This was a year of innovation and collaboration at George Brown College, as our community reimagined how we teach, learn and work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the many challenges, we remained focused on our Strategy 2022 objectives: Future Skills, Connections, New Ways of Teaching, Learning & Service Delivery, and Foundations for Success. And as you’ll see below, in many ways, the pandemic accelerated our progress.

As the province confronts the short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic, George Brown College is playing a key role in training and retraining workers, helping businesses recover and getting our economy back on track.

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New Ways of Teaching, Learning & Service Delivery

During the pandemic, we embraced new ways of teaching, learning and service delivery that allowed us to prepare the essential workers Ontario needs while accelerating our adoption of digital tools and technologies.


courses shifted from in-person to
online or hybrid delivery. [7]



virtual tutoring sessions were provided through
our Tutoring and Learning Centre. [9]

Online Experiential Learning

When the pandemic limited the number of in-person placements available this year, we developed innovative new virtual work-integrated learning opportunities – allowing students to gain work experience with organizations across Ontario and around the world.



students completed virtual experiential learning
opportunities, including:



remote work-integrated learning placements with employers.



entrepreneurship WIL placements with startGBC.



experiential learning projects completed through Riipen, a digital platform that allows students to tackle real, sector-specific challenges with industry partners.



virtual placements with international employers as part of a pilot program for traditionally underrepresented students, including students who are Black, Indigenous or People of Colour (BIPOC), have disabilities or have low incomes. [10]

Training for the Virtual Classroom

To support a high-quality online learning experience for students, we delivered specialized professional development programming to our faculty and instructors, as well as drop-in consultation services and digital resources from our Teaching and Learning Exchange.

  • 1,376 employees completed training on the Blackboard learning management system and other educational technologies. [11]
  • 600 employees participated in a two-week course on designing and teaching online courses. [12]
  • 285 employees completed our Universal Design for Learning certificate program. [12]



Building on our connections with organizations across Ontario and around the world, we've conducted vital research, created new learning opportunities and given back to our community.

George Brown donated medical and personal protective equipment to local
hospitals and healthcare facilities including:



ear-loop and N95 masks



pairs of gloves



medical gowns



ventilators [4]


George Brown's childcare centres enabled parents and caregivers to work and keep the economy running by supporting:



children. [5]

Innovating Through College-Led Research

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, innovation and adaptability have been integral to the success of local businesses. This year, our Research & Innovation team helped several industry partners tackle pandemic-related challenges, and this type of research support will play an increasingly important role in Ontario’s economic recovery:

More advanced physical prototype of the stair-climbing domestic robot ROSA.

Stair-Climbing Robot

Researchers from our Centre for Construction & Engineering Technology worked with Quantum Robotics Systems (QRS) to develop a more advanced physical prototype of their stair-climbing domestic robot, ROSA. The robot is an assistive device for seniors, disabled persons and caregivers, and offers non-contact delivery and mobile disinfection applications during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Digital Peer Support for Seniors

Our researchers also supported Java Group Programs in developing and testing a digital version of their peer support program for seniors, which allows care home residents to connect in a safe and meaningful way.


Although travel was restricted this year, we have continued to explore ways of fostering future success in the global economy. A new partnership with Erdiston Teachers’ Training College in Barbados will enable faculty exchanges and study abroad opportunities for early childhood education students – virtual for now, and in-person when it’s safe to do so – as well as joint research opportunities and business data analytics activities.


Students from our Health Informatics and Information Systems Business Analysis programs (including Sagar Varia, pictured) participated in a virtual health-care hackathon this spring, developing innovative ways to save time and improve social distancing in medical clinics using robotic process automation. George Brown teams won Top Overall Solution and Most Innovative Solution honours.

Sagar Varia

Future Skills

As the pace of change speeds up, we're working closely with industry and community partners to ensure learners build the skills our economy needs – both now and into the future.

New Programs

Developed in partnership with employers, our new programs and placement opportunities address key gaps in the labour force.

Created in partnership with robotics solution provider GlobalDWS, the online Service Robotics micro-credential program guides students through the growth and development of the service robotics industry, as well as typical applications, current and future market trends.

The Arbour

Building strong and sustainable infrastructure will be an important part of our community’s recovery. That’s why we’re continuing to move forward with The Arbour, Ontario’s first mass-timber, low-carbon institutional building – the future home of our School of Computer Technology, School of Architectural Studies, a childcare centre and a research hub focused on mass-timber construction. This project will create job opportunities for a wide range of skilled workers, while helping establish more environmentally sustainable building practices.

Impact Report 2020-2021 The Arbour building

Foundations for Success

We laid foundations for success by delivering on our anti-racism strategy and introducing new methods of supporting our students.

More than


pieces of tech equipment were loaned to students
from the Library Learning Commons, including:









portable Wi-Fi hubs for students without home internet access. [13]


student counselling appointments were delivered online,
providing vital mental health support to students experiencing
increased stress and anxiety due to the pandemic. [14]


Our virtual orientation programming in September 2020 and January 2021 included:






non-academic online events



academic program orientation online events [8]



of new students who visited our Online Orientation microsite said
they felt better prepared to start the semester after completing
modules on getting started at George Brown, accessing support
services, connecting with classmates and more. [8]




pounds of food was delivered to George Brown students and their households through the Emergency Good Food Box program. [15]


More than


was raised for the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund, which supported students facing financial hardship due to the pandemic. This was made possible through a partnership between the Student Association, the George Brown College Foundation and the college, as well as the Government of Ontario’s emergency investment in higher education to support student success. [16]

Increasing Access to the Trades

A partnership between our Women Transitioning to Trades & Employment program and Hilti Canada is enabling more women, trans and non-binary people to enter the skilled trades. Participants gain access to scholarships, coaching, career planning support and employment opportunities, as well as a tool kit upon graduation.

Supporting Future Frontline Workers

To ensure that future frontline workers can complete their education and fill vital roles in our community, the George Brown College Foundation has created a scholarship fund for students studying health care, construction and other essential work.

More than


in scholarships was disbursed with an average
value of $1,212 per student. [16]

More than


was raised by the George Brown College Foundation in 2020-2021 to fund scholarships, programming, capital improvements and special projects at the college. [16]

This was made possible by the generosity of our donors.


Taking action on our Anti-racism Strategy

George Brown College is committed to addressing and eliminating the barriers faced by members of our community who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC). While there is much work yet to be done in order to become a truly inclusive and equitable place to learn and work, we have taken a number of tangible steps this year, including: 

  • Hiring a new Director of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services, Jennifer Grant, who will support the delivery of the college’s Anti-Racism Strategy, as well as the crucial work of our Anti-Racism and Equity Advisory Committee.
  • Creating a Director of Indigenous Initiatives position to lead our efforts to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and oversee Indigenization measures.
  • Joining the Onyx Initiative, a mentorship program that aims to increase representation of Black Canadians in the corporate world through mentorship, coaching and online skills training.
  • Completing an Employment Equity Survey, which will help us gain a better understanding of our current workforce and set objectives and plans to improve representation across groups.
  • Signing the Black North Pledge to combat systemic racism.
  • Collaborating with the Pinball Clemons Foundation and RBC on Foundations in Banking, a 13-week program that provides BIPOC youth with training, mentorship and a foot in the door to launch careers in the financial services sector.

George Brown College at a Glance


Student Enrolment


full-time students
(including 720 apprentices)


part-time students


Continuing Education


Programs Offered


full-time programs [17]


Impact Report 2020-2021 - 1,429 Full-Time Employees, 658 Support Staff, 553 Faculty, 218 Administrative Staff
Impact Report 2020-2021 - 3,148 Part-time employees - 429 continuing education; 1,537 faculty; 68 administrative staff; 1,114 support staff
Greater Toronto's Top 2021 Employers logo


George Brown was named one of Greater Toronto’s
Top 100 Employers for 2021

Revenues & Expenditures 2020 – 2021

Operating Revenue by Source

Ontario Government$133M
Federal Government$6M
Student Fees$188M


Operating Expenditures

Salaries and
Supplies and
Other Expenses
Plant, Property and
Capital Amortization
Scholarships and

Total$355M [18]


  1. 2021 Student Winter Check-In Survey, Institutional Research, George Brown College 
  2. Office of the Registrar, George Brown College  
  3. startGBC, George Brown College 
  4. Centre for Health Sciences, George Brown College  
  5. Centre for Community Services and Early Childhood, George Brown College 
  6. Fashion Exchange, George Brown College 
  7. Enrolment Planning & Reporting, George Brown College  
  8. Student Success, George Brown College  
  9. Tutoring and Learning Centre, George Brown College  
  10. Work-Integrated Learning, Experiential Education & Global Mobility, George Brown College 
  11. E-Learning & Teaching Innovation, George Brown College   
  12. Teaching and Learning Exchange, George Brown College 
  13. Library Learning Commons, George Brown College  
  14. Counselling & Student Wellbeing, George Brown College
  15. PeerConnect, George Brown College 
  16. George Brown College Foundation  
  17. Several programs were temporarily suspended in 2020-21 due to the pandemic but will be resumed in 2021-22. 
  18. Due to rounding, numbers may not add up precisely to totals presented 

This Impact Report was designed by Graphic Design students Natalie Franke and Emma Keat and Interaction Design student Tanya Khatcherian as part of the experiential learning initiative at George Brown’s IN Design studio.