All posts by Brock Edwards

Ready to bleed blue?

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues is a program comprised of 43 athletic teams competing in 25 different sports across U of T’s three campuses. Women’s, men’s, and co-ed Blues squads represent our university in both provincial sporting competitions overseen by Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and on a national level through the U SPORTS organization. Over the past century, U of T teams have won gold in every major sporting championship, from the Vanier Cup in football to the McCaw Cup in women’s ice hockey.

Recently, the Varsity Blues have been dominant contenders in swimming, volleyball, and track and field. As part of a strong Blues men’s and women’s swim program that claimed 62 medals at the OUA championships last year, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Kylie Masse is expected to continue her reign as one of the top swimmers in the world. The women’s volleyball team, led by star striker Alina Dormann, recently tallied an incredible 45 consecutive wins over two regular seasons and a playoff campaign. They were ranked first nationally and claimed bronze at the 2017 OUA championships, held at the Goldring Centre back in March. Toronto’s track and field teams have had steady success over the last few years, with the men’s 4×200 relay team capturing the gold medal at the U SPORTS national championship this past year, and the women’s squad claiming gold for the third year in a row. With promising young coach Ashley Hui at the helm, the figure skating team will look to three-peat after trouncing the competition to win gold in both 2016 and 2017. The coming 2017–2018 season is full of promise for U of T’s talented athletes; this year, take a break from your studies to cheer on the home team!

Watch, train, participate

UTSG

STEVEN LEE/THE VARSITY

Hulking at the corner of Spadina and Harbord, UTSG’s Athletic Centre, known as the AC, is a mainstay of the downtown campus’ athletic and fitness community. The AC’s many facilities include three multi-sport gymnasiums, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, 10 squash courts, a hardwood floor dancing studio, and a strength and conditioning centre. Upstairs, the 57,000-square-foot Field House features a running track encircling a multi-sport area for basketball, tennis, dance, and other activities. After a morning workout, grab a coffee and a snack from the in-house Café AC before heading to class.

PAULINA PETROVA/THE VARSITY

The Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport is the newest athletic facility at UTSG, having opened in fall of 2014. The multi-floor sport and exercise complex is home to the Varsity Blues basketball and volleyball teams and boasts world-class courts, exercise facilities, research laboratories, and a sports medicine clinic. Spend an hour on the exercise bike and watch a football game across the street at Varsity Stadium from behind the Goldring Centre’s enormous glass façade.

STEVEN LEE/THE VARSITY

Less frequented but still dearly loved by its regulars is the Hart House Fitness Centre, home to a variety of activity spaces and fitness facilities, registered and drop-in classes, a suspended indoor running track, and a beautiful 25-yard pool with an Art Deco skylight.

UTM

JACQUELINE ZIMMER/THE VARSITY

The Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Centre (RAWC) includes all of the amenities of a university athletic complex, including a fitness cardio room, a strength training and conditioning centre, a three-lane running track, dance and fitness studios, and a 25-metre eight-lane pool with a depth adjustable floor. The RAWC’s outdoor component features beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, and two multi-sport grass fields for soccer, field hockey, and more. The centre is home to a robust intramural sports program where students can try out to become a UTM Eagle in a number of different sports, from ice hockey to cricket.

UTSC

MATTHEW MANHIRE/THE VARSITY

A legacy of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, UTSC’s Pan Am Sports Centre features world-class facilities for athletes of all stripes. The centre boasts two Olympic-size swimming pools, a dive tank, a 41-foot climbing wall, and an enormous multi-level fitness centre that features a strength and conditioning studio alongside a cardio studio. The centre’s Field House hosts many of the non-competitive, drop-in, and intramural campus sports on its block of four competition-size gymnasiums, which is ringed by an upper-level running track.

Jointly owned and operated by UTSC and the City of Toronto, the Pan Am Sports Centre serves as an inclusive civic meeting place for those pursuing active lifestyles — it hosts a variety of registered recreational programs, including archery and salsa dancing. It is also a beacon in sustainable urban design: the rooftops feature 60,000 square feet of green space and 1,854 solar panels, as well as a geothermal field beneath the site’s parking lots that supplies 30 per cent of the centre’s heating and cooling budget. And for the early birds and night owls — or those with generally jam-packed schedules, like most students — the facility’s year-round 5:00 am to midnight hours are a huge plus.