Ryerson launches new ‘Downtown Canada’ ad campaign

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By Zachary Roman

Ryerson has launched a new ad campaign on social media, branding itself as “Your urban campus in the heart of Downtown Canada.”

The campaign has its own hashtag, #MyDowntownCanadaCampus, where students can share their favourite experiences they’ve had in Downtown Canada—such as getting harassed by random people, almost getting run over by that one double decker sightseeing bus, or having a rave with their friends to the classical music they play outside the 10 Dundas East building.

The campaign also started a new Instagram account, @RyeDowntownCanada, which says it will be posting “exclusive content that can’t be found at a campus in Uptown Canada.” So far, the only picture on the account is one of Eggy the Ram standing outside of Dundas Station smoking a dart in the rain. The photo has one comment, from U of T’s mascot True Blue who wrote “U ok bro? Text me.”

Some students aren’t so sure if the new ad campaign is going to be successful, stating concerns over Downtown Canada’s wannabe nature.

“I feel like Downtown Canada wants to be another famous place so bad,” said Ty Mesquare, a second-year RTA student from New York. “I just can’t think of which one.”

Others are wondering why Ryerson would want to be associated with Downtown Canada in the first place.

“Downtown Canada smells like an unholy amalgamation of swamp ass, cigarette butts and the exhaust fumes of a 1996 Honda Civic with no muffler blasting ‘Portland,’” said Jenn Jennsen, a first-year MBA student at the Ted Rogers School of Management. “It’s still a dope spot to take pictures though.”

University president Mohamed Lachemi said the ad campaign hopes to position Ryerson as one of the leading culture hubs in Downtown Canada, alongside other cultural heritage sites such as the H&M, Shoppers Drug Mart(s) and ugly red planters.

“Downtown Canada has such a rich history and we want people to know that Ryerson has always been a part of that,” said Lachemi. “You could almost say that when we changed from a polytechnic institute to a university, Downtown Canada was born.”

Lachemi said it’s no coincidence that the completion of the Gould Street construction has coincided with the launch of the new ad campaign. According to Lachemi, the street that took a year and a half just to resurface helps cement Downtown Canada as one of the leading pedestrian cities in the world

Billy-Bob Spearshaker, a fourth-year English student, said Downtown Canada is indeed one of the leading pedestrian cities in the world—if we’re talking about the adjective pedestrian. “They should honestly change the dictionary entry for pedestrian (adj.) to a picture of Downtown Canada,” said Spearshaker. “Downtown Canada is the very definition of something that is dull, lacking inspiration or excitement.”