Cookies, cake and conversations about death

Ryerson University will hold its first-ever public death café on March 23. The event is being held and organized by the university’s faculty of community services.

A death café aims to talk about death in a more welcoming way by discussing the topic with others. To give the event a more relaxed atmosphere, hosts provide light snacks and beverages for guests.

While the idea of a death café may sound a bit odd, they have been held in various countries and cities around the world for many years. Toronto has played home to numerous death cafés itself.

The goal of the café is to erase the unease and discomfort people may have when discussing or even thinking about death. This is done through educating attendees on different global movements and their connections to death. Examples include Not Dead Yet, Black Lives Matter and Walking With Our Sisters.

“We want to start a more focused discussion around death, difference, disability and health,” says Esther Ignagni, co-host of the event and assistant professor at the school of disability studies. “We want to make it easier to talk about death and to do it more consciously.”

The event will examine how students are trained and prepared to talk about death while also taking their personal experiences into account.  

For more information on Ryerson’s upcoming death café and how to RSVP, go to

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