First Week Alert: Issue with UTORid Activations

For 2021 please visit the TCard Office Website Directly:

LAST UPDATED: Monday, September 7, 2020

Please note that due to the Covid Pandemic, many students are taking all of their classes remotely this semester. As a result, some first-time students have yet to activate their UTORids, which may affect their ability to participate fully in classes during the first week or two. Instructors need not change their course delivery, as it is the responsibility of students to activate their UTORids, but we’ve issued this advisory to alert instructors and support staff to this matter.


JOINid – U of T credential for applicants to access a limited set of U of T sites and services; the JOINid must later be converted to a UTORid when students start their first term at U of T.

UTORid – permanent U of T credential issued to students, faculty, and staff for accessing  U of T services and resources.


When students apply to the University of Toronto, they are assigned a credential (JOINid) that is currently an 8 letter/number combination based on the letters of their last name and may be combined with the letters of their first name for short last names and include a number or series of numbers if there are already other ids in existence with the same letter/number combination. Example: Sarah Allen might be: allensar, allensa1, allens12, depending on how many records already exist for similar ids.

Access to TCard and UTORid

This JOINid is converted to a UTORid (the ID itself does not change) once students work with the TCard Office to finalize their access to U of T resources and activate an @mail.utoronto email account and update a photo for their TCard. For the Fall 2020 term, before September 8th, only remote appointments for a TCard are available for students. In-person appointments will also be available starting September 8th.

Important Access Differences between JOINids and UTORids

Before students convert their JOINids to UTORids and activate their email, they will likely be impacted by the following:


In Quercus, the email field is temporarily filled in with: until the student defines their @utoronto email address.

    • Quercus email notifications will not be delivered to any other email address until the @utoronto email is activated.
    • Access to Quercus is available for general course content, visibility of announcements, Collaborate Ultra participation, and submissions, discussions. and other participation.
    • Some third-party integrations (for example, Crowdmark and Piazza) require an @mail.utoronto email.


There is no access to the U of T Microsoft (MS) Office 365 suite of tools until the @mail.utoronto email is activated.

    • The O365 Suite includes: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
    • In Quercus, this may impact the OneDrive integration and collaborations.
    • There will be no access to MS Stream videos, which is part of the O365 suite of tools.
    • Access to MS Teams will be limited to joining meetings with personal O365 credentials (not U of T credentials); students will join as “guests” which will mean they need to be let in from the lobby, they may use a name different than the one on the roster, and they cannot see the whiteboard feature.


MyMedia videos that have been locked down to be visible only to the “institution” are not visible for JOINids. MyMedia videos can be made “public” as a workaround, but this means a shared video will be available to anyone with the link.


Access to Zoom has several implications:

    • Students can go to to create a Zoom account with their JOINids, and convert those later to their UTORids.
    • However if instructors are hoping to use pre-defined breakout groups, they may wish to wait until after week 1 when students are more likely to have their UTORid information set up before incorporating pre-defined breakout groups into their Zoom sessions, as pre-defined breakout groups often rely on students having a properly configured Zoom account with their UTORid and email address.
    • Dynamic (not pre-defined) breakout groups initiated from a session should be fine.
    • Roster exports from Quercus that can be used to create the pre-defined breakout groups will include emails, which may lock the students out of the session.
    • During the first week or two of classes, locking down Zoom sessions to only @utoronto emails is not recommended – students without this email will not be able to join the session at all.


U of T wifi is only available for students with active UTORids.


Library resources are only available for students with active UTORids.


VPN and Alibaba CEN require active UTORids.


Special Notes

Priority services have been identified above. There may be other tools or services that are impacted by the JOINid.

Please note: Additionally, there may be other department-supported tools that rely on active UTORid credentials or email that might also be impacted. The ones we have currently come across include:

  • MarkUS
  • PCRS


Many thanks to the Teaching Technology Support Team in the Faculty of Arts & Science for producing this documentation.