According to the school, it’s because of a long-standing commitment to diversity.
I’m not as convinced, however.
Acting on a tip, I hopped onto the University of Toronto’s career portal to apply for for a job as a “Human Resources Generalist” (it was the first one I saw.) In the interests of full disclosure, I’m not currently searching for work; the only reason I was going through the motions of applying for a U of T job was because of the tip I received.
After going through the various pages of the process–uploading a resume, educational background, etc.–I landed on the “Diversity Survey” page. Like many other large companies and institutions, I was given the opportunity to “voluntarily” identify myself as a minority or person with disability.