The University of Toronto Electronic Music Studio (UTEMS) was co-founded in May 1959 by Professor Myron Schaeffer and Dr. Arnold Walters, director of the Faculty of Music. Professor Harvey Olnick was also one of the original faculty members. It was the second electronic music studio in North America (preceded by the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in 1958) and the first such studio in Canada. It was originally located at 2 Division Street before moving into the basement of the Edward Johnson Building, once the building was completed (1964). Users of the studio included music faculty, students, independent scholars, and visiting composers and composition students. In addition to electronic music composition, UTEMS commissioned and invented new instruments and equipment.
Following Schaeffer's death in 1965, Professor Gustav Ciamaga became the director of the studio. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1994, at which point the position passed to Professor Dennis Patrick. Since 2019, UTEMS has been under the direction of Professor Eliot Britton.