Posted on June 8, 2021

Statue of Egerton Ryerson, Toppled After Toronto Rally, ‘Will Not Be Restored or Replaced’

CBC, June 7, 2021

The statue of Egerton Ryerson that stood outside the university that bears his name “will not be restored or replaced,” the school’s president said Monday, after it was toppled following a demonstration in Toronto.

There had been growing calls in recent years from staff and students for the statue of Ryerson, considered one of the primary architects of Canada’s residential school system, to be removed from the university’s downtown campus.

Instead, the statue was brought down Sunday evening after a rally held in response to the preliminary discovery of the remains of as many as 215 Indigenous children buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

A video posted to Twitter shows what appears to be a rope tied to the figure and people cheering as it comes tumbling down. {snip}

Pictures from the scene show that after the statue was toppled, the head was removed.

In a statement issued this morning, Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi said that the statue “will not be restored or replaced.”

The future of the statue was being considered by a task force whose mandate includes “consideration of the university’s name, responding to the legacy of Egerton Ryerson, and other elements of commemoration on campus,” Lachemi said.


According to Lachemi, more than 1,000 people took part in the afternoon protest that began at Queen’s Park and ended on Gould Street.


Dishanie Fernando, a student at Sheridan College in Oakville, west of Toronto, said the statue should have come down a long time ago.

“The statue represents racism, the statue represent oppression. It should have been taken down a long time ago voluntarily by the Ryerson University. However, that did not happen.”

“It’s a little bit of justice I suppose for the Indigenous people, but not enough. It’s just the beginning,” Fernando said.