Amid controversy, Ryerson University changes name to Metropolitan University of Toronto

The former Ryerson University officially changed its name to Toronto Metropolitan University.

The school’s board of trustees voted last August to change the school’s name due to concerns about the man the institution was named for and his ties to Canada’s residential schools.

Egerton Ryerson is considered one of the main architects of the boarding school system, and in recent years staff and students have called for the university to change its name.

“I can’t think of a better name than Metropolitan University of Toronto,” President and Vice-Chancellor Mohamed Lachemi said in a statement. “Metropolitan is a reflection of who we have always been – an urban institution dedicated to excellence, innovation and inclusion and who we aim to be – a place where all feel welcome, seen, represented and celebrated. .”

The change was made as part of 22 recommendations made by the University’s Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) task force.

Truth and reconciliation was a key priority for the school in considering a new name, the school said in a press release, adding that officials are committed to implementing all task force recommendations. .

A statue of Egerton Ryerson, one of the architects of the residential school system, sits on university grounds after it was toppled in June 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The group’s 22 recommendations included renaming the institution, sharing materials to recognize Egerton Ryerson’s legacy, and providing more opportunities to learn about Indigenous history and relationships. indigenous-colonial.

“This is a very important moment in the history of our university as we move forward with a name that better reflects our values ​​and can take us into the future,” Lachemi said.

The statue of Egerton Ryerson that once stood on the school’s campus was toppled last year, amid the discovery of unmarked graves on the grounds of former boarding schools.

The following day, hundreds of professors and other school faculty members signed a letter demanding that the university change its name.