Ryerson University

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Ryerson University
Ryerson University Crest.png
Coat of Arms of Ryerson University
Former names
Ryerson Institute of Technology (1948–1966)
Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (1966–1993)
Ryerson Polytechnic University (1993–2001)
MottoLatin: Mente et artificio
Motto in English
With mind and skill[1]
EstablishedSeptember 16, 1948; 73 years ago (1948-09-16)[note 1]
Academic affiliation
EndowmentC$136.285 million[2]
ChancellorJanice Fukakusa[3]
PresidentMohamed Lachemi[4]
ProvostSaeed Zolfaghari[5]
Location, ,

43°39′27.85″N 79°22′48.64″W / 43.6577361°N 79.3801778°W / 43.6577361; -79.3801778Coordinates: 43°39′27.85″N 79°22′48.64″W / 43.6577361°N 79.3801778°W / 43.6577361; -79.3801778
CampusUrban; 121 acres (49 ha)[7]
ColoursBlue and gold
NicknameRyerson Rams
Sporting affiliations
U Sports, OUA
MascotEggy the Ram
Ryerson University Logo.svg

Ryerson University (colloquially referred to as Ryerson, RyeU or RU) is a public research university located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The university's core campus is situated within the Garden District, although it also operates facilities elsewhere in Toronto. The university operates seven academic divisions/faculties, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Communication and Design, the Faculty of Community Services, the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, the Faculty of Science, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law, and the Ted Rogers School of Management. Many of these faculties are further organized into smaller departments and schools. The university also provides continuing education services through the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

The institution was established in 1948 as the Ryerson Institute of Technology, named after Egerton Ryerson—a prominent contributor to the design of the Canadian public school system whose views later influenced the development of the Canadian Indian residential school system following his death. In 1964, the institution was reorganized under provincial legislation, and renamed Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Under that name, the institution was granted limited degree-granting powers during the 1970s. The institution was reorganized into a full-fledged university in 1993, and renamed Ryerson Polytechnic University. In 2002, several years after the university's school of graduate studies was established, the university adopted its current name, Ryerson University. In 2021, the university announced it would be renamed due to reconciliation of Egerton Ryerson's involvement in the residential school system. The school's new name has not yet been decided or announced; however, some students have taken to referring to the school as X University pending the announcement of a new permanent name.

The university is a co-educational institution, with approximately 44,400 undergraduates and 2,950 graduate students enrolled there during the 2019–20 academic year. A number of individuals have graduated from the institution, with Ryerson having nearly 170,000 alumni as of 2017. The university's athletics department operates several varsity teams that play as the Ryerson Rams, competing in the Ontario University Athletics conference of U Sports.


During the Second World War, Howard Hillen Kerr, the director of the Training and Re-Establishment Institute, and other members of the Toronto Board of Education saw a need to provide specialized institutes that would provide educational and vocational training for specific jobs for returning veterans.[8] The idea to create an institution that spanned "the gap" between secondary education and universities was the result of a trip undertaken by Kerr to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1943; with Kerr envisioning a similar institute established in Canada.[9] Kerr's effort to establish an institute of this nature led to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to pass the Vocational Education Act, leading to the creation of vocational schools and technological institutes.[9] Although several new institutes were planned during the war, their establishment was delayed by the advent of the Cold War and the potential need to remobilize.[10] However, with the prospect of war diminished greatly by 1948, the decision was made to open the Ryerson Institute of Technology; with class calendars hastily issued in August 1948.[10]

Egerton Ryerson, Ryerson University by Hamilton MacCarthy in 2005

The school was named after Egerton Ryerson, who established the Toronto Normal School in 1847 on the future site of the Ryerson Institute of Technology.[9] In addition to establishing the normal school, Ryerson helped develop education in Canada West as the region's chief superintendent of education, creating a model for publicly-funding the training of teachers, and helping to draft Canada West's Education Act, 1846.[9] The site of the normal school eventually developed into several buildings used by the Ontario Agricultural College, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and by the Royal Canadian Air Force as a training centre during the Second World War.[9] During the war, Kerr was also the site's director prior to becoming the director of the Training and Re-Establishment Institute.[9]

The Ryerson Institute of Technology was officially opened on September 16, 1948;[11] with approximately 250 students enrolled at the institution in its first year of operation.[12] Kerr served as Ryerson's first principal.[9] He held the office as principal until 1966, when he became the head of the Council of Regents for Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, helping to establish a number of other colleges in Ontario modelled after Ryerson.[9] The initial aim for the institute to serve as a career training and vocational school was reflected by its early enrolment, with the majority of its early students being enrolled in continuing education part-time night school programs, as opposed to a full-year academic stream.[10] Initially the institute only offered two-year career training and vocational programs, although its program catalogue was later expanded to include three-year diplomas by the early 1950s.[11] In an effort to also create an "educated base of citizens," Kerr mandated that English, physical education, and history be mandated in the school's curriculum in 1952.[10]

Initially, plans were made to house the institute entirely within the Toronto Normal School building, although the rapid growth of the student population made such plans impossible. In order to accommodate the growing student body, work on the first building built specifically for the institute began in 1958; and was completed in 1963.[13] However, the completion of Kerr Hall resulted in the destruction of several buildings, including temporary barracks used during the Second World War;[14] and Toronto Normal School building excluding its portico façade.[15] A number of other buildings were later built surrounding the courtyard.[15]

The Ryerson Polytechnical Institute Act was passed by the provincial government in 1963, which resulted in the institutions reorganization.[16] The legislative act provided the institution with their own board of governors, and changed the name of the school to Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in 1964.[11][17] In the same year, the nursing programs of three hospitals was transferred to Ryerson, where a nursing program was established. The nursing program was the first one to be offered in a post-secondary institution in Canada.[note 2][17][18] In 1971, the institute was granted limited degree-granting authority from the provincial legislature, and was allowed to confer Bachelor of Applied Arts and Bachelor of Technology degrees.[19] The institution was also later granted the authority to confer Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in 1977.[19]

Exterior of Kerr Hall. Kerr Hall was completed in 1963 to accommodate Ryerson's growing student population.

In 1993, the institute was recognized as a full-fledged polytechnic university by the government of Ontario and renamed Ryerson Polytechnic University; expanding the mandate of the institution to include scholarly research.[20] The university's school of graduate studies was formally established in 1997.[11] In June 2002, the institution shortened its name to Ryerson University in order to reflect its status as a full-fledged university.[12] The beginning of the 21st century saw another construction boom on its campus.[11]

After the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its report in May 2015, the university acted on several recommendations made out to post-secondary institutions in the report.[21] As a result of Egerton Ryerson's association with the establishment of the Canadian Indian residential school system, the institution faced several calls to reevaluate the namesake of the university in 2017.[22][23] In 2018, Ryerson faculty member, Denise O'Neil Green, led the community-wide consultation to formulate a response towards the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report.[21] She was later appointed the university's first vice-president for equity and community inclusion; the first vice-president position with this mandate in a Canadian post-secondary institution.[24][25] In 2018, a plaque that describes Egerton Ryerson's role in the residential school system was placed next to the statue of Ryerson.[21] In May 2021, following the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, some students and professors started using the name "X University" as part of a demand to have the university's name changed.[26] In June 2021, the statue of Ryerson was toppled and decapitated; with the decapitated head thrown into Toronto Harbour.[27] Ryerson University stated that the statue will not be restored or replaced.[28] On August 26, 2021, the university announced that it would accept the 22 recommendations of an internal task force, including the renaming of the university;[29] however, the school's administration has not yet decided on, or announced a new name.[30]


Devonian Square is a public space located within the campus. The Ryerson Image Centre is pictured in the background.

The university's central campus primarily lies within the Garden District of downtown Toronto. The campus is "interwoven" with the rest of the downtown core, with few entrance markers delineating the campus from the rest of the city.[31] Most of the campus is designated as a mixed-use institutional area, although portions of the campus are situated in areas zoned for commercial and residential use.[32] In addition to zoning by-laws, the height of the university's buildings is also limited by ordinances that protect the flight paths of air medical services to St. Michael's Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children.[33]

Gerrard Street to the north, Jarvis Street to the east, Dundas Street East to the south, and Yonge Street to the west, serve as the perimeter for the campus core;[34] although the university also operates facilities beyond the core campus.[35] Kerr Hall serves as the "campus heart," while Gould Street to the south of Kerr Hall serves as the university's main east-west corridor, connecting it with the other areas of the campus.[35]

Most of the streets and laneways throughout Ryerson's campus are considered a part of the public realm.[36] These include connector streets open to vehicular traffic and pedestrian-only streets.[37] Victoria Street extending south from Gould Street is designated as a pedestrian-only zone, having been closed to vehicular traffic since 1978.[38] In 2010 a one-year pilot program was approved by the municipal government that closed off Gould Street to pedestrian traffic, an initiative that was later extended by six months.[39] In February 2012, the city moved to permanently close Gould Street to car traffic, from O'Keefe Lane to Bond Street; with the closed pedestrian-only portions of Gould Street designated as Ryerson Square.[40]

The Ted Rogers School of Management building is one of several facilities the university shares with other tenants

Most of the parks, plazas, and green spaces on the university's campus are owned by the university, although access to these spaces is also open to the public.[36] These spaces include Devonian Square, and Kerr Hall's quadrangle.[41] Devonian Square was designed by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, and was partly funded by the Devonian Group of Charitable Foundations of Calgary—who also lent the park its name.[41] The space features a reflecting pool, and large Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks that are approximately two billion years old from the Canadian Shield.[42] In addition to green spaces, a green roof and urban farm, initially known as the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof, was built atop George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre in 2003.[43] The urban farm operates on a five-year crop rotation, and contains 30 different crops and hundreds of cultivars.[43]

The university operates more than 40 buildings.[44] As of 2019, the university's buildings account for over 370,000 square metres (4,000,000 sq ft) of gross floor area.[45] The campus includes an assortment of buildings from different architectural periods; Oakham House dating back to 1848, and the university's newest building, the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, opened in 2019.[46][47] Many of the earliest buildings built specifically for use by the university were designed during the mid-20th century in a Brutalist architectural-style.[48] The university campus saw significant expansion during the early 21st century, with the university's total floor area nearly doubling in size from 2000 to 2019.[45]

Several buildings operate as shared spaces between the university and other tenants.[49] Along with university-owned properties, Ryerson also leases or holds strata titles for a number of properties surrounding the central campus.[50]

Several undeveloped properties also exist on the campus, with the university having acquired two parking lots from Infrastructure Ontario in 2013 for $32 million; a 5,400-square-metre-lot (58,000 sq ft) at 202 Dundas Street East and a 750-square-metre-lot (8,100 sq ft) at 136 Dundas Street East.[51] The university plans to continue to operate them as parking lots until enough capital is raised to develop the sites.[51] In 2019, Ryerson submitted a rezoning application for a 41-storey tower at 202 Jarvis Street, which will include an 11-storey academic base with classrooms, labs, and research space intended for the Faculty of Science, along with a student residence in its upper levels.[52]

University-operated facilities
  • Campus Store (BKS)
  • Civil Engineering Building (Monetary Times) (MON)
  • Centre for Urban Innovation (CUI)
  • The Chang School of Continuing Education (Heaslip House) (CED)
  • Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex (DCC)
  • George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre (ENG)
  • International Living/Learning Centre (ILC)
  • Jorgenson Hall (JOR)
  • Kerr Hall (KHN, KNE, KNS, KNW)
  • Library Building (LIB)
  • School of Graphic Communications Management (Heidelberg Centre) (HEI)
  • School of Interior Design (SID)
  • Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC)
  • South Bond Building (SBB)
  • St. Michael's Hospital (SMH)[note 3]
  • Student Campus Centre (SCC)
  • Ted Rogers School of Management (TRS)[note 3]
  • Yonge–Dundas Intersection (YDI)[note 3]
  • Victoria Building (VIC)

Library and museum[edit]

The Student Learning Centre from Yonge Street. The library building is visible in the background.

Ryerson University Library serves as the main academic library for the university, and is housed in an 11-storey Brutalist-style structure that was completed in 1974.[53] As of 2012, the library's collection held over 522,000 books, over 836,000 microform units, and provide access to electronic resources including e-books, serial titles, and databases.[54] In 2015, the Student Learning Centre was completed adjacent to the library building.[55] The 14,200 square metres (153,000 sq ft) Student Learning Centre was designed by the architectural firm Snøhetta, and was built to augment the library by providing additional study space; although no books from the university's collection are stored in the Student Learning Centre.[53][55]

The Ryerson Image Centre is a 4,500 square metres (48,000 sq ft) complex located on campus that serves as a photography museum and houses Ryerson's School of Image Arts.[56] The Ryerson Image Centre includes several galleries, with one dedicated for exhibit works from students of the School of Image Arts.[56] The centre also holds offices, screening rooms, and storage facilities for the university's photographic collection; stored in special climate-controlled rooms.[56] The Ryerson Image Centre dates back to the 1969, although the building was not completed until 2012, after the university was gifted 292,000 photographs of the Black Star collection.[56][57] In total, the centre's collection contains approximately 375,000 objects, including historical photographs, photographs from contemporary artists, as well as the archival collections from publications like Life and The New York Times.[57] The centre is housed in a building that was renovated by Diamond Schmitt Architects during the early 2010s.[58]

Housing and student facilities[edit]

Pitman Hall, one of three university-operated student residences on the university's campus

The university operates three student residences with approximately 1,144 beds on campus including the Daphne Cockwell Complex, the International Living & Learning Centre, and Pitman Hall.[59] The International Learning Centre was built in 1987 and is oldest student residence, housing approximately 256 residences.[59] Pitman Hall was completed in 1991 and holds 565 rooms.[59] The Daphne Cockwell Complex was completed in 2019, and holds 332 rooms.[59] The latter building is a multi-purpose structure, with the lower levels of the Daphne Cockwell Complex holding academic facilities; whereas its residential component is housed in its upper levels.[59] The majority of university students do not live on campus, with only 5.2 per cent of students having lived on campus during the 2017–18 academic year.[60] However, approximately 17.9 per cent of the university's first year students lived on campus.[60] The university operates themed-residence floors in an effort to complement the academic studies of residents; such as the "fashion floor," a themed-residential floor reserved for students of the Ryerson's school of fashion.[61]

In an effort to increase the number of residences available for students, the university entered into a public–private partnership in 2012 to construct the HOEM residence on Jarvis Street.[62] However, as opposed to the university's other residences, the HOEM residence is not owned and operated by the university.[59] O'Keefe House was also another student residence operated by the university prior to the opening of the HOEM residence in 2018.[63] O'Keefe House was repurposed for other university uses after the HOEM residence was opened in 2018.[63]

Dining services are also provided by the university, although the number of dining facilities remains limited when compared to other Canadian post-secondary institutions given the campus' location in downtown Toronto; with an estimated 275 food service providers situated within a five-minute walk of the campus in 2017.[64]

Ryerson's Student Campus Centre serves as the centre of student governance and student directed cultural, social, and recreational activities.[65] The Student Campus Centre contains the offices of a number of student organizations, including the Ryerson Students' Union, The Eyeopener student newspaper, and other student groups.[65] In addition to office space, the centre also houses student lounges, study areas and computer labs, and restaurants.[65] The building is operated by the Palin Foundation, an organization whose governing structure is made up of elected representatives from the Ryerson Students' Union, and the Continuing Education Students' Association at Ryerson.[65]

Off-campus facilities[edit]

The Ryerson Aerospace Engineering Centre is a research centre situated within a 680 square metres (7,300 sq ft) repurposed helicopter manufacturing facility at Downsview Park.[66] Opened in 2018, the centre was formed in partnership between the university's Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Bombardier, and the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research Consortium (DAIR).[67] The centre provides a collaborative research environment for Ryerson faculty and graduate students with its industry partners.[66] The centre forms a part of DAIR's larger research and development park.[66]

In 2018, the university announced plans to open a new campus in the neighbouring municipality of Brampton, in partnership with Sheridan College, in 2022.[68][69][70] In April 2018, the provincial government allocated approximately $90 million in order to fund the development of the campus.[71] However, provincial funding for the project was later withdrawn in October 2018 by a new provincial government, effectively cancelling the development of the Brampton campus.[72]


The university's Facilities Management and Development maintains a sustainability office that is charged with implementing green initiatives and sustainable operating practices throughout the university's facilities.[73] The university is a signatory of the Talloires Declaration, a declaration for sustainability created for presidents of post-secondary institutions around the world.[74] In 2009, the university, along with the other members from the Council of Ontario Universities, signed a pledge known as Ontario Universities Committed to a Greener World, with the objective of transforming its campus into a model of environmental responsibility.[75]


View of Nelson Mandela Walk outside Jorgenson Hall, a building that houses several administrative offices for the university

The university operates under a bicameral system with a board of governors and a senate empowered by provincial legislation, the Ryerson University Act.[76] The university's board of governors is charged with the management of university's affairs, including assets and property, as well as revenues.[76] The board of governors has 24 members, including the university chancellor, the university president, three members elected by the university's alumni, three members elected by the university's teaching faculty, three members elected by the student body, and two members elected by administrative staff. The other eleven members of the board of governors are appointed, nine of whom by the provincial Lieutenant Governor-in-Council.[16]

The senate is responsible for the educational policies of the university.[16] The senate is made up of 52 elected representatives of the university community, including its faculty, student body, and alumni.[16] Additionally, the chancellor, president, vice-presidents, deans, the chief librarian, and university registrar are also considered members of the senate.[16]

The chancellor serves as the titular head of the university, and is primarily charged with the conferment of degrees, as well as honourary degrees from the institution.[16] The chancellor of the university is appointed by the board of governors on a three-year term;[16] with the current chancellor, Janice Fukakusa, having been appointed in October 2018.[3] The board of governors is also empowered to appoint a university president; who serves as the chief executive officer of the university and acts on behalf of the board with respects to operational management and control of the university.[16][77] The president is the chair of the senate and a member of the board of governors by virtue of their office.[16] Additionally, the president also serves as the vice-chancellor of the university, assuming the duties of the chancellor in the event they are unable to, or when the office is vacant.[16] Mohamed Lachemi is the current president of the university, having been appointed in September 2016.[4]


Ryerson University is a publicly-funded university.[78] The university completed the 2019–2020 academic year with $833.17 million of revenue, and $854.7 million in expenses.[2] Government grants make up the largest source of revenue for the university, followed by student fees and tuition.[2] Salaries make up more than half of the university's expenses at $515.7 million.[2] As of April 2020, the university's endowment is valued at $136.285 million.[2]


Undergraduate students by faculty (2019–20)[79]
Faculty # of students
Faculty of Arts 4,710
Faculty of Communication and Design 5,660
Faculty of Community Services 6,841
Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Sciences 5,484
Faculty of Science 3,284
Ted Rogers School of Management 11,596
The George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre is one of a number of university facilities used by the university's Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Sciences

The university's academic year functions on a three-term system, fall, winter, and spring/summer.[80] The university is organized into seven faculties, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Communication and Design, the Faculty of Community Services, the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, the Faculty of Science, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law and the Ted Rogers School of Management; the latter academic division serving as the university's business school.[81] The Lincoln Alexander School of Law is the newest academic faculty formed at the university, having taken its first cohort of students in September 2020.[82]

Most faculties are further organized into smaller departments and schools.[81] The Faculty of Arts is made up of ten humanities and social science departments.[83] The Faculty of Communication and Design is an academic division made up of nine schools focused on media, design, and creative industries; including the RTA School of Media.[84] The Faculty of Science is composed of four departments.[85]

Graduate programs are coordinated by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies.[81] Ryerson University also jointly administers several academic programs with other post-secondary institutions based in the region, such as Sheridan College, and York University.[86][87] Continuing education at Ryerson is managed by the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education; which offered over 400 courses as of February 2021.[88]

The university's has 909 full-time faculty members during the 2019–20 academic year.[89] In the same year, the university had an enrolment of 28,800 full-time undergraduate students, and 2,600 full-time graduate students.[6] In the 2019–20 academic year, the university also saw 5,951 people enrol in a G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education course; more than half of which were degree-credit course.[79]

In 2018, the university conferred 7,199 bachelor's degrees, 1,084 master's degrees, and 75 doctoral degrees.[90] More than a quarter of the bachelor's degrees awarded that year were conferred to students in business and commerce programs. The majority of master's and doctoral degrees conferred by the university in 2018 were to students in engineering or social science-related programs.[91] The graduation rate for students that entered the university in 2011 is 74.2 per cent.[92]

The university holds membership in a number of national and international post-secondary organizations, such as Universities Canada, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and the International Association of Universities.[93][94] The university's business school is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.[95]


University rankings
Global rankings
ARWU World[96]801–900
QS World[97]801–1000
Times World[98]801–1000
U.S News & World Report Global[99]933
Canadian rankings
ARWU National[96]26–27
QS National[97]27
Times National[98]28–31
U.S News & World Report National[99]25
Maclean's Comprehensive[100]11
Maclean's Reputation[101]20

In Maclean's 2022 Canadian university rankings, Ryerson University placed eleventh in the magazine's comprehensive university category;[100] and 20th in its reputational rankings.[note 4][101] The university has also placed in several global university rankings. In the 2021 Academic Ranking of World Universities, the university ranked 801–900 in the world.[96] The 2022 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 801–1000 in the world.[note 5][97] The 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Ryerson 801–1000 in the world.[98][note 4] In the U.S. News & World Report 2022 ranking, the university placed 933rd in the world.[note 4][99]


The Rogers Communication Centre is a multi-purpose facility that also houses several research centres of the Faculty of Communication and Design

The university engages in a number of scholarly research activities. As of February 2021, there were 37 research centres and institutes operated by the university and its faculties.[102] In the 2018–19 year, the university published 1,369 academic publications, and formed over 303 research funding partnerships.[103]

During the 2018-19 year, Ryerson's allocation of Canada Research Chairs was 23, with the university receiving $17.1 million from the Tri-Council for research support; most of which was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.[104] The university also managed to raise $49.6 million for research support from various levels of government.[105] In the same year, the university managed to raise $13.2 million for research support from various related industries and non-governmental sources.[106]

In 2020, Research Infosource ranked Ryerson University 23rd out of 50 Canadian research universities; with the university having a sponsored research income of $79.574 million during the 2019 fiscal year.[107] In the same year, the university's faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $95,200, while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $28,900 in 2019.[107] Ryerson's research performance has also been noted in several bibliometric rankings that use citation analysis to evaluate the impact a university has in the academic field. In the University Ranking by Academic Performance 2020–21 rankings, the university placed 737th out of 3000 universities.[108]

Notable research projects and endeavours by university faculty includes hitchBOT, a hitchhiking robot created by Frauke Zeller of Ryerson, as well as David Smith of McMaster University.[109] HitchBOT formed a part of the larger Smart Robots for Health Communication project, a joint research initiative between the two universities to study social robotics, artificial intelligence, and human-to-robot interactions; especially in a clinical environment.[110]

Business incubator[edit]

The university operates a business incubator for early-stage technology start-ups called The DMZ. The incubator assists start-ups by connecting them with investors and researchers, as well as provide them access to mentors from industry-related experts.[111] The business incubator was established in 2010 as the Digital Media Zone, before changing its name to DMZ.[112] As of 2019, the DMZ has assisted approximately 400 start-ups and raised over $625 million in funds since 2010.[111] As of 2019, there were 72 start-ups developing at the DMZ.[111] Notable start-ups supported by the DMZ includes 500px.[112] In 2018, UBI Global named The DMZ as the world's best university-based business incubator.[112][113]


The requirements for admission differ between students from Ontario, students from other provinces in Canada, and students based outside of Canada, due to the lack of uniformity in marking schemes. In addition to academic records, the university requires applicants whose first language is not English to present proof that they are proficient in the language.[114] The mean secondary school average for a newly-admitted students from an Ontario-based secondary school institution in the 2018–19 academic year was 85.4 per cent.[115]

In the beginning of the 2019–20 academic year, the university saw 81.9 per cent of its students continue in the same program after their first year of study at the institution; although these figures vary depending on the faculty and program.[115] The retention rate for the university's first-time, full-time first-year students in any program was 88 per cent.[115]

Student life[edit]

Demographics of student body (2018–19)[116]
Undergraduate Graduate
Male 44.42% 47.57%
Female 55.58% 52.43%
Canadian student 93.77% 86.79%
International student 6.23% 13.23%
Ryerson University students at Yonge–Dundas Square during frosh week in 2013

In the 2019–20 academic year, the university's student body included 44,400 full-time and part-time undergraduate students, and 2,950 full-time and part-time graduate students.[6] The student body is primarily made up of Canadians, with over 93 per cent of the student body originating from Canada.[116] Nearly 80 per cent of undergraduate students originated from the Greater Toronto Area.[117]

According to a survey conducted in 2015, approximately 54 per cent of Ryerson students travelled to the campus using local transit systems like the Toronto Transit Commission.[118] Approximately 23 per cent of students travelled to campus using GO Transit, 14 per cent walked, and the remaining 5 per cent biked.[118]


The university full-time undergraduate population is represented by the Ryerson Students' Union;[119] whereas the university's graduate student body is represented by the Ryerson Graduate Students' Union.[120] Part-time students, students taking distance education programs, and students of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education are represented by the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR).[121] All three student union organizations are members of the Canadian Federation of Students.[122] Funds for RSU operations is collected from students through the university.[123] Services provided by the Ryerson Students' Union includes academic advocacy, legal services, and medical insurance.[124]

Additionally, there exists several course/program-specific student societies and unions, representing students of specific academic fields.[125] A number of cultural, social, and recreational social groups are also accredited by the Ryerson Students' Union.[126] Formally, fraternities and sororities are not recognized by the university, or accredited as student organizations by Ryerson's student unions.[127] Fraternities and sororities are not accredited by the RSU given the union's requirement for accredited groups to have inclusive membership, and for them to be free of organizational levies.[127] However, several fraternities and sororities operate in an unofficial capacity at Ryerson; with 10 fraternities and sororities operating as of 2016.[127] Some of these fraternities and sororities operate as city-wide chapters, whose membership is open to various post-secondary student bodies throughout Toronto.[127]


There exists several student-operated media outlets at the university, including student newspapers and a campus radio station. CJRU, also known as Ryerson Radio, has served as a non-profit campus and community radio station for Ryerson University since 2016.[128] CJRU serves as the successor to CJRT-FM and CKLN-FM, two public radio stations formerly operated by the university.

The Eyeopener is a student newspaper that has operated at Ryerson University since 1967; initially established by students of the RTA School of Media.[129] The newspaper is operated by Rye Eye Publishing, a student-owned non-profit corporation.[129] The newspaper's operations is funded through levies paid for by Ryerson students.[129] Students of the Ryerson School of Journalism also publishes a journal and newspaper, the Ryerson Review of Journalism, and The Ryersonian; both publications are staffed by School of Journalism students in their final year.[130][131] Additionally, The Ryersonian also produces a newscast known as RyersonianTV.[130] The Ryersonian Review of Journalism was established by the School of Journalism in 1984 and probes the quality of journalism in Canada.[131]


The university's sports teams are known as the Ryerson Rams, and participates in U Sports' Ontario University Athletics conference for most varsity sports.[132] Varsity teams includes badminton, basketball, fencing, figure skating, ice hockey, soccer, and volleyball. The university's athletic department also maintains several other sports clubs for baseball, crickets, cross country, curling, dragon boat, esports, rugby, table tennis, track and field, ultimate frisbee, and wrestling. The university fielded its first sport teams in 1948, shortly after the institution was established.[133]

The ice rink at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, an athletics facility in the upper levels of Maple Leaf Gardens

The university operates three athletic facilities in and around its campus, the Recreation and Athletic Centre, Kerr Hall Gymnasium/West, and the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The Recreation and Athletic Centre serves as the central hub for the university's athletics department, with the facility housing a fitness centre, gymnasiums, a 145 metres (476 ft) indoor track, a 23 metres (25 yd) pool, and squash courts.[134] Kerr Hall Gymnasium is another athletic facility on campus that includes two gymnasiums.[135] The Mattamy Athletic Centre is an athletic centre that forms the upper portions of Maple Leaf Gardens.[136] The Mattamy Athletic Centre includes a cardio room, a court for basketball and volleyball, an ice-hockey rink, a fitness centre, and dance studio.[136] Ryerson's varsity clubs and athletics programs primarily play their games at Mattamy Athletic Centre, or Kerr Hall Gymnasium; although Ryerson's varsity soccer program is based at Downsview Park.[137]

The athletic department maintains a mascot named Egerton the Ram or Eggy the Ram, named after the school's namesake.[138][139] The idea for the mascot was created in 1961, when students from the Student Administrative Council purchased a live ram and decorated him with Ryerson pendants for an ice hockey game. A total of five live ram mascots were used from 1961 to 1991.[139] A costumed mascot was introduced during the 1980s, and became the university's athletic teams' only mascot after use of a live mascot ended in 1991.[139]

Insignias and other representations[edit]

The university's abbreviated "RU" logo placed on the exterior of the Heidelberg Centre

When the university was initially founded, a crest was used to identify the school.[1] In addition to the original crest, the university also had a seal that was used on university documents and its yearbooks, although its design drew criticism.[1] The crest was later replaced by an official coat of arms, granted by the College of Arms, in 1966.[1] In addition to the coat of arms, the university also uses a logo that includes the official colours of the university, azure/Ryerson blue, and gold;[140] with azure intended to represent loyalty and truth, and gold representing generosity and elevation of the mind.[141][142]

Motto and song[edit]

The university's Latin motto that appears on the coat of arms, Mente et Artificio, translates to "With Mind and Skill".[1] The motto was derived from the Latin motto used by MIT, Mente et Manu, which translates to "With Mind and Hand".[1] The MIT motto was adopted as Ryerson's first motto, with Ryerson's first principal having modelled the institution after MIT.[1] However, the motto was changed to its present form in 1950.[1]

The university also has a song called The School Song. Created during the 1950s, the lyrics for the school song were drafted by Rennie Charles, while the music was composed by Al Sauro.[143]

Coat of arms[edit]

The university was granted a coat of arms by the College of Arms in 1966.[1] In June 1999, the university's coat of arms were officially registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority.[144]

Elements used on the coat of arms includes ram/aries supporters, representing creative impulses.[1] The torches on the ram supporters symbolizing light, education, liberty, and increasing knowledge.[1] Elements on the escutcheon includes the Lamp of Learning to symbolize intelligence; and a set square on the bottom portion escutcheon to represent construction.[1] The coat of arms is officially reserved exclusively for the use of the office of the chancellor and the university president, although its informal use has proliferated to a number of items of other university items, such as jackets and pins.[1]

Coat of arms of Ryerson University
Ryerson Polytechnic University Escutcheon.png
Granted 18 June 1999
A ram’s head caboshed Argent attired Azure between two maple leaves extending outwards Or.
Azure a right-angled isosceles set square apex downwards Argent on a chief Or an ancient lamp Azure enflamed Proper.
On either side a ram Argent attired Azure unguled Or gorged with a wreath of maple leaves Vert charged on the body with a torch Or enflamed Proper enfiled through a right-angled isosceles set square apex downwards Azure.
Mente Et Artificio (With Mind And Skill)

Notable people[edit]

A number of individuals are associated with the university either as alumni, or members of its administration or faculty. As of 2017, there were nearly 170,000 Ryerson alumni worldwide.[145] All graduates of the university are members of the Ryerson University Alumni Association.[146] Alumni and faculty of the university have received a number of academic awards, such as the Commonwealth Scholarship and the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.[147][148]

Alumni of Ryerson University have assumed notable roles in a wide range of fields and specialties. Alumni that were in prominent positions in business includes Patrick Dovigi, founder and CEO of GFL Environmental;[149] Tony Gagliano, chairman and CEO of St. Joseph Communications;[150] John Galt, president and CEO of Husky Injection Molding Systems;[151] Isadore Sharp, founder and chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts;[152] and Klaus Woerner, founder and CEO of ATS Automation Tooling Systems.[153] A number of alumni have also found success in the arts. Notable actors and actresses that have attended the university includes Nina Dobrev,[154] Mena Massoud,[155] Eric McCormack,[156] Hannah Simone,[157] Nia Vardalos,[158] and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood.[159] Notable alumni in the literary arts includes Louise Penny and Robert J. Sawyer.[160][161]

A number of notable individuals have also served as a part of the university's administration or as a member of its faculty. Notable lecturers and professors include David Crombie, the Secretary of State for Canada;[162] Jack Layton, the former leader of the official opposition in Canada;[163] and Margaret MacMillan, an academic and historian.[164] G. Raymond Chang, the chairman and president of CI Financial, also served as the chancellor of the university from 2006 to 2012.[165]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The following date was when the institution was opened to the public.
  2. ^ Prior to 1964, training for nurses in Canada typically occurred in a hospital setting.[18]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The property as a whole is not owned by the university. The university either holds a strata title or a lease on the building/portion of the building.[50]
  4. ^ a b c Although the title of the annual ranking uses 2022 as its year, the following was published in 2021.
  5. ^ Although the title of the annual ranking uses 2022 as its year, the following was published in 2021


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]