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Effective March 17th, the Ryerson Archives and Special Collections will be closed until further notice. See our update for more information.

Posts related to the Archives

“These are a few of our favourite things…” – Jack Layton Library

The staff in Archives and Special Collections brings you some of our favourite things. Objects and photographs from the collections that hold a special place in our hearts. Each post will highlight a different item, along with an explanation of why it stands out.

With such an amazing collection of materials – sometimes it is hard to pick just one…

This post is Archival Technician Cathy McMaster’s choice:

“The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan, a religious allegory, first published in 1678. This edition was published ca. 1900 (F 404.2.733)

I chose this wonderful little book, the story of which is the oldest religious allegory in English literature still in print. This edition is over 100 years old, in good condition, and with a personal inscription to “Lily” from her teacher, “N.M. Robb” (no date). But, it is what I discovered between pages 144 and 145 that makes this book much more special – a pressed four-leaf clover. Who found this rare plant? Jack Layton perhaps? Or, if it was Lily (or even N.M. Robb) who placed it in the book, that little plant is old. Not only a wondrous find back in the day, but also amazing it is still in this book, possibly for 120 years.  Good luck or no, it was a special find for that person and for me.

An elusive four leaf clover
  • To see other book titles in the Jack Layton library – click here
  • To see what else is in the Jack Layton fonds – click here

“These are a few of our favourite things…” – Birth of a Campus

The staff in Archives and Special Collections brings you some of our favourite things. Objects and photographs from the collections that hold a special place in our hearts. Each post will highlight a different item, along with an explanation of why it stands out.

With such an amazing collection of materials – sometimes it is hard to pick just one…

This post is Archival Technician Rosalynn MacKenzie’s choice:

Excavation of the north end of the property, ca.1961

This is one of hundreds of photographs taken by late Ryerson Professor Charles Roy Horney. They are especially poignant as they document the “birth” of Ryerson’s campus with the construction of Kerr Hall and the demolition of the old Normal School buildings. Ryerson started out essentially as an experiment, but by the 1960’s it was really coming into its own and the construction of Kerr Hall represents this to me.

I picked this specific photograph because it shows how Kerr Hall was constructed. This shows the end of Unit I (which runs along Church Street from the corner of Gould to the corner of Gerrard) and the excavation for the Unit II.

  • To see a listing of the other photographs in this file – click here
  • To see what else is in the C. Roy Horney fonds – click here

2020 Alumni Weekend – Welcome to Archives & Special Collections Virtual Open House

This year we open our doors for a virtual visit.  We sincerely miss seeing all you alumni and your guests during this COVID-19 crisis.  We miss hearing your stories about your days at Ryerson and sharing with you, in person, what we have in our collections.  We sincerely hope you are keeping well.

Let’s begin with walking through the doors of the not-so-distant past, into the former Ryerson Archives Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Ryerson University Library…

The Archives Reading Room as it looked in 2011 on the 3rd floor, Library.
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2013 Alumni Weekend, as arranged by my colleague, 3rd floor Archives.
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Peter working at the 2013 Alumni Weekend dressed as a 1993 grad, greeting visitors.
And on the right, Peter, undressed.
For more insight into Peter‘s life, see the Feature blog,  Who is this man in the Archives?
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The Library stacks, 1970s, on display for 2013 Alumni Weekend.
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2013 Alumni Weekend.  Sports featured here (L-R)
Intramural sports, Judo, Soccer, Men’s Basketball, Golf, Downhill Skiing, Football, Women’s Basketball
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Perhaps some of you were taught Politics by Jack Layton in the 1970s.
This 2014 display honours him.
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In 2017, after having merged with Special Collections, the 4th floor became our new home…

Our presence is boldly announced. We’re located directly across from the elevators.
You can also see our three-section display case.
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Upon walking through the doors, you’ll enter our Reading Room.
Check out this short blog about The Oakham House Dogs, seen in the foreground.
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Looking to the left as you walk in.  The blond wood cabinet is the last
card catalogue shelving unit remaining in the Library.
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A comfy reading area where you can peruse the shelves,
enjoy the few yearbooks and every issue of The Ryersonian and The Eyeopener.
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2019 Alumni Weekend
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Eggy made an appearance at the 2019 Open House, at least as his former self (2004-2011) – except
for the 1990s sports jersey.  Celebrating Eggy blog post takes a look at Eggy’s past.
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1950s and ’60 apparel.
Woman’s blazer. And, a tam, a variety of beanies, a top hat, and a recent rams hat for those emulating Eggy.
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A sampling of our button collection.
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Model of the original Ryerson building, Ryerson Hall, showing the building as it was in 1852
when it was built as Canada’s first Normal School (teachers’ college).
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Look!  A miniature Ryerson student!
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It’s time now for a few artefacts from Special Collections…

A 19th C Magic Lantern, a kind of early slide show with glass images projected through a lens.
The source of light for projection was an oil lamp inside the lantern “belly”, thus, the
chimney at the top.  All said, a dangerous proposition. 
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These wonderful 19th C tintypes are examples of a photographic process creating a positive image directly on a small lacquered-covered piece of metal.  They were inexpensive and very popular.  Often mounted in small cases, as seen on the left, which opens to a velvet interior with a tiny, elaborate frame.  The image inside has been meticulously hand painted.
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3D imagery is sampled here : A late 19th C / early 20th C stereoscope (left)…to this 1970s Talking View-Master!
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And finally, WWII Canadian comic books featuring Canadian heroes…

Called Canadian Whites due to the white paper within the very colourful covers.
Here, under Triumph Comics, is Nelvana of the Northern Lights.
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And Crash Carson, under the WOW banner, shoots down a Nazi plane.
See more information in our online database.

We hope you enjoyed your first Archives & Special Collections Virtual Open House!  “Stay Safe.”

Celebrating the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Author’s note: The planning for this blog started in November 2019, to tie into exhibits and other events to celebrate the World Health Organization’s declaration that 2020 would be The International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. At that time COVID-19 was not a known entity and now 5 months later we are in the midst of an international health crisis. We would like to take this moment to recognize Nurses and Midwives for all of their hard work and dedication. The Nurses who care for us and our loved ones on a day to day basis, and those who are working on the front line of this pandemic – Thank you. The Midwives who support and care for their patients and are doing so now during these unprecedented times – Thank you.

The World Health Organization declares 2020 to be the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

The World Health Organization, in partnership with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Council of Nurses (ICN), Nursing Now and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), declared 2020 the year of the Nurse and the Midwife – “A year-long effort to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they often face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce” [WHO] . The year was chosen because 2020 also marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

To find out more about the campaign please consult the following web pages:

Celebrating the birthday of Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale letter and portrait (RG 946.02.01)

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is considered to be the founder of modern Nursing. Florence Nightingale was born in the city of Florence, Italy on May 12, 1820. She began her nursing training in 1850 in Germany, and in 1853 she became superintendent at a women’s hospital on Harley Street in London, England. She is best known for her work during the Crimean War and her resulting work towards improving sanitary conditions in hospitals and beyond. For more information about Florence Nightingale:

International Nurses Day and National Nursing Week declared

In 1971 The International Council of Nurses declared May 12 (Nightingale’s birthday) as International Nurses Day. In 1985 the Canadian Nurses Association advocated that the second week of May every year be National Nursing Week. This year marks her 200th birthday. To find out more about National Nursing Week and International Nurses Day, please visit the following websites:

International Day of the Midwife

First celebrated in 1992, May 5th marks the International Day of the Midwife. The idea of the International Day of the Midwife was proposed at the 1987 International Congress of Midwives by the delegation from Australia. The initiative took some time to go through the UN System, but was formally launched in 1992. For more information on the International Day of the Midwife, please visit the following websites:

Midwifery at Ryerson

Ryerson’s program was founded in 1993 in collaboration with McMaster and Laurentian Universities. The program is offered as both full-time or part-time, as well as having an accelerated post-baccalaureate program for people with a previous degree in a health related field and labour and delivery experience. Ryerson’s first class of Midwives graduated in 1996.

Student Midwives Emily Stewart-Wilson (Class of 2018) and Teresa Cheng (Class of 2020) practice neonatal resuscitation with midwife preceptor Nicole Waithe (middle) [Photograph courtesy of the Midwifery Education Program, Faculty of Community Services]

To learn more about the program and to see what we have in Archives and Special Collections, please visit:

Nursing at Ryerson

Nursing students in the hospital, 1975 (RG 122.10.039)

The Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing was founded in 1964. The 3-year Diploma course was endorsed by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and was the first diploma Nursing Course in Canada to be offered outside of the Hospital nursing schools. It would add other diplomas and certificates during the next decade including post-graduate Nursing programs in Adult Intensive Care (certificate), Pediatric Nursing Program (certificate), and Psychiatric Nursing Program (certificate).

On September 1, 1973, the responsibility for the administration of all Diploma Nursing Programs within the Province of Ontario was transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Diploma Nursing Programs formerly operated by hospitals and/or by separately constituted boards in the city of Toronto were transferred to George Brown College and Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Under this directive, Ryerson’s Diploma Nursing Program was joined by the Schools formerly operated by the Hospital for Sick Children, Women’s College Hospital and Wellesley Hospital.

In 1980, Ryerson first offered a post-diploma degree, followed in 1983 by a part-time degree option. In 2001 they began offering a collaborative nursing degree program with George Brown and Centennial Colleges. Now the school also offers graduate programs – a Masters of Nursing and a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate. To learn more about the Nursing at Ryerson and to see what we have in Archives and Special Collections, please visit:

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing opened in 1912, with its first class of 10 graduating in 1915.

Upon Graduation, each nurse was given their Wellesley pin. The same style pin was awarded to every Wellesley graduate between 1915 and 1974. What made each pin unique was the Nurses name and date of graduation engraved on the back.

The Wellesley’s first graduates did so in the time of World War I, and not surprisingly 8 out of the 10 graduates enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. They all served in Field Hospitals and medical units in Europe.

From the beginning, the Wellesley Hospital depended upon its student nurses – they provided the majority of nursing care for the patients in the early years of the hospital. Because of the small size on the Hospital (72 beds), the Nursing students did training at a variety of different hospitals to augment their training. One such relationship was with the Manhatten Maternity Hospital where they were sent for obstetrical training. This relationship lasted from 1915 to 1919 when Wellesley’s obstetrical unit was large enough for adequate training of its own nurses. In 1923 the Ontario government registered the Wellesley school, along with other larger schools in Toronto. This meant the Wellesley Nurses could apply for qualification of Registered Nurse.

The school’s curriculum changed over the years, with 3 major changes occuring. The first occurred in 1942, when nursing theory and nursing practice were correlated. The second change occurred in 1956 when the 2 year course changed to a 2 year academic program plus one year internship on the wards. The final change occurred in 1970 when the course was made 2 years with the third year interns were paid for their work and able to live outside of the Nursing residence.

Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing open house poster, 1972 (RG 946.03.13.02)

The Nursing school remained in operation until 1973 when it amalgameted with Ryerson Polytechnical Institute School of Nursing. The Wellesley satellite site remained open until 1975, when the last class of Wellesley nurses graduated.

To learn more about Nursing during World War I, and to see what else we have in the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing sous-fonds visit:

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association and World War II

During World War II The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association were active in supporting their Nursing sisters, as well as the Wellesley Hospital doctors, that were serving overseas.

They were also active in supporting other charities that supplied goods to those serving in the Canadian Forces.

In 2005, with the closure of the Wellesley Hospital, the Alumnae Association donated their Archival collection to Ryerson’s School of Nursing. It was transferred to the Ryerson University Archives in 2011, along with an endowment to support the collection. The alumnae association established an endowment fund in 2006 that supports an award for Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing graduate students. The Alumnae Association is still active today and can be reached by email at thewellesleyschoolnsgtoronto@gmail.com

To learn more about the Alumnae Association and to see what else we have in The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association sous-fonds visit:

We hope you have enjoyed looking through our celebration of Nursing and Midwifery. Here are some additional websites that might be of interest:

Ryerson University in the time of Covid-19

You can find updated information on Ryerson University and its response to the Covid-19 pandemic by clicking on the button below

For information on the Ryerson Library’s resources and service updates click the button below

To find out more about The Ryerson Library’s COVID-19 Digital Archive click the button below

Canadian Radio and Television History at Ryerson – November 1949

This month marks the 70th anniversary of two important Ryerson and Canadian milestones – The opening of CJRT – Canada’s first educational radio station on the FM band, and the broadcast of “This is the Fashion – marking Canada’s first live television show produced for a general audience.

CJRT FM is on Air

On November 1, 1949 Canada’s first educational radio station on the FM band went on the air. The station was licensed as a completely non-commercial enterprise and operated in conjunction with Ryerson’s Schools of Broadcasting and Electronics. The University of Toronto, the Ontario Department of Education and other Boards of Education in and around Toronto would also take part in programming. The first night of broadcasting was 3 hours in length and included a half hour of recorded music, followed by “CJRT Testing” a documentary on FM broadcasting and CJRT, and finally a concerto of works by a variety of composers.

  • Ryerson Radio Club

The station was officially opened on November 22, 1949 by Ontario Premier Leslie Frost and Ontario Minister of Education Dana Porter

“CJRT Finest in the World – Frost” Ryerson Institute of Technology The Little Daily

This is the Fashion

On November 14, 1949 Staff and students from Ryerson’s Schools of Fashion Design, Electronics, and Broadcasting combined their talents for “This is the Fashion”, a 20 minute live fashion/comedy broadcast. Using equipment loaned from Famous Players, the show was performed in the School’s boardroom and broadcast to an audience of 200 Radio Industry professionals in the school’s auditorium. The purpose of the night was to promote FM radio and FM radio tuners.

Remembrance Day and Ryerson University

Remembrance Day from Archives and Special Collections

Veterans marching past Ryerson Hall during Remembrance Day ceremony in 1953.

In 1948, three years after the end of World War II, Ryerson was created as the Ryerson Institute of Technology. During this post war period, memories of the conflict were still vivid for many students and staff members, and Remembrance Day therefore held a marked significance for the community.  The observations included a march past of veterans and a service held in front of Ryerson Hall officiated by Principal Howard Kerr, as seen in the photograph above. Today, what remains of Ryerson Hall is the façade and entry to the RAC (the “facade”).

During the war years, in both the U.S. and Canada, Kodak often incorporated typical scenes from the soldier’s life and the “home front”, to advertise the innovative products Kodak made as part of the war effort. The photographic images below are from Special Collections’ Kodak Canada collection.

2005_001_03_2_001_9_143_watermark
“Home folks – home things – are always uppermost in his mind. Natural, isn’t it, that he should want snapshots…that bring [home] to him as true as life!” Canadian Kodak Co., Limited, Toronto, Ontario.
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Canadian Kodak Co., Limited, Toronto, Ontario. The Monetary Times, January,1944
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U.S. Navy Photographs using Kodacolor Aero Reversal Films. The Monetary Times, August, 1944

Ryerson 7025 – Athletics and Intramurals

This year marks a special Anniversary at Ryerson University – a double anniversary. It has been 70 years since the founding of the school and 25 years since it achieved University status.

In conjunction with University wide celebrations, The Ryerson University and Archives has created an exhibit, running June 1 – October 31, looking back at the history of the school. For each month the exhibit is open we will feature in our blog one of the 5 themes of the exhibit: 5 pivotal moments in Ryerson’s history, Student Groups and Clubs, Student Government, Student Housing, and Athletics and Intramurals.

For October’s blog and the final installment in our special anniversary series we will look at Athletics and Intramurals – the spaces and the evolution of inter-university sport and intramurals between 1948 and 1993.

Athletic Spaces

The First Gymnasium

In 1950 Ryerson’s first gymnasium was located in a converted garage on Church Street. The space consisted of a spacious gymnasium with lockers and shower facilities, a social/common room, The Supply Store, a game room, a tuck shop, and a barber shop.

Ryerson’s first gymnasium (RG 95.1 Athletics CM51-6)

Kerr Hall Gymnasiums

In the 1964 2 new gymnasiums and a swimming pool opened in the brand new Howard Kerr Hall. The two gymnasiums could be utilized as 3 full sized basketball courts, 9 badminton courts, or 6 volleyball courts. The 23 metre swimming pool was built with 2 one-metre diving boards and a locker room.

Ryerson Athletic Centre

Opened in 1987, Ryerson’s unique underground Recreation and Athletics Centre provided 50,000 square feet of new facilities including 7 squash courts, two multipurpose gyms, a fitness training centre, a dance studio, a running track, and shower facilities. Built beneath the Kerr Hall Quadrangle, the two storey centre required a 30 foot excavation to accommodate it.

Mattamy Athletic Centre

The Mattamy Athletic Centre, previously known as Maple Leaf Gardens, features a second floor fitness centre and a hardwood dance studio. Home of the Ryerson Rams basketball, volleyball, and hockey teams since 2012, the building also houses a full sized ice rink that can accommodate 2500 seated fans, team rooms, and Coca-Cola Court – a multipurpose gym court.

Athletics

The first sports teams organized at Ryerson in 1948 were men’s hockey, men’s basketball and co-ed swimming, and co-ed equestrian. The men’s hockey team was the first athletics group to compete wearing the blue, gold, and white uniform. In 1949 a women’s hockey team was established and played at Ravina Gardens in High Park.

By 1993, Ryerson Athletics programs were much more developed. The teams competed nationally in the Canadian Inter-university Athletic Union in hockey, basketball, volleyball, soccer and swimming. Other Ryerson sports teams included badminton, fencing, squash, as well as men’s hockey and women’s figure skating.

Intramurals

Intramural programs were designed with fun and creation in mind. There were no try-outs or skill requirements to join.

Because of a delay in the construction of Ryerson’s gymnasium on Church Street, the Athletics Association was not able to organize extensive intramural programs. By the Fall of 1951 intramural programs for basketball, badminton and volleyball were held in the gym, while hockey, swimming, riding, curling and skiing took place off campus.

Ryerson Riding Club at Whitewood Stables, ca. 1950 (RG 95.1 Clubs)

By 1993 over 3000 students participated in 40 different intramural programs. Leagues were divided into women’s, co-ed, and men’s groups and programs included aerobics, innertube water polo and line dancing.

To learn more about Athletics and Intramurals at Ryerson – please visit the Ryerson University Archives and Special Collections located on the 4th floor of the library in Room LIB404.

Ryerson 7025 – Student Housing

This year marks a special Anniversary at Ryerson University – a double anniversary. It has been 70 years since the founding of the school and 25 years since it achieved University status.

In conjunction with University wide celebrations, The Ryerson University and Archives has created an exhibit, running June 1 – October 31, looking back at the history of the school. For each month the exhibit is open we will feature in our blog one of the 5 themes of the exhibit: 5 pivotal moments in Ryerson’s history, Student Groups and Clubs, Student Government, Student Housing, and Athletics and Intramurals.

This month marks the start of a new school year and for thousands of Ryerson students the first time living away from home. So it is fitting that for September’s blog we will look at student housing at Ryerson.

When Ryerson first opened in 1948, there was no campus housing for students. Students rented their own apartments, lived in rooming houses or in various YMCA or YWCA facilities. For the 1957-1958 school year Ryerson’s Students’ Adminstrative Council started a housing registry – to help students find accommodations in the city.

Ryerson Housing Registry, 1984

Church Street Annexes

In the late 1950s – early 1960s Ryerson purchased 323 and 333 Church Street for the purpose of providing housing to male students. Between 10 and 12 students lived in each building. After Kerr Hall residence opened in 1960, the students rooming in the Church Street residences were allowed to use Kerr Hall’s amenities.

Kerr Hall – Eric Palin Hall

Kerr Hall, renamed Eric Palin Hall in 1969, was Ryerson’s first residence. An all male dormitory that housed 42 students. Located in the refurbished Working Boys Home at 63 Gould Street (Now Oakham House). It opened in the Fall of 1960. In its first year running it cost students $10 per week to live there. It closed in 1972.

Bond House – O’Keefe House

Bond House opened its doors as a men’s residence in 1964. Home to 33 students on 3 floors, it changed its name to O’Keefe House in 1978. It would eventually become a co-ed residence. O’Keefe House closed its doors at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Bond House/O’Keefe House

Neill-Wycik College

The Student Housing group of the Ryerson Students’ Administrative Council joined the Co-op College and applied for incorporation in 1967 under the name “Neill-Wycik” – Neill for A. S. Neill the founder of Summerhill School in the U. K. and Wycik in honour of Mama and Papa Wycik.

The co-operative ran 3 (all male and co-ed) houses in Toronto for Ryerson students. They were located at 707 Spadina Avenue, 310 Jarvis Street, and 325 Church Street. They also rented 2 floors in the Rochdale College co-operative building at 341 Bloor Street West starting in 1968.

325 Church Street (RG 95.1.13.03.01)

The purpose built Neill-Wycik College student residence building opened in November of 1970. It housed 800 students on 22 floors.

Neill-Wycik College (RG 122.10.094)

International Living/Learning Centre

Hotel Ibis, located at 240 Jarvis Street, was purchased by Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in August of 1993. The 11 storey building would be home to 270 co-ed students as well as the new home for the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Ryerson.

International Living/Learning Centre (RG 395.40.16)

Pitman Hall

Pitman Hall is located at 160 Mutual Street. It has 14 floors and 565 rooms – with each floor having communal kitchen, lounge, and laundry facilities. The cafeteria is located on the main floor. This residence is co-ed.

Pitman Hall (RG 395.40.16)

HOEM Residence

Opened in the Fall of 2018, Ryerson’s newest residence HOEM is Ryerson’s largest residence with 30 floors and 593 rooms. All suites are fully furnished and include a kitchen, living room, and single, private bedrooms. A co-ed residence that is open to both first and upper year students. HOEM was built and owned by Canadian Student Communities Inc. and is operated in partnership with Ryerson University. To learn more about HOEM, visit their web page here.

HOEM Student Residence was built and is owned by Canadian Student Communities Inc. It is operated in partnership with Ryerson University

To learn more about Ryerson’s history – please visit the Ryerson University Archives and Special Collections located on the 4th floor of the library in Room LIB404.

Stay tuned for month for the final blog in the series – Student Athletics and Intramurals.

Ryerson 7025 – Student Government

The Ryerson University and Archives has created an exhibit, running June 1 – October 31, looking back at the history of the school. For each month the exhibit is open we will feature in our blog one of the 5 themes of the exhibit: 5 pivotal moments in Ryerson’s history, Student Groups and Clubs, Student Government, Student Housing, and Athletics and Intramurals.

For August’s post – we will delve into the history of student government on campus.

The Ryerson student union has held many names since the inception of the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. In 1948, the first iteration of the student assocaition was called the Students’ Administrative Council (SAC).  In 1970, it changed its name to the Students’ Union of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (SURPI), and between 1989 and 1996 it was know as Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU). In the mid-1990s, the union was renamed the Ryerson Students’ Administrative Council (RYESAC), and in 2006 it became the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) as we know it today.

Ryerson’s first Student Administrative Council (RG 95.1 SAC)

Initially, the student council’s budget was set by the Institute’s administration and the treasurer position was filled by an instructor. At the time, the student union’s main goal was to organize social and extracurricular activities for the student body. They organized Homecoming Weekend, Open House, the annual student comedy show called RIOT and The Ryerson Opera Workshop (ROW).

Ryerson Opera Workshop’s Alice in Wonderland (RG 718.03, Photographer: Jerry Davey)

By the 1960s, the student association evolved into an elected self-governing body that administered its own funds and became a platform for student activism. In 1966, Janet Weir, a secretarial science student became the first woman elected as SAC president. Weir organized a student-led protest called “Booxodus” to advocate for a larger book collection in the new library building. On November 20, 1967, students were asked to borrow six books from the library to demonstrate the limited resources available at Ryerson. The protesters borrowed 3,000 books from the library, representing almost a third of the overall holdings. The campaign was successful, and funds were allocated to increase book purchases when the new library would be completed in the 1970s.

Ryerson Library Booxodus (Photo montage from the book Together for Change by Ronald Stagg)

The Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) was founded in 1979 to represent the large proportion of students enrolled in part-time and evening courses. Through the years, CESAR has collaborated with RSU on campaigns such as pedestrianizing Gould Street, eliminating the use of bottled water on campus and stopping tuition hikes. The organization also focuses on issues specific to Continuing Education students, such as daycare service and full financial credit for part-time studies.

Night Student News June 30th 1981 (RG 24.1)

In the early 1990s, the student council lobbied Ryerson to first install recycling bins on campus, and eventually to make them available campus-wide. By the mid-1990s, they organized several student demonstrations in protest of tuition hikes. The president at the time, Victoria Bowman, brought 30 bags of ice to the President’s office as part of a tuition freeze protest.

RyeSAC SoapBox Newsletter Fall 1997 (RG 79.59)

Ryerson’s student government has certainly changed through the years, but it has and will continue to undertake three major roles for the Ryerson community: provide free or affordable services to students, organize social and community-oriented events, and the role of an advocacy group dedicated to improving the condition of students on campus.  

Stay tuned for next month’s blog when we explore the history of student housing at Ryerson!