Ryerson University is at the intersection of mind and action. What our students learn in the classroom is enhanced by real-world knowledge and experience. We champion diversity, entrepreneurship and innovation. At Ryerson University we're dedicated to creating a culture of action. We believe that education and experience go hand-in-hand. What our students learn in the classroom is enhanced by real-world knowledge through internships and co-ops, or amplified through zone learning, specialized minors and graduate programs.
The university is located in the heart of Toronto, Canada, the fourth largest city in North America. Here, students can connect with leaders in culture, business, health care or government because opportunity lives at our front door. That's an urban campus. Ryerson's campus community includes international students from over 146 countries. The university is rich with diversity of perspectives, cultures and opportunities. In the classroom, that means you'll be surrounded by different opinions and backgrounds to help shape your world view. You'll also find opportunities to engage in international learning experiences.
History and Founding Vision
Ryerson University’s history is rooted in innovative, career-driven education with the goal of addressing contemporary societal needs. Named after Ontario’s first Superintendent of Education and leading public school advocate, Egerton Ryerson, it began as a postsecondary institute designed to combine technical education with academic theory for the first time.
The Ryerson Institute of Technology was established in 1948 in response to the need for skilled tradespeople following the Second World War. Built on the historical site of Ontario’s first teacher training college -- known as the Toronto Normal School -- approximately 250 students enrolled in Ryerson’s first year. The new institute offered theoretical and practical training in various skilled trades such as architecture, costume design and photography. The student newspaper, The Ryersonian, was founded in 1948.
Following several years of institutional growth, “polytechnic” was added to Ryerson’s title in 1963 to adequately represent its growing range of programs. Ryerson Polytechnic Institute gained degree-granting authority in 1971, and the campus continued to expand with the construction of Lake Devo in 1979. During this time, yearly enrollment at Ryerson exceeded 10,000 students, and the school launched various innovative projects including the Energy Centre and the option to take courses delivered over the radio.
Proving a commitment to build on its research capacity and academic reach, Ryerson gained official university status in 1993. In the following years, the university began offering graduate and doctoral degree programs and opened the Raymond G. Chang School of Continuing Education. In 2002, Ryerson Polytechnic University shortened its title to Ryerson University, reflecting the school’s rising profile as a full-fledged university with strong academic programming.
Ryerson University is currently recognized as a leading institution for research and innovation, being ranked the top institution for undergraduate research in Canada in 2014. Within the past decade, the university has launched various research centres and institutes, as well as the Zone Learning option for students and business professionals interested in entrepreneurship.
Ryerson’s location at the heart of downtown Toronto has motivated numerous strategic partnerships with surrounding businesses and spaces. The most significant recent development is the construction of four new Ryerson buildings: the Mattamy Athletic Centre, at Toronto’s historic Maple Leaf Gardens, the award-winning Student Learning Centre on Yonge Street, the Ryerson Image Centre on campus and the upcoming Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex.