Egerton Ryerson: The 200th Anniversary Of His Birth

This year (2003) marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ontario’s greatest educator. Ryerson University is named after Egerton Ryerson, who founded this province’s educational system, and is located on the site where he established the first training facility for teachers, the Upper Canada (later Normal) School. Dr. Ryerson was born in 1803 in Charlotteville, in southwestern Ontario, and died in Toronto in 1882.

The Ryerson Archives maintains a substantial collection of records and information on Egerton Ryerson, including Ryerson family papers and a rare oil portrait donated by Egerton’s great-great grandson, Peter Ryerson, in the 1990s. Both the family papers and the portrait are displayed in the University Archives.

“Preserving My Heritage”, a Canadian Conservation Institute Web site, features the restoration of the Ryerson oil portrait. It received extensive treatment over the course of one year and was one of the Archives’ major projects for the University’s 50th Anniversary in 1998. A description and illustrations of the restoration can be found in the “Before And After Gallery” of the CCI’s Web site.

Visitors to the Ryerson University Archives Web site may also consult the “Ryerson History” page for biographical information on Egerton Ryerson.