Photo: Sarah Krichel

5 fun facts you need to know about Ryerson

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By Denise Paglinawan

As freshmen, you probably still have a lot of questions about Rye-related things before classes officially start: how your university classes run, where your classes are, how your professor grades, how OSAP works and all that fun stuff.

But forget all that. The Eyeopener has provided five facts about Ryerson that you don’t really need to know but we are going to tell you anyway.

1. Ryerson was not officially a university until 1993.

Where Ryerson stands now used to be the Toronto Normal School, Ontario’s first teacher training college. Ryerson was then called the Ryerson Institute of Technology and was established to offer training in various skilled trades following the Second World War. It was rebranded as the Ryerson Polytechnic Institute in 1963, then Ryerson Polytechnic University in 1993 when it gained university status, and finally Ryerson University in 2002.

2. Those bell sounds you hear on campus aren’t actual bells.

While walking down Gould Street, students are reminded of the time based on the bell tunes coming from the Kerr Hall tower — or so it seems. As it turns out, those bell-like sounds are actually not from a bell at all, but rather a keyboard attached to 25 different metal rods, called a carillon. The creator of the contraption, Wayne Detcher, told Ryerson Today that “he did it for the kids.” Detcher has played the keyboard over 50 times at Ryerson.

3. Ryerson made a cameo in the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Not only was the Rogers Communication Centre (RCC) and Kerr Hall used as a location in some scenes for the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but the lead actress, Nia Vardalos, who played Toula Portokalos, is a Ryerson alumna. The RCC doubled as Harry S. Truman College, Toula’s school.

4. A heart was found on campus in 2015.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t a human heart. According to reports, the organ was found out- side of the Chang School building during a garbage clean-up. Police later said an arts student claimed responsibility for the heart, saying it was for a school project. It was believed to be a cow heart.

5. There was a “Ryerson Mural Scandal.”

As people are calling for the removal of the statue of Egerton Ryerson, it wasn’t the first statue that sparked controversy. In 1962, the Hockey Player, which can be seen on the walls of Kerr Hall, was deemed by students and staff as sexist, retrograded and Stalinist because of the mural’s similarities to the statues Stalin wanted to create to depict Russian peasants.


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