Target of rapamycin (TOR) forms two conserved, structurally distinct kinase complexes termed TOR complex 1 (TORC1) and TORC2. Each complex phosphorylates a different set of substrates to regulate cell growth. In mammals, mTOR is stimulated by nutrients and growth factors and inhibited by stress to ensure that cells grow only during favorable conditions. Studies in different organisms have reported localization of TOR to several distinct subcellular compartments. Notably, the finding that mTORC1 is localized to the lysosome has significantly enhanced our understanding of mTORC1 regulation. Subcellular localization may be a general principle used by TOR to enact precise spatial and temporal control of cell growth.