Ryerson University is on the grounds of the original Toronto Normal School, the first teachers college in Ontario, founded by Egerton Ryerson in 1847. A colonial institution, it was developed out of the need for education in Upper Canada. Before it evolved to become the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), the Normal School gave rise to many institutions, including museums, societies, and laboratories that eventually became the Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario College of Art & Design, and the Ontario Agricultural College, respectively.
During World War II, the Normal School was forced to relocate from its St. James Square facilities so they could be converted into a training centre for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Through a federal-provincial partnership after the war, the St. James Square property was given over to become the Toronto Training and Re-Establishment Institute (TRIT), which had a post-war mandate to train former service people and fill a demand for skilled workers, before it became the Ryerson Institute of Technology in 1948. The newly-founded trade school offered training in multiple fields, such as architectural drafting, costume design, interior design, and photography.
In 1993, Ryerson became a university and has since expanded considerably. The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) was founded in 2012; it included the building of three public gallery spaces, an extensive archive, and a research centre. Centered on research as well as the teaching and exhibition of photography and related media, the RIC has built an expansive collection and catalogue of more than 375,000 objects, including the Black Star collection of press photography and several individual artist archives.
This Biennial site description was generated by the curatorial team, in consultation with our creative partners, to offer lesser-known facts and histories, and explore sites in relation to the changing shoreline.
This exhibition is a partnership with the RIC.
Accessible entrance and washrooms
Accessible ramps / elevators
AODA compliant building
- Getting There
By Public Transportation: The Toronto transit system offers numerous options that provide easy access to the Ryerson Image Centre:
• Dundas Subway Station is located one block southwest of the RIC
• Dundas Street streetcars travel east and west, one block south of the RIC
By Car: By Car, drive to Dundas Street, between Yonge and Church Streets. Turn north onto Victoria Street. There is a Ryerson University parking lot approximately half way up the street, at which point Victoria is closed for pedestrian access only. Turn left to access the lot. The Ryerson Image Centre is opposite Lake Devo, directly across from the pedestrian half of Victoria street.