Egerton Ryerson believed that education should be available to all.

As Chief Superintendent of Education from 1844 to 1876, in Upper Canada, Egerton Ryerson's major success was to establish a compulsory public education system that revolutionized education in Canada. Radical Reform invites you on a journey through a century that saw the development of our public education system.  

The 100-year timeline tells the stories of people and educators at the heart of this reform, and depicts the social and technological circumstances in which education developed. The Collection, drawn primarily from the holdings of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), offers more than 1000 visual and textual assets, testimonials of this time.

While you explore Radical Reform, it is important to remember that Egerton Ryerson was a man of the nineteenth century living in a British colony. As the British Empire reached its peak under Queen Victoria, the values and motivation of those who governed were very different from today. As you view the timeline and associated collections, you are encouraged to inquire into how the goals of public education differed from those of today.

While visiting, you can:

  • Follow the Timeline, explore the stories and make connections with the past.
  • Search the Timeline and make inquiries into specific events and people.
  • Access the Collection to view historical photographs, images of artifacts and text-based materials.
  • Gather events and items from the exhibit to create your own Timeline/Folder after registering with us.
  • Within "Explore the Timeline" or in "Access the Full Collection", click on the + sign in the upper right corner of the images. This will automatically add the asset to the appropriate folder shown on the navigation bar.