One year after taking on new name, Toronto Metropolitan University reflects on change

University faced calls to change former name, Ryerson University, due to colonial roots


A year after Ryerson University was reintroduced to the public with a new name — a major move in addressing problematic colonial legacies — its president says the school’s updated identity has helped bring a previously divided campus community together.


But some Indigenous faculty say they’re worried progress on reconciliation has slowed considerably since Toronto Metropolitan University took on its new name.


University president Mohamed Lachemi said renaming the school has been an important part of its commitment to reconciliation.


“The new name proved to be a source of unity,” he said in an interview. “A couple of years ago, the old name was a source of division and frustration, and I’m not feeling that anymore.”


The university had faced calls for years to change its name and cut ties with its former namesake, Egerton Ryerson, considered an architect of Canada’s residential school system.


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