York University received its charter in 1959 as an affiliate of the University of Toronto. In 1962, the province gave York 474 acres of land in North York. In 1965, Keele Campus opened and the newly independent York welcomed its first students. Students flocked to the new university—by 1970, 15,000 attended classes at York. Students, faculty and staff squeezed into classrooms, makeshift office space, recreational facilities and residences. By 1985, York was short a million square feet of space for its 33,000 students.
After a thorough evaluation of the situation, the York University Development Corporation was created by York University to deal with this space crisis. In 1985, York’s Board of Governors set up YUDC as a wholly owned subsidiary to be York U’s real estate development arm. YUDC helps the University manage its real estate holdings, develop property on the Keele campus in keeping with the University’s objectives as well as nurturing partnerships between the University, the community and government.