Whether you’re kicking off your first year of university (and its restless all-nighters) at the St. George, Mississauga, or Scarborough campus, one thing is for sure: you will need to stay adequately caffeinated and well nourished.
While I am not your mother, I am a student who’s shared in, and made it through, that first year gamut of novel experiences, much thanks to the resources offered at U of T. With this in mind, here is one senior U of T student’s guide to make it through everyday life on campus -— from restaurants, to coffee shops, to study spots and overlooked student spaces.
The St. George campus, in all its neo-Gothic glory, can be an intimidating labyrinth for newcomers. Welcoming nearly 8,000 new students a year, St. George is home to the infamous Robarts Library, as well as E.J. Pratt, Gerstein, and Graham. One of Trinity College’s best-kept secrets, Graham Library, is ideal for those students looking for a charming, quiet, and more private study environment. If it happens that you decide to leave the library before the sun goes down, head over to either Knox or University College and check out their manicured gardens.
For non-academic endeavours, get to know Hart House. The historic cultural hub is dedicated to all things recreational; it not only hosts the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, where Group of Seven paintings come to life, but also offers a $5 lunch on alternate Wednesdays, as well as a liquor-licensed Jazz Night every Friday at 9 pm at Sammy’s Student Exchange. From Victoria College’s fair trade, organic coffee retailer Caffiends, to the highly anticipated Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, the St. George campus makes for a diverse and inclusive home.
Among the many offerings on the Scarborough campus, one of the best known is the Athletics and Recreation Centre, home to an Interhouse Quidditch team, and a 41-foot climbing wall. A proud host of the 2015 Pan Am Games, the campus houses a rich array of indoor athletic facilities and active running routes.
Healthy living and eating practices go hand-in-hand. Focused on sustainable consumption, various university-run coffee shops such as Beechgrove Market are fair trade and operate in support of non-profit programs like Coffee Kids. The H-Wing Market Place -— the go-to food service houses various eateries such as Spring Rolls, Lettuce Eat, Bento Sushi, and the timeless Subway. For those seeking a refined pastime, make sure to drop by the Doris McCarthy gallery. UTSC, with all its on-campus resources, is an archetypical undergraduate experience at the centre of Scarborough.
Word is that Tuesday is the new Friday. With this in mind, many will find themselves longing for a cup of Joe in order to keep their eyes peeled for six hours of class on Wednesday. Unless you are an early bird in need of a kick-start conversation (head to Second Cup or Starbucks for that), the Mississauga campus’ Tim Hortons self-serve kiosk in the William G. Davis Building is ideal for a quiet, people-dodging morning person.
If you are seeking solace away from the hustle and bustle of university life, you can find tranquility amid UTM’s natural landscape. Over the Wilson Pond Bridge, you can almost smell the serenity. Have yet to learn how to cook for yourself? You are not alone. The Blind Duck Pub serves half-price wings on Tuesdays and a daily breakfast of champions for under $6. Additionally, the new and well-equipped UTM student centre is home to many student groups and clubs on campus. Drop by to get involved, or start your own.
Last, but not least, check out ULife to stay informed on upcoming events, opportunities, and the latest tri-campus news.