Ontario legislature moves Egerton Ryerson painting and bust after NDP request

A portrait of Egerton Ryerson has been removed from the Ontario Legislature. (Francis Gibbs/ CTV News Toronto)

The Ontario legislature has relocated a painting and bust of Egerton Ryerson following a request from the leader of the Opposition.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath's office wrote to the legislature's speaker requesting that the artwork, which was displayed outside her office, be moved.

Horwath's office says the request was made in light of the discovery in Kamloops, B.C., of what are believed to be the remains of 215 Indigenous children at a former residential school.

Ryerson was one of the architects of Canada's residential school system, which sought to convert and assimilate Indigenous children into Canadian culture and saw them suffer widespread physical and sexual abuse.

The painting and bust were moved to different spots in the legislature on Thursday.

Speaker Ted Arnott's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There have been growing calls this week to rename Ryerson University and remove a statue of Egerton Ryerson from the Toronto university's campus after the Kamloops discovery.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.