By Eduard Tatomir
A little under two years ago, Ryerson announced that the O’Keefe House—a residence building most students have never heard of and probably couldn’t afford anyway—was shutting down. The school claimed it wasn’t a “viable and sustainable building to operate as residence.”
Recently, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said the university is planning on turning the O’Keefe House into a student wellness centre.
After the two students who care about university budgeting asked Lachemi where the money for this plan was coming from, he made a brief appearance in front of O’Keefe. To the dismay of the film students who smoke on the steps by the Image Arts Building, Lachemi stood on a portable folding table and yelled through a megaphone.
“We are proud and honoured to announce the sponsor for our new wellness centre,” said Lachemi.
The crowd of people in front of him—mostly of students passing by on their way to class—didn’t really care. But one guy asked, “Who is it?” Everyone gave him a dirty look.
Lachemi leaned into the microphone, deadpan, and muttered the word: “ghosts.”
At this point, students started taking out their phones because they knew they were about to witness something enthralling for their Instagram stories.
He went on to explain that the building had, in fact, become uninhabitable from the ghosts of past students who left Ryerson to sell their souls to the corporate world.
“This is the only place we have left anymore. This is our home”
Lachemi added that it was “a tight-knit community” with just thirty-something students living there while it was operating. The ghosts had practically moved in, rent-free—which made students realize that the only way to afford housing anymore is to die, causing them to wreak havoc in the residence.
Lachemi talked about the ghost joints and bongs he would find littered in the rooms. One ghost tried selling him some when he first walked in. Empty bottles of vodka and tequila shots could be found tossed on the floors, but entire cases of Bud Light were left unopened, concluding that even the dead won’t drink that shit.
The ghosts he found in the rooms upstairs were hungover or passed out, but an engineering student was still studying for an exam he had the next day, crying at his desk.
“This is the only place we have left anymore. This is our home,” said Mary Tudor, a ghost and resident at the O’Keefe House. “We’re a family here, a safe space outside the real world. We love each other here.”
Tudor spoke about how they wish to live there in peace, but also how they loved to get “turnt when the sun sets.”
“I had stumbled upon a club run entirely by ghosts”
When Lachemi tried to visit the residence building at night, he was greeted by a ghost bouncer prompting him for ID. “The inside was wild,” he told the crowd. Lachemi went on to describe what is probably the sickest club in Toronto, equipped with drag queen performances, four bars, pool tables and a suspiciously expensive cover.
Lachemi said echoes could be heard throughout the night. “Chug chug chug chug chug! It was never-ending,” he reflected, with tears in his eyes. “I had stumbled upon a club run entirely by ghosts.”
He claimed he tried to shut the club down by calling the police, but when they arrived the building was empty once again—just as any abandoned building would be.
“Our bodies have abandoned us to climb those corporate ladders,” said Tudor. “We didn’t ask for that. We’re still young. We deserve a place to be wild and free. We’re not going anywhere.”
That’s when Lachemi realized that the school could work with them instead of against them. “We have decided to collaborate with our guests to fund the new wellness centre. All proceeds from the Ram Manor Nightclub’s cover will go directly to our new project.”
Lachemi promised he wouldn’t kick any of the ghosts out. He said he would do everything in his power to provide them with resources and make their stay as lengthy and pleasant as possible.
The ghosts do request better beer though, according to Tudor. “Anything but the Bud Light. Please. We can’t do it anymore. We’d just rather be sober at this point.”