The honour was conferred upon him at the 2014 spring convocation of York University's Schulich School of Business on Friday by Chancellor of the varsity Gregory Sorbara, who praised Tata for making his companies a "Global Power" and described him as a "Great Architect of Modern India", a University website post said.
"I just want to tell you that I am deeply indebted and deeply moved to receive this honour that you have bestowed," Tata said while accepting the honour.
"I had no idea that this university and this business school  (Schulich School of Business) had done the various things that moved beyond the shores of Canada to reflect the internationality of the world we live in today. I thank you and cherish," he said.
Tata, who travelled to Toronto to receive the honour, was among the 12 recipients of honorary doctorate from York University.
The former chairman reminded the graduating 500 students about their responsibilities as they step into what he termed "a troubled world full of conflicts and disputes".
Expressing hope of bringing India and Canada closer, Tata said there were "millions of people who are less fortunate".
Commending Tata's contributions, Mamdouh Shoukri, president and vice chancellor, said he had made remarkable contributions in promoting business, innovations and social responsibility.
Chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, Tata Industries, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals, Ratan Tata was the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, from 1991 until his retirement in December 2012.
Tata was honoured India's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2008.


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