Bold new Ryerson Photography Gallery and Research Centre unveiled

    School of Image Arts expansion begins Gould Street transformation

    TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy today
unveiled the design concept for the new Ryerson Photography Gallery and
Research Centre. This bold new venture, designed by internationally-acclaimed,
Toronto-based Diamond and Schmitt Architects, places the University amongst
the top international centres for photography and related disciplines. It also
heralds the transformation of Gould Street with a dramatic glass building open
and accessible to the community and the public, right in the heart of the
Ryerson campus.
    The 1,860 square metre Ryerson Photography Gallery and Research Centre is
part of an expansion and redesign of the existing School of Image Arts
building at 122 Bond Street. The focal point of the renovated ground floor is
the new public gallery, which will house and display the University's
world-renowned Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection, as
well as the many collections in the School's Mira Godard Study Centre. An
additional new 1,200 square metres of study, teaching and academic space will
be built by maximizing the available footprint of the building, creating
light-filled study and communal gathering places for students, and expanded
space for faculty and staff.
    "This striking new facility will provide an outstanding learning
environment for our students, and is a significant step forward in Ryerson's
growth as a centre for scholarship, graduate studies, and research and
creative activity," said Levy. "The Ryerson Photography Gallery and Research
Centre will become a national centre for photography, attracting visitors from
the city, the country and all over the world. And we're proud that the open,
accessible design is a step forward in transforming Gould Street into a
people-centred, pedestrian gathering place. This truly is 'the University as
city builder', which we declared as a goal in 2006."
    The School of Image Arts building will be re-clad in glass. A new
extended colonnade will signal the Gallery entrance overlooking Lake Devo, one
of the most popular public spaces on campus. The ground floor will include a
café to attract students and passersby, and a new transparent entrance to the
    "We have designed a Photography Gallery and Research Centre for Ryerson
University which will undoubtedly be a shining star in the city's cultural
firmament," said Donald Schmitt, principal-in-charge, Diamond and Schmitt
    Ryerson's Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection is
considered the most significant cultural contribution ever made to a Canadian
university. The gift was accompanied by a $7 million financial contribution,
which will be put towards construction of the Ryerson Photography Gallery and
Research Centre. In addition, Ryerson will launch a fundraising campaign to
seek a naming donor for the facility, and to solicit support for other
elements of the project such as exhibits and programs.
    "The Ryerson Photography Gallery and Research Centre will provide
exceptional opportunities for collaboration with academic and artistic
communities around the world," said Dr. Daniel Doz, Dean, Faculty of
Communication & Design. "The new facility also allows us to expand program
development and scholarship in related fields such as photojournalism,
documentary imaging, social and political history, and cultural
    Said Don Snyder, Chair, School of Image Arts: "The design for the
expanded Image Arts building represents a milestone for our School. We will
have new student space, a gallery of international significance, and an
enhanced presence on the campus and in the city. The benefits for our teaching
programs will be enormous: this is a bold step forward that reinforces
Ryerson's place as Canada's leader in education and research for photography
and related disciplines, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels."
    The Ryerson Photography Gallery and Research Centre will be the first
University building under construction since the launch of Ryerson's Master
Plan, a flexible framework for growth and revitalization of the campus, and a
catalyst for renewal of the surrounding downtown neighbourhood. The building
design reflects the major themes of the Master Plan: intensification, making
efficient use of small and valuable urban properties; 'people first,' with a
focus on creating a pedestrian-friendly campus including open green spaces and
informal meeting places; and design excellence, a commitment to new and
inspirational academic and student spaces.
    Ryerson is currently searching for a Director of the Gallery and Research
Centre, who will lead the academic, administrative, exhibit and outreach
functions for the facility. The Director will be a cultural ambassador for
Ryerson University, responsible for creating an international profile for the
Gallery and Research Centre, and assuming a visible and active role in the
cultural life of Ryerson and the city.

    Ryerson University is Canada's leader in career-focused education,
offering more than 95 PhD, master's, and undergraduate programs in the Faculty
of Arts; the Faculty of Communication & Design; the Faculty of Community
Services; the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science; and the Ted
Rogers School of Management. Ryerson University has graduate and undergraduate
enrolment of 25,000 students. With more than 64,000 registrations annually,
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading
provider of university-based adult education.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Kearney, Public Affairs,
Ryerson University, Office: (416) 979-5000 ext. 4282,;
Janet Mowat, Public Affairs, Ryerson University, Office: (416) 979-5000 ext.

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