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Ryerson University (commonly referred to as Ryerson) is a public research university located in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Its urban campus surrounds the Yonge-Dundas Square, located at the busiest intersection in downtown Toronto. The university has a focus on applied, career-oriented education. The majority of its buildings are in the blocks northeast of the Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto's Garden District. Ryerson's business school, Ted Rogers School of Management is on the southwest end of the Yonge-Dundas Square, located on Bay Street, slightly north of Toronto's Financial District and is attached to the Toronto Eaton Centre. The university's most recent expansion, the Mattamy Athletic Centre, is located in the historical Maple Leaf Gardens arena, formerly home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The university is composed of 36,000+ undergraduate students, 2,000+ graduate students, and 70,000 yearly certificate and continuing education registrations. Ryerson is ranked 4th in Ontario and 10th in Canada by student enrollment. 90 percent of all students commute to Ryerson, making it one of the largest commuter schools in Canada.

Ryerson University is home to Canada's largest undergraduate business school, the Ted Rogers School of Management, and Canada's third largest undergraduate engineering school, the George Vari Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, as well as the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Communication & Design, Faculty of Community Services, and the Faculty of Science.

In addition to offering full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate programs leading to Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees, the university also offers part-time degrees, distance education and certificates through the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

History

In 1852 at the core of the present main campus, the historic St. James Square, Egerton Ryerson founded Ontario's first teacher training facility, the Toronto Normal School. It also housed the Department of Education and the Museum of Natural History and Fine Arts, which became the Royal Ontario Museum. An agricultural laboratory on the site led to the later founding of the Ontario Agricultural College and the University of Guelph. St. James Square went through various other educational uses before housing a namesake of its original founder.

Egerton Ryerson was a leading educator, politician, and Methodist minister. He is known as the father of Ontario's public school system. He is also a founder of the first publishing company in Canada in 1829, The Methodist Book and Publishing House, which was renamed The Ryerson Press in 1919 and today is part of McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Canadian publisher of educational and professional books, which still bears Egerton Ryerson's name for its Canadian operations.

Advances in science and technology brought on by World War II, and continued Canadian industrialization, previously interrupted by the Great Depression, created a demand for a more highly trained population. Howard Hillen Kerr was given control of nine Ontario Training and Re-establishment centres to accomplish this. His vision of what these institutions would do was broader than what others were suggesting. In 1943, he visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was convinced that Canada could develop its own MIT over a period of one hundred years. Along the way, such an institution could respond to the then current needs of the society. When the Province finally approved the idea of technical institutes, in 1946, it proposed to found several. It turned out though that all but one would be special purpose schools, such as the mining school. Only the Toronto retraining centre, which became the Ryerson Institute of Technology in 1948, would become a multi-program campus, Kerr’s future MIT of Canada. This vision is reflected in Ryerson's Motto and its mission statement.

The Toronto Training and Re-establishment Institute was created in 1945 on the former site of the Toronto Normal School at St James Square, bounded by Gerrard, Church, Yonge and Gould. The Gothic-Romanesque building was designed by architects Thomas Ridout and Frederick William Cumberland in 1852. The site had been used as a Royal Canadian Air Force training facility during World War II. The institute was a joint venture of the federal and provincial government to train ex-servicemen and women for re-entry into civilian life.

The Ryerson Institute of Technology was founded in 1948, inheriting the staff and facilities of the Toronto Training and Re-establishment Institute. In 1966, it became the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.

In 1971, provincial legislation was amended to permit Ryerson to grant university degrees accredited by both provincial government legislation and by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). That year, it also became a member of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). In 1992, Ryerson became Toronto’s second school of engineering to receive accreditation from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). The following year (1993), Ryerson formally became a University, via an Act of the Ontario Legislature.

In 1993, Ryerson received approval to also grant graduate degrees (master's and doctorates). The same year, the Board of Governors changed the institution's name to Ryerson Polytechnic University to reflect a stronger emphasis on research associated with graduate programs and its expansion from being a university offering undergraduate degrees. Students occupied the university's administration offices in March 1997, protesting escalating tuition hikes.

In June 2001, the school assumed its current name as Ryerson University. Today, Ryerson University offers programs in aerospace, chemical, civil, mechanical, industrial, electrical, biomedical and computer engineering. The B.Eng biomedical engineering program is the first stand-alone undergraduate biomedical engineering program in Canada. The university is also one of only two Canadian universities to offer a program in aerospace engineering accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).