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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Improved animal care, guest and educational experiences drive Ontario Tech University-Toronto Zoo partnership


In recent years, the ethical application of technology has greatly improved human quality of life. Mobile devices, machine learning, big data analysis and artificial intelligence have drastically transformed the way we communicate, educate and deliver health-care services.

But have you ever stopped to consider technology’s potential to enhance the lives of animals and improve our understanding of them?   

A memorandum of understanding between Ontario Tech University and the Toronto Zoo will promote the development and deployment of innovative technologies to increase conservation impact, improve the well-being of animals, enhance guest experience and more efficiently run the zoo’s operations. It will also provide opportunities for the Toronto Zoo to contribute to the university experience at Ontario Tech by serving as a platform for youth leadership, research and innovation.

Initially proposed areas of collaboration include projects led by researchers and students in Ontario Tech’s Faculty of Business and Information Technology:

  • Improving animal care:
    • Developing computer applications that use physiological data and machine learning in veterinary procedures
    • Exploring the use of computer vision in habitats, and machine learning to study stress, playfulness and other behaviour tied to environmental data and diet.
  • Enhancing guest experiences
    • Building new apps, educational games and augmented reality experiences.
    • Capturing and mapping Wi-Fi quality and provide recommendations.
    • Exploring the development of interactive data walls and an interactive Toronto Zoo Welcome Map with information that can help guests plan their experience.
  • Providing experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the zoo:
    • Offering internships, co-op placements, seasonal employment, and volunteer activities.
    • Exploring opportunities to provide classroom or lab experiences.
  • Partnering on a new Conservation Campus (part of the zoo’s Visitor/Welcome Centre) to provide space for teaching and research.
  • Holding regular educational outreach events at the Toronto Zoo and Ontario Tech to highlight each organization’s expertise and research capacities.


“Ontario Tech University is excited to partner with the Toronto Zoo on their Technology Transformation and Innovation plan. We look forward to opportunities to apply our research expertise in collaborative design and digital economy technologies and add to the already amazing zoo experience for visitors, residents and employees. Together we will help advance the Toronto Zoo’s mission by leveraging technology and our expertise. Technological innovation, experiential learning and the ethical application of technology are at the core of what Ontario Tech is about, and we see this partnership between neighbours as enriching for the Toronto Zoo and for our students and professors over the years to come.”
- Michael Bliemel, PhD, Dean, Faculty of Business and Information Technology, Ontario Tech University

“The Toronto Zoo is committed to applying innovative technology solutions to provide exemplary animal care. This new partnership with Ontario Tech University is an exciting opportunity to continue to develop and employ innovative technology solutions to increase conservation impact and improve the well-being of animals in our care. It is also our esteemed pleasure to have Ontario Tech join the Toronto Zoo’s Technology Advisory Committee to act as a resource in the development of student experience, capital facilities and educational outreach. From our perspective, the implementation of this partnership is an excellent example of community collaborations in action to help the health and wellness of animals.”
- Dolf DeJong, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Zoo


Media contact
Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668 ext. 6709