Toronto, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, is the largest city in Canada, with over 6 million people in the Greater Toronto Area. It is the capital of the province of Ontario, and is the economic centre of Canada, and the cultural and media capital of English Canada.
|CN Tower at centre.
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|Location proposed:||University of Toronto|
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|Contact Person:||Nick Moreau|
|Ontario, Eastern Canada, and Northeastern United States.|
Brief Introduction to the City of TorontoEdit
In 2002 The Economist listed Toronto as tied for the fourth best city in the world to live. Because of Toronto's low crime rates, clean environment and generally high standard of living, Toronto is consistently rated as one of the world's most livable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
It is also the safest major metropolitan area in North America. Toronto has one of the world's highest percentages of foreign-born residents, and is one of the most diverse places culturally, lingually, and religiously. 43% of Toronto's population reported themselves as being part of a visible minority, and 41% of the population was born outside of Canada.
Toronto has recently played host to the XVI International AIDS Conference, The Endocrine Society, Society of Nuclear Medicine, Society of Interventional Radiology, and American Psychiatric Association. International sporting events (see list) like the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 2007 International Bowl of Football, and 2006 International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships have been held here; we hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics, and were second in bidding for the 2008 Olympics, only to Beijing. A small selection of upcoming conferences are available.
1 Conference venue
2 Transportation and visa information
5 Organizing Team Members
7 Extra information
The University of Toronto has three campuses: one in the east end of Toronto (Scarborough), one west of Toronto (Mississauga), and one in downtown Toronto (St. George), the main location which would host our conference.
Research at the University of Toronto has been responsible for the world's first electronic heart pacemaker, artificial larynx, single-lung transplant, nerve transplant, artificial pancreas, chemical laser, G-suit, the first practical electron microscope, the first cloning of T-cells, and the extraction of insulin.
The university is consistently placed among the leading academic institutions of the world.Newsweek magazine places the university first in Canada, and 18th worldwide, 9th among public universities, and among the top 5 universities outside the United States. The University is also affiliated with 9 nobel laureates (6 alumni), the most of any Canadian university.
Through an affiliation with the University of Toronto’s Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) located in the Bahen Centre for Information Technology, a recently opened 215,000 square foot information technology centre, we will have access to space without cost. The Bahen Centre is home to "50 laboratories, 11 lecture theatres, 14 tutorial and seminar rooms, and 240 offices. Wired with 6.5 kilometres (4.0 miles) of fibre-optic cable, the building can accommodate 3,000 students." The university, located in downtown Toronto, is Canada's largest and one of its most notable.
Inside the Bahen Centre
The University of Toronto is connected to the ORION and CANARIE R&E (research and education) networks. The high-speed network connectivity opens the possibility of multicasting some of the events to other universities and research institutions. (Note that this has been done before -- e.g. The XVI International AIDS Conference in 2006.)
- For the UofT St. George Campus map, click here
|Possible Halls||Capacity||Seating Plan||Photo||Notes|
|Adel Sedra Auditorium (Bahen Centre)||278||BA1160||||There are several other large lectures theatres on this corridor as well as a number of smaller rooms, that seat 100 and are ideal for break-out sesssions.|
|Reichmann Family Hall (Earth Sciences Centre)||400||ES1050||||pleasant and modern lecture hall|
|J. J. R. Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building)||500||MS2158||||One block east of Bahen Centre; includes balcony and full AV system|
|Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE)||500||OIG162||||In the northern area of the UofT St. George Campus, next to the TTC St. George Subway Station|
|Convocation Hall||1550||||This facility can be rented, at reduced rates for members of the university community|
There is also the Innis Town Hall Theatre in Innis College. There are several other UofT halls that don't fall under OSM (The University's Office of Space Management). These include Hart House Theatre (450 seats), Sorbara Hall (400 seats), and the luxurious Isabel Bader Theatre (500 seats). We may not be able to get these ones free, if they are required/desired.
New College has several lounges. Bahen Centre has a small coffee and sandwich shop, and the broad atrium is frequently used for meal services for conferences. Nearby the Bahen Centre on College St. are numerous restaurants, and two blocks west is a large chinatown on Spadina Ave. In addition, many of the other UofT affiliated colleges have lounges and pubs close by.
(organisation, staff, speakers, interviews/press, storage):
- Smaller seminar rooms and offices could be used for these tasks.
Contacts with conference venue (emails, bookings etc.)Edit
Rooms are booked through the Office of Space Management. Since we will be booking through a UofT institution there is no charge, but we will be held responsible for any costs incurred by OSM. These are overtime caretaking or security costs which are passed on to OSM by the Facilities and Services Department.
KMDI, which is interested in collaborating with us, has extensive experience in organising events. The Institute has held an annual public lecture series since its inception in 1968 and a number of international conferences, including an open source conference in May of 2004. In addition to organisational expertise the Institute has designed ePresence Interactive Media, a streaming media application which is being taken open source . It was used to create a multimedia archives of the OS conference 
Existing technical installationsEdit
A wide array of standard AV equipment is available. It must be ordered five days in advance from Audiovisual Equipment and Services. They list their contact as brian.usher utoronto.ca.
Wireless Network implementationEdit
The Bahen Centre has a state of the art wireless network. Students get free access to broadband at New College, so it should not be too difficult to set up our own network, if needed.
New College offers free broadband Internet and access for those who are staying there. You need to have an Ethernet card and cables, and it is also required that guest's have "the latest security updates installed." There will be a computer lab with 30 computers available to guests during business hours.
We have yet to hear back from the Bahen Centre tech people. Their nine computer labs have "approximately 200 workstations running Linux, and about 40 X terminals (Sun workstations converted to display sessions from central compute servers)" All UofT computers use the same network, so it would be odd if we can get access at New, but not at Bahen. Knowledge Media Design Institute also has some more limited facilities at Bahen, which we will have access to.
The University of Toronto's radio station, CIUT 89.5 FM, can be heard by 8 million people in Southern Ontario and Western New York. Wikimania could possibly use these facilities for promotion, broadcasting of Wikimania speakers, presentations and panels, and for visiting radio hosts to conduct interviews. The station has been guided by four high principles since the 1970s.
The Bahen Centre for Information Technology incorporates multiple "green design" elements to reduce energy use, conserve water and enhance indoor air quality. It was designed by Toronto-based Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc and has won National Post Design Exchange Bronze Award in Environmental Category.  Also the university's Mississauga campus has LEED certified buildings, and a Green Star program. They have naturalized areas of their grounds, and use sustainable practices. Composting and organic bins are present in student residences and food services. Various reduction processes and purchasing policies are in place at the food services.
University of Toronto has sustainability office in each of three campuses. Their projects include Storm water management, bicycle repair facilities, the Rewire project, paper consumption change through technological and behavoural means, a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, and are retrofitting lighting and urinals at various locations, as well as studying energy consumption of vending machines, computers, etc.
The University of Toronto Student Affairs pays for the publication of Green Perspective, an environmental magazine, are active in researching and developing alternative energies, and give rebates to students with hybrid vehicles.
Being a major hub in the northern hemisphere, Toronto is relatively affordable to many Wikimedia project participants. Canada is a far easier country to travel to than the United States, allowing far more people to visit without a visa. While the Canadian dollar was on a meteoric rise in value for a few months, it has settled back to an affordable rate for Americans and Europeans alike.
The University of Toronto is in a central location, meaning plentiful, accessible transit access, and many amenities and attractions within short walking distance of the grounds.
To learn complete details about transportation to and around Toronto, please read the article "Getting there and getting around".
- For the list of media in Toronto, please see Media of Toronto
As can be seen below, Toronto is Canada's media capital. Aside from the French-language channel SRC, all major national newspapers and television news channels are based in Toronto. (Radio-Canada/SRC maintain a bureau at the Toronto headquarters of their parent network, the CBC.)
The city is home to ten broadcast television stations (home to many national broadcasters), dozens of cable stations, and 33 radio stations. Television programs produced in town range from French to Chinese, Afghan to Urdu, Italian to Somali.
At least twelve regular neighbourhood-specific newspapers exist in Toronto.
Toronto is home to daily foreign language newspapers in Italian (Corriere Canadese), Spanish (El Popular and Correo Canadiense), Korean (Korea Times), and Traditional Chinese dailies, both Mandarin and Cantonese (Ming Pao Daily News, Sing Tao Daily, Today Daily News, World Journal). Weekly and monthly papers exist for other languages and cultures, including the Caribbean and Black Canadians (Share), Chinese (C C Times and New Star Times), and Jews (Canadian Jewish News). In the suburbs of Toronto Arabic, German, Filipino, Indian, Inuktitut, Lithuanian, Nepalese, Portugese, Punjabi, Romanian.
It is home to many magazines, like Maclean's, The Walrus. The LGBT community reads homegrown content like Fab, Xtra!, and Siren. The U of T itself has an array of newspapers (The Varsity), magazines (idea&s), and academic journals.
Toronto's major media/news sources
Both local stations and national stations based out of Toronto, with news programming
|Name||Language||VHF/UHF||Known Coverage of Wikipedia||Website|
|CBC Television (CBLT)||English||05 (VHF)||Yes|||
|CBC Newsworld||English||Basic cable||Yes|||
|CTV (CFTO)||English||09 (VHF)||Yes|||
|Citytv Toronto||English||57 (UHF)||Yes|||
|Global Ontario (CIII)||English||41 (UHF)||Yes|||
|Radio-Canada (CBLFT)||French||25 (UHF)||Yes|||
Evening News programs are
in Portuguese and Italian
Evening News programs are
in Mandarin, English (South Asian), and Cantonese
|ATN NDTV 24x7||Indian languages||Digital cable||Yes|||
|Fairchild TV News||Cantonese||Digital cable||Yes|||
|Other stations and programs in Canada that do news reporting in Toronto include the A Channel family, APTN National News (aboriginal), and CHCH.|
|Name||Language||Known Coverage of Wikipedia||Website|
|Toronto Star (local with national readership)||English||Yes|||
|The Globe and Mail (national)||English||Yes|||
|National Post (national)||English||Yes|||
|Toronto Sun (local)||English||Yes|||
|Sing Tao Daily (local with national readership)||Chinese||Yes|||
|Ming Pao Daily (local with national readership)||Chinese||Yes|||
|24 Hours (free local daily)||English||Yes|||
|Metro (free local daily)||English||Yes|||
|NOW (free alt weekly)||English||Yes|||
|eye weekly (free alt weekly)||English||Yes|||
|Xtra! (free LGBT weekly)||English||Yes|||
|Women's Post (free monthly)||English||unknown|||
|L'Express (free weekly)||French||unknown|||
|Catholic Register (weekly)||English||unknown|||
All-News/Newstalk/UofT Radio Stations based in the Toronto Area
|AM640 Toronto Radio||CFMJ||English||640 AM||Talk|||
|Radio-Canada La Première Chaîne||CJBC||French||860 AM||News and Information Service|||
|Newstalk CFRB 1010||CFRB||English||1010 AM||NewsTalk|||
|1430 AM||Chinese Language Programs
Talk, News, Music
|UofT Community Radio||CIUT||English||89.5 FM||Community Radio
Primarily music and spoken-word programming
|UofT Mississauga Campus Radio||CFRE||English||91.9 FM||Community Radio
Primarily music programming
|CBC Radio One||CBLA||English||99.1 FM||News and Information Service|||
Location of main accommodation facilitiesEdit
Short term accommodation at New College, in the middle of the university. New has two buildings, one holds 200 people the other 300.
Room details and price rangeEdit
This section will be update as soon as New College, University of Toronto, updates its site for rates for Summer 2009: Please check http://www.torontores.com/index.html for details.
Accommodation will be in student residences. Each room has a bed, desk, arm chair and closet space. Each floor has several bathrooms. There are a mix of double, single, and super single rooms. Total cost for three nights is $29.50 Canadian (21.25€ or 30.35 USD). Breakfast is included, as is broadband Internet access. To reserve 250 rooms we will need a deposit of $2200, (1585€ or 2265 USD) and this will need to be done ASAP, as this is the time of year most people book for next summer. A second payment is needed 90 days before we arrive.
For a mid-range option U of T has a special agreement with a Holiday Inn for $99 (71€ or USD 102) per night for a standard room. Across the city, there are more than 35,000 hotel rooms in over 120 hotels.
Catering (one meal a day)Edit
Breakfast included with accommodation. KMDI has numerous catering contacts covering a range of food types and price options. One of which is Rustico Fine Foods, according to their website, they have lunch packages from $7-20 Canadian (5-14€ or 7-21 USD) per person. New College can provide up to three meals a day for all of us, and they charge $8.25 (5.90€ or USD 7.10) per meal for lunch and a bit more for dinner.
According to Toronto Tourism, the city has over 7000 restaurants.
The university is surrounded by many restaurants with a wide variety of styles and prices. Within a 3-km radius of the Bahen Centre (and many much closer than that), Google Earth shows the following specialties: All-day breakfast, BBQ (Southern US-style), British, burgers, Cajun, Cantonese, Caribbean, Creole, coffee shops, deli, El Salvadoran, fish and chips, French, fusion, Jewish, Japanese, Korean, Hungarian, Indian, Irish, Italian, Latin, market cuisine, Malaysian, Meditterean, Middle Eastern, organic, pizza, pubs, Quebecois, subs, supper clubs, Tex-Mex, Thai, vegan, vegetarian, Vietnamese.
In Chinatown along Spadina Ave. there are perhaps 100 Chinese restaurants; in some you can get a good meal for $6 Canadian (5€ or 6 USD). Little Italy to the west has many affordable choices. Toronto also has a well-developed gourmet dining scene, with prices ranging from moderate to ostentatious.
Some of the "it" restaurants were listed in a recent issue of NOW Magazine, recommending "eats" near various universities in the city.
At the university most halls are licensed, and it is possible to have receptions with food and drink. The Bahen Centre has a large hall, as does New College. Each would hold several hundred people. For something more ornate the colleges all have large halls. The most spectacular is the Great Hall at Hart House or Burwash Hall at Victoria College, but we couldn't get them for free. See here for the product and services list from Campus Beverage Services.
Yorkville is home to a number of quite nice pubs. Pubs, or at least parts of them, can generally be reserved for free as long as we guarantee to bring a lot of people who will buy drinks. For larger clubs one would have to go to Queen Street West or the Entertainment District, each of which have dozens of clubs. Most clubs hold many hundreds of people, and would cost several thousand dollars to rent.
NOW also lists various area locales for live music.
- Royal Canadian Yacht Club
- Empress of Canada
- Japanese Cultural Center of Canada
- Casa Loma
- Liberty Grand
- Rosewater Supperclub
- St. Lawrence Hall (photo)
- The Carlu
- Polson Pier
contacts with accommodation partner(s)Edit
(have you contacted the proposed locations, exchange of emails, price quotes etc.)
- morgan.keating ]utoronto.ca Morgan Keating, New College Group and Conference Sales
Organizing Team MembersEdit
Individuals who are interested in helping out can put down their names under the list. Any help is appreciated, regardless of how big or small your contributions are, whether you can help virtually or in person. There's a ton of big, hard tasks we need help with, and a ton of little, easy ones too. If you're a U of T student, alumni, or staff member, please mention that as well, so we know who can provide a bit of extra insight into the school.
|Username||Wikimedia participation||Real name (optional)||Residence
|OhanaUnited||en.wp (sysop), zh.wp, commons, species (bureaucrat)||Andrew Leung||Richmond Hill, ON||Student|
|Nat||en.wp (sysop), commons||Nathaniel Tang||Toronto, ON||Student|
|Ian Bailey||en.wp||Ian Bailey||Toronto, ON||—|
|Zanimum||en.wp (sysop), ik (sysop), en.wn (sysop), commons, meta (sysop)||Nicholas Moreau||Toronto, ON||—|
|birdbrainscan||en.wp||Jim Prall||Toronto, ON||Alumni|
|Captmondo||en.wp, commons||Keith Schengili-Roberts||Toronto, ON||Lecturer|
|Perfect Proposal||en.wp, commons||Kevin Wong||Vaughan, ON||—|
|MelSkunk||en.wp||Melissa Smith||Toronto, ON||—|
|Ktsquare||en.wp (sysop), zh.wp, commons||Alumni|
|Phil-hong||en.wp||Phillip Hong||Woodbridge, ON||—|
|Dreamafter||en.wp||Matthew Dodd||Ottawa, ON||—|
|Arctic Gnome||en.wp (sysop), en.wikt, en.q, en.n, fr.wp, commons||Jeffery Nichols||Toronto, ON||—|
|raysonho||en.wp, zh.wp, it.wp||Rayson Ho||Markham, ON||Alumni|
|behdad||en.wp||Behdad Esfahbod||Toronto, ON||Alumni|
|avt_tor||en.wp, fr.wp||Alexander von Thorn||Toronto, ON||—|
|Shanel||en.wp (sysop), en.ws (sysop), meta (sysop, steward)||Shanel Kalicharan||Mississauga, ON and Hamilton, ON||—|
|Cbrown1023||en.wp, meta, commons, incubator, others||Casey Brown||Philadelphia, United States||—|
|Az1568||meta, wikibooks, others||--||California, United States||—|
Interested in attending, but can't help out? Sign up here.
- Carlb, Carl Austin Bennett, (en.wp, fr.wp), Kingston ON, carlb [at] kingston net; I'm 250km east, only occasionally in Toronto but am co-locating servers there. Not sure if I can be of help from here?
- Yuyu, Jeromy-Yu Chan, (zh.wp, en.wp, fr.wp), Hong Kong, China, will provide as much help as possible via internet.
- "Bradeos Graphon" (en.wp) 5 hours from Toronto, definitely would be worth a visit.
Support from our politiciansEdit
Toronto mayor David Miller...
- Mr. Marchese is the Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding the that University of Toronto is in.
Support from othersEdit
- Mr Keith Schengili-Roberts - I.T. Lecturer at University of Toronto, has direct contact with venue staff (also an Organizing Team Members)
- Bahen Centre (the venue location) facility staff
While we're still working out on local sponsorships, we're certain that these will be available
- Through University of Toronto's Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI), we have access to Bahen Centre for free.
- Almost all rooms in University of Toronto can be booked for free.
We're currently working on:
- Working with ORION to broadcast/multicast some sessions on the Internet.
- Arranging sponsorship deals with I.T. companies in Greater Toronto Area. These include Sun Microsystems, IBM, Google, AMD, HP, ATI and many more.
Weaknesses, and overcoming these weaknessesEdit
- As of September 2007, we lack a Wikimedia chapter in Canada.
- Solution: Interest in a Canadian chapter has been increasing over the past few months, and there is significant amounts of area Wikimedians who are likely to join and help. Wikimedia Canada/Wikimédia Canada will be a bilingual, nationally tax-exempt charitable organization. Work in this area is in progress and it is very possible that we will have the chapter registered well before Wikimania 2009.
- In our 2006 bid, some Wikimedians expressed concern that those with criminal records may be barred from entering the country.
- Solution: While this is unfortunate, this segment of the attendees is very minimal. It is unknown if the US-based contributors that raised this concern actually attended Wikimania when it was held in Boston. As a whole Canada is far easier to enter than the United States. The rule only applies to indictable offences, known as felonies in the United States. Also if a crime was committed over ten years ago the person can be considered rehabilitated and admitted, if it was committed over five years ago a person must make a special application to be admitted. This rule does not seem to be a concern to any of the other thousands of international conferences that are held each year in Canada.
- It could be noted the same concern would apply to Canadians with criminal records entering the United States. In addition, the heightened US security levels of recent years are more likely to present barriers to Canadians than our comparatively-relaxed border security. Admittedly, there are likely ten US Wikimedians for every Canadian Wikimedian—but the current border-crossing rules can be considered slightly less of a disadvantage when travelling north.
- There is not a hall of “ideal” size. While there are several 500 seat theatres the next largest is Con Hall at 1550.
- Solution: Con Hall is actually a very flexible space. It has 4 tiers, so if we have 800 people we simply close the top two tiers and we get as intimate space as you can have for a group of 800. The university does this routinely, as many classes of this size are held there.
Strengths of TorontoEdit
- Collaboration with KMDI gives us free facilities, expertise in holding conventions, and links to other groups who might be willing to sponsor us. The University of Toronto has some 60,000 students and a vast array of facilities to meet our needs.
- Toronto is well located in the heart of the most densely populated section of North America. New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Montreal, and Ottawa are all easy trips. Wikimania was held in Boston in 2006, but this year's (2007) Wikimania was in Asia ; Wikimania was held in Europe in 2005 and the main 2004 get together was in London, so holding the event in North America will allow a considerable number of people to attend who missed previous events.
- Canada is a far easier country to travel to than the United States. Canada allows far more people to visit without a visa. Citizens of nations such as Greece, Mexico, South Korea, Israel, Botswana, and Hong Kong all need to apply for visas to enter the United States, but can freely travel to Canada. For those who need to apply for a visa to visit both countries, getting one for Canada tends to be easier. For instance, while the United States rejects 40 to 50% of student visa applications, Canada rejects only about 10%. In part because of the travel difficulties there has recently been a steady procession of American organizations holding conferences in Canada. For instance, the American Psychological Association, American Library Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, American Philatelic Society have all recently elected to hold conventions in Toronto.
- Toronto is one of the world's most multilingual and multicultural cities, and Canada as a whole is English/French bilingual, so multiple languages can easily be catered to.
- The university has extensive and state of the art facilities. The campus itself is one if the nicest areas of Toronto with large amounts of green space, most notably Queen's Park. For an excursion we could take the ferry to the Toronto Islands.
- As mentioned, Toronto is a media hub.
- Toronto and Canada are very progressive in their laws. Officially recognized same-sex marriages are regularly performed in the city, and legal drinking age is 19. August 2007 stats show that the city has a lower crime rate per capita than any other area of the country, and much lower than similarly-sized world cities. Since the end of WWII Canada has pursued peacekeeping missions, and the country has not had a federal budget deficit since the late 1990s.
- As mentioned above, Toronto is gay-friendly. The official site of Toronto Tourism features an extensive section of attractions, accommodations, nightlife, and shopping.
- The Government of the Province of Ontario makes a minimum of 40 hours of community service a prerequiste for high school graduation. This provides us with an easily-tapable pool of volunteers to help with less critical organizatonal and set-up chores.
- Our province's Lieutenant Govenor David Onley has said he'll make accessibility a key issue in his office, which started September 5, 2007, as Onley himself is a polio survivor. (Onley is a former science and technology reporter, an UofT alumni, as well as a Wikipedia fan.) All locations at the University of Toronto are wheelchair accessible, as are most, if not all of the area hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. The only forseeable exceptions are some of the cultural neighbourhood, which have generally not been retrofitted.
- Random point of interest: So far as we know, this would be Jimmy Wales' first known public appearance "north of the border". He's visited at least 25 countries to talk on Wikimedia or Wikia, but not Canada.
- Statistics Canada, The Daily (2006-07-21). "Crime statistics". Retrieved 2007-03-05. Check date values in:
- "Vancouver is 'best city to live'". CNN. 2005-10-05. Retrieved 2007-03-05. Check date values in:
- Mercer Human Resource Consulting (2006). "Mercer 2006 Quality of Living Survey" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-03-05.
- According to Mercer Group's rankings in 2007 of the most livable cities worldwide , Toronto is 15th place, Brisbane is 32, Singapore is 34, London is 39, Chicago is 44, Seattle is 49, Budapest is 74, Buenos Aires is 79, Cape Town is 85. Surpassing Toronto are Zurich, Geneva, Vancouver, Vienna, Auckland, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Bern, Sydney, Copenhagen, Wellington, Amsterdam, and Brussels.
- "The Complete List: The Top 100 Global Universities". MSNBC. August 13, 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-24. Check date values in:
- "Top 500 World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-24. Check date values in:
- "Webometrics Ranking of World University". Cybermetrics Lab, CSIC. July 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30. Check date values in:
- "World University Rankings" (PDF). The Times Higher Education Supplement. October 28, 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-24. Check date values in:
- The Top 100 Global Universities - 2006. Retrieved, August 15, 2006.
- Second time lucky