My database covers the finances of Canada’s top 25 universities since 2018. In 2023 I expanded it to cover the Top 50 universities with effect from 2020. These are not references to quality but to size, based simply on their total incomes.

The Top 25 schools were the top 25 in 1988, when I first started to compile and analyze the data. In those days, the limitations of technology and my own time were such that I had to draw the line somewhere, and the top 25 seemed like a good place. While some of the universities have fallen outside that income-based top 25 at varying points in the intervening years, the Top 25 today is almost identical to what it was 1988.

That top 25 incorporates a wide array of universities. While they have much in common, there are also differences. The most comparable grouping is the self-styled “U 15”.

The U-15 consists of “Canada’s research-focused universities”. They view themselves as direct peers, which is why they created the U-15 organization ( to promote themselves, and to provide an arena in which they can interact and cooperate.

Besides the universities, the analysis on this site also includes data broken down on a provincial basis. There are some significant differences between the provinces reflecting their philosophies regarding post-secondary education, especially in relation to funding. Some of the most notable of these differences are those between the Québec universities and those in the remainder of Canada.

For those whose universities do not feature in the analysis on this site, all is not lost. Many of the issues appear to be quite common, and it is likely that they will apply to schools right across the size spectrum. The degree to which this is true for your school can be determined by going through the same process that I used – pulling data from the sources I accessed, and conducting your own analysis.