Ryerson Institute of Technology. was established in 1948 to training the growing workforce of a booming post-war economy. It is named after Egerton Ryerson. As superintendent of Education from 1844 to 1876, he initiated free elementary schools, standard textbooks, and a standard quality of secondary school education. In 1850, land was purchased here for the Normal School, the first training facility for teachers in Canada.
The front face of the Normal School building
was left standing in the quadrangle.
Among the facilities on this site was a museum which was the forerunner of the Royal Ontario Museum. in 1882, an art school was established that in later years became the Ontario College of Art. During the Second World War, the teacher training activities were moved to other centres and the building became a Royal Canadian Air Force training station. It was also headquarters for training in war industry, and for teaching service personnel trades. In 1945, the Training and Re-establishment Institute was established to train ex- service personnel for re-entry into civilian life. More than 16,500 graduated from the Institute.
With the establishment of Ryerson Institute of Technology in 1948, veteran retraining was phased out. When it started, the Institute had an enrolment of 225 and courses were one and two years in length. In 1953 trade courses were transferred to George Brown College. In the 1950s and 60s considerable construction and expansion took place, but the face of the original Normal School Building remains in the quadrangle. By 1963 it became known as Ryerson Polytechnic Institute which evolved into Ryerson Polytechnic University in 1993, and Ryerson University in 2202.
For more about Ryerson history, see their website