported in
    Durham Region

A Look Ahead

Under the leadership of DC President Don Lovisa, whose contract has been extended for a fourth term, the college launched its new 2020-2023 Strategic Plan in May.

Guided by its new mission “Together, we’re leading the way”, the entire DC community will continue working together to drive innovation and growth in its programs, student experience, research and infrastructure.

As we consider the coming year, we know it will look very different from what employees and students are accustomed. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to revaluate how education is delivered however, keeping our students, employees and community safe while also continuing to offer the quality programs we are known for – whether that be online, in the classroom, or both – will remain our number one priority.

All of the feedback gathered will then be compiled, reviewed and incorporated into the new plan, which will then be shared with the DC community in Spring 2020.

To learn more about the Strategic Plan and the college’s intentions for the future, visit