September 12th, 2018

Coming Up in September: Gradlife Welcome Week (Sept 24-28, 2018)

Guest Blogger: Sarah Dolman, Gradlife Program Intern

Hoping to get off to a strong start this Fall term? Whether you’re a new or returning student, Gradlife has plenty of exciting activities planned to kick off the term as part of GRADLIFE WELCOME WEEK!

Check out all the details below:

ALL WEEK (SEPT 24-28)

Twitter Challenge – #UofTNewGradChat: Follow us on Twitter and join the conversation for your chance to win some awesome prizes! Every day from Monday, Sept 24 to Friday, Sept 28, we will be asking questions about your transition to grad life. This is an opportunity to reflect and get to know other students (via twitter!) as you’re getting settled in your new role as a U of T graduate student! Comment on our daily post (posted at 9am and re-tweeted at 3pm), and you’ll be entered into a draw for some fun giveaways. Each comment throughout the week gets you another entry into the draw! (NEW GRADS)

MONDAY, SEPT 24

Transitioning to Gradlife – Tips, Strategies & Networking Day: Join a day of programming on September 24 from 9am-3pm to help you make the transition to grad life. Learn effective strategies for academic success and personal wellness, talking to people and making connections, and navigating campus services, as well as tips for success from current students. Lunch will be included! Space is limited, register here: uoft.me/gradtransition (NEW GRADS)

WEDNESDAY, SEPT 26

Facebook LIVE – Ten Things U of T Grad Students Should Know: On Wednesday, September 26 at 2pm, check out our Facebook page to catch our LIVE video with your grad peers from Gradlife and the Grad Conflict Resolution Centre. We’ll be taking questions live and sharing tips from current U of T graduate students. Have a question you want answered but don’t want to live post it? No problem! Send Gradlife a Facebook message, or email your question to sarah.dolman@utoronto.ca by Sept. 25th, and we’ll make sure it gets answered in the live video! (NEW & RETURNING GRADS)

FRIDAY, SEPT 28

Grad Connections – Welcome to Grad School Chat: Every two weeks throughout the term we will be hosting a Grad Connections chat where graduate students can share their experiences and challenges while feeling connected and supported. The first event this term is the Welcome to Grad School Chat on September 28 from 2-3pm! While, unfortunately, registration for this chat is already full, there will be plenty more coming up – check out our website for more details and to find out how to register for upcoming Grad Connections chats. (NEW & RETURNING GRADS)

Grad Escape – Games Night: Looking to take a break from grad studies, connect with other grad students, and have fun while exploring the city? Check out our first Grad Escape of the term at Bampot House of Boardgames on Friday, September 28 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm! This local venue offers specialty tea as well as tons of fun boardgames, and light vegetarian refreshments are included in the $9 registration fee. Register now to get your spot(NEW & RETURNING GRADS)

If you have any questions about any of the upcoming events, send me an email at sarah.dolman@utoronto.ca – hope to see you there!

September 6th, 2018

Virtual U of T Grad Campus Tour: Fall 2018

Guest Blogger: Sarah Dolman, Gradlife Program Intern

U of T St. George is a huge campus – if you’re a new grad student and feeling totally lost (as I was when I first started out!), you’re not alone! Even if you aren’t new to Toronto, you might not know about many of the grad-specific spaces, resources, and services. If you weren’t able to make it out to one of our in-person tours last week, check out the virtual tour below for all of the details!

To find out more about the services and locations, click on the titles to visit the websites for each.

Tour Map – Legend:

  1. RED STAR: School of Graduate Studies (SGS), 63 St. George St.
  2. ORANGE STAR: Centre for International Experience (CIE), 33 St George St.
  3. YELLOW STAR: Koffler Student Services Building, 214 College St.
  4. GREEN STAR: Bancroft Ave – Multi-Faith Centre, Grad Students Union, Bike Chain
  5. WHITE STAR: Athletics Centre, 55 Harbord St.
  6. LIGHT BLUE STAR: Grad Room / Grad House, 66 Harbord St.
  7. DARK BLUE STAR: 21 Sussex, 21 Sussex Ave.
  8. BROWN STAR: Robarts Library, 130 St George St.
  9. PINK STAR: Hart House, 7 Hart House Cir.
  10. RED STAR: SGS

 

STOP 1: School of Graduate Studies (SGS), 63 St. George St.

  • Stop by for registration & enrollment concerns that can’t be solved at your home department; request letters to confirm registration
  • Financial advising
  • SGS runs the Graduate Professional Skills Program (GPS)
    • Learn a wide variety of transferable skills in the areas of communication, personal effectiveness, teaching competency, and research
  • Wellness counsellor dedicated to grad students
  • Student lounge – Feel free to hang out, anytime
  • SGS Orientation – Tuesday, September 4 – stop by the information fair and attend one of the sessions to learn more about all the SGS resources and services

 

STOP 2: Cumberland House – Centre for International Experience (CIE), 33 St George St.

  • Support for international and exchange students
    • Talk to the graduate student transition advisor Yaseen – he’s great! He does embedded advising in locations such as the Grad Room
    • Immigration and permanent residence advising
  • Find international study opportunities
  • Workshops on intercultural learning and communication


Centre for International Experience (Photo by Ken Rea)

STOP 3: Koffler Student Services Building, 214 College St.

Koffler Student Services Building (Photo by Ken Rea)

 

Walk by: Indigenous Student Services, Borden Building North, 3rd Floor, 563 Spadina Ave

  • Academic support and financial assistance for Indigenous students, including grads
  • Runs community events (e.g. Indigenous Education Week) and learning opportunities with Elders – open to all students

 (Not along the way) Accessibility Services, 455 Spadina – corner of Spadina & College

  • Talk to a disability advisor and register for accommodations to support your academic success

STOP 4: Bancroft Ave

Multi-Faith Centre & Centre for Community Partnerships, 569 Spadina Ave

  • Home of the Community Partnership Program (CPP), a great organization to join if you want to get involved in the Toronto community while you’re at U of T
  • Location of the Transitioning to Gradlife Orientation run by Gradlife on Sept. 24
  • Third floor is Multi-Faith Centre – space for all spiritual needs, e.g. prayer room, meditation, chaplains that provide spiritual counselling and guidance
  • Has a wide variety of educational and social activities for people of all kinds and levels of spirituality


Multi-Faith Centre (Source: University of Toronto)


GSU (Grad Students Union), 16 Bancroft Ave

  • Home of the Grad Student Union (dental, health insurance)
    • Welcome BBQ with grad-specific info fair on Wednesday, September 5, 4-8pm
  • GSU pub (365 days a year)
  • Number of committees, e.g. Grad Minds (mental health advocacy, talks, annual symposium, weekly yoga)

UTGSU (Photo by Shanna Hunter, The Varsity)

Bike Chain, 563 Spadina Crescent

  • Free bicycle rental for U of T students (you have to go in person to book it)
  • Workshops on bicycle safety and repairs

STOP 5: Athletic Centre, 55 Harbord St

  • The largest recreational gym on campus
  • Has: pool, running track, basketball courts, squash court, weight rooms, group fitness classes, etc.
  • Bring your TCard to enter
  • Other gyms: Hart House & Goldring Centre

Athletic Centre (Source: University of Toronto)

STOP 6: Grad Room & Grad House, 66 Harbord St

  • Grad Room is the study, workshop, and community space FOR GRADS
  • Grad Room has peer advisors called community animators (ask questions about: life as a grad, including events/workshops/jobs/volunteering/writing support, and more)
  • Embedded advisors often come here, e.g. from CIE or Conflict Resolution Centre
    • Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre – book an appointment with G2G (grad 2 grad) peer mentors online OR drop in at a location such as Grad Room to chat about problems with your thesis, your supervisor, etc. – booking and drop in times on CLN (Career Learning Network)
  • Downstairs has a workshop space – GPS classes, Grad Talks, Grad Minds Yoga, other activities
  • Grad House is the graduate student residence on campus

Grad Room (Source: University of Toronto)

Along the way – Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Office, 702 Spadina

  • Referrals for counselling, workshops, connect students with medical care/legal counsel/housing, etc.

STOP 7: 21 Sussex Ave

21 Sussex (Source: University of Toronto)

STOP 8: Robarts Library, 130 St George St

  • Tours for the first few weeks of school so you can learn the ins/outs
    • Each weekday in September (Sept 4-28) starting at 1:10pm – meet at the information desk on the first floor.
  • Awesome librarians who run workshops on how to do research & you can book consultations to get support with your research
  • Can also ask online – “Ask a Librarian” chat open during the day for research support
  • CTSI – Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, run the Teaching Assistants Training Program

Robarts Library (Source: University of Toronto)

 

STOP 9: Hart House, 7 Hart House Cir

  • Student activity centre – tons of activities and opportunities to get involved & meet other students
  • Gym & fitness classes
  • Hart House Theatre
  • $5 lunch days once a month
  • “Get Crafty” events & Board Games Café
  • Open-house BBQ, “Explore Hart House” – Thursday, September 13th, 12-2pm (Try out a bunch of their programs and get free BBQ in return)

Hart House (Source: University of Toronto)

Along the way – King’s Circle Walk/En Route Walk

  • Medical Sciences Building – SGS orientation location
  • Convocation Hall
  • Queen’s Park (shortest route from East to West side of campus if you are TAing a class there)
  • Field = intramural sports like Quidditch, Grad Minds will sometimes host free yoga sessions here
  • Alumni Club – Pub and facilities are free to access as a grad student

Convocation Hall (Photo by Jphillips23)


END – SGS

August 23rd, 2018

Your Guide to Grad Orientation: Fall 2018

Guest Blogger: Sarah Dolman, Gradlife Program Intern

Are you an incoming graduate student at U of T this fall? Feeling excited, nervous, overwhelmed, or some combination of the three?

I get you – I’ve been there! I was in the exact same boat when I began my grad program (M.Ed. in Higher Education) a year ago. I was thrilled to be starting my program, but the idea of navigating a new school, a new city, and a new community, while adjusting to a whole new level of academic work, was totally nerve-wracking.

One of the biggest things that helped me adjust to grad school was attending several of the many orientation programs offered to U of T grad students! So, to help you out this year, I’ve put together some of the key orientation events that I definitely recommend you check out.

FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Grad Tours (Drop-In)

  • When: August 27, 29, 31 / Starting at 12pm, 3pm, 5:30pm
  • Where: School of Graduate Studies, 63 St George St.
  • Join Gradlife for a campus tour highlighting all the key campus services and resources for graduate students! Drop-in, no registration necessary.

Tri-Campus TA Day

School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Orientation

UTGSU Orientation: Gradfest 2018

  • When: Wednesday, September 5, 4-8pm
  • Where: 16 Bancroft Ave
  • Get to know your Grad Student Union! Meet other grad students, grab some FREE BBQ and swag bags, and learn about GSU services and resources.

Transitioning to Grad Life

  • When: Monday, September 24, 9am-3pm
  • Where: Multi-Faith Centre, Main Activity Hall
  • Registration: uoft.me/gradtransition
  • Incoming grad students will learn strategies for academic success and personal wellness, making connections, and navigating campus services. Lunch will be included!

Facebook LIVE: Ten Things U of T Grad Students Should Know

  • When: Wednesday, September 26, 2-3pm
  • Where: https://www.facebook.com/GradlifeUofT/
  • Find out what current grad students wish they would have known when starting out and get your questions answered at this LIVE Facebook event!

2018 Queer Orientation

CAMPUS-WIDE

Robarts Library Tours

  • When: Weekdays from Sept 4-28, starting 1:10pm
  • Where: Robarts, First Floor Information Desk
  • More info: https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/tours
  • Learn how to navigate the vast array of information and resources found at Robarts Library.

Explore Hart House: Welcome BBQ

  • When: Thursday, September 13th, 12-2pm
  • Where: Hart House
  • More info: http://harthouse.ca/events/explore-hart-house-welcome-bbq/
  • Explore the variety of programs that Hart House offers across recreation, wellness, creative expression and skills development. Meet new people and enjoy a free BBQ!

Orientation for Students with Family Responsibilities

  • When: Saturday, September 15, 10am–2pm
  • Where: OISE – 252 Bloor Street West, Room 5150
  • Registration: http://familycare.utoronto.ca/events/workshops/#1483 
  • Start building your support networks and learn how to be proactive, prepared and successfully navigate your degree while caring for others – child care and lunch provided!

First Nations House Orientation & Open House

  • When: Friday, September 21; Orientation at 11am, Open House from 12-2pm
  • Where: First Nations House, 563 Spadina Cres
  • Registration: RSVP to fnh.info@utoronto.ca
  • Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2095051080759783/
  • Learn about the supports offered to Indigenous students and the FNH programming for the year, meet new people, and find out how to get involved on campus.

August 15th, 2018

Staying healthy during Grad School: My Story

Guest post: Raymond Wong, Ph.D. candidate (Life Sciences)

Often times, we take our good health for granted.

As grad students, our determination to meet deadlines and appease supervisors generally results in some combination of the following: cutting sleep, skipping meals, and/or reducing exercise. Over a prolonged period (aka your graduate program), this imbalanced lifestyle alongside chronic stress can jeopardize our well-being. What is most frightening is that, despite how good our perceived fitness is or how healthy we eat, there is no real safeguard to absolutely prevent unwellness.

Over this summer, I had the most alarming experience in my life. What started out to be seemingly innocent symptoms turned out to be something that is life-threatening. Even more startling is that this was essentially a medical fluke, as I had none of the usual associated risk factors. This experience made me reflect in numerous ways, especially on how I conduct my life in regards to healthy living.

Prior, I was the typical stressed-out grad student doing grad student things (in my case, I was a culprit of all three of the bad habits listed above, usually against my better judgment). Being an avid distance runner as well as a competitive athlete in various sports, I assumed my body had impunity from serious illness, and thus expected it to endure my poor lifestyle choices. Evidently, this was not the case.

Moving forwards, I aim to achieve a healthy balance between work and life. This, I believe, is something that many grad students struggle with. All of us will have our own personalized version of this balance, and it might take time and experimenting to establish it. But putting in the effort is definitely worth it for your well-being. If you ever need consulting, the Graduate Student Wellness Portal is here to help!

-Raymond

August 7th, 2018

Getting Involved as a Graduate Student: 3 Things I’ve Learned

 

Guest Blogger: Sarah Dolman

When I started out as a grad student at U of T, I was eager to find opportunities to get involved. Now, one year into my program, I’ve learned quite a few things about what it means to be involved as a graduate student! In this blog post, I’ll share some of the highlights of my experiences getting involved.

But first, let me introduce myself! My name is Sarah and I am the current Gradlife Intern. I am also a Master of Education student, studying Higher Education Student Development and Student Services. I did my first year full-time, and now I’m in my second year studying part-time while working full-time with Student Life!

Now, without further ado, here are the top 3 lessons I’ve learned about getting involved as a grad student:

  1. Make connections

I didn’t know anyone coming into my program at U of T—so, when I heard about the student association for my program, the Student Affairs Society (SAS), I decided to stop by the first open meeting! I’m so glad I did, because joining SAS meant that I would make some amazing connections with like-minded peers both in my program and working in my field. Not only have my fellow SAS members become great friends (below is a photo of some of us!)—they have also been immensely valuable as supports while I navigate being a new professional.

  1. Grow your skills

Are there any particular skills you want to develop as a grad student? For me, I wanted to get more experience planning events and managing social media. So, I looked for on-campus roles that would allow me to grow these skills: I applied to, and ended up becoming, the event coordinator for SAS and the social media coordinator for Grad Minds! Both of these were great opportunities to not only get more confident in some key skills, but also to add as experience on my resume.

  1. Know your limits

If you’re eager like me, it’s easy to want to say “yes” to all the amazing opportunities that come up. That said, we’re busy grad students and we often have a myriad of responsibilities (academic and otherwise!) that take up much of our time. So, this is my permission to you: If something comes up that you might want to do, but you feel would be too much, it’s OK to say no! Many organizations are flexible and have room for people who can only contribute a little bit, too—ask and find out!

Overall, when thinking about getting involved, my biggest piece of advice would be this: Make it intentional! Whether the purpose is to make connections, build some skills, or just have fun, think about why you want to get involved—this will help you both choose what to do, and it will help you make the most of your experience.

Looking to get involved but not sure where to go? Gradlife has a number of opportunities—check out our website here!

July 6th, 2018

Lessons from an M.Ed. Grad: Getting involved and finding Community in Grad School

 

Guest Blog Post: by Rebecca Hazell, recent OISE grad and G2G Peer Advisor, Graduate Conflict Resoulution Centre

On June 12th, 2018, my fellow OISE grads and I walked under University College’s leafy canopies, felt the sun warm our black robes, looked for familiar faces in the audience at Convocation Hall, and visualized walking across the stage without tripping. While I was proud to celebrate my academic achievement, there was another aspect of my U of T experience I was sad to see come to an end.

When I began my degree in September 2016, I also began training as a G2G Peer Advisor with the Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre. This rewarding role helped me build new knowledge and skills, but also a supportive community of teammates and colleagues outside my program.

As a member of the G2G team, I worked with graduate students from diverse disciplines and made important friendships I wouldn’t have found outside the CRC. My teammates’ support and insights helped me through challenging assignments and provided me with perspective whenever I felt alone in my struggles as a grad student.

My community continued to grow as I became familiar with people working at the many other resources and services available to grad students on campus. This was especially the case whenever we delivered staff training or had the opportunity to collaborate with other departments on workshops.

The knowledge and skills I developed as a grad student are integral to building my professional future, but getting involved on campus and the meaningful community I found in the process is what made my U of T experience truly memorable. I would encourage all new grad students to make these connections in societies and clubs, at cross-departmental events, or through a fulfilling job on campus. Finding community outside your program can add so much to your graduate experience!

Rebecca Hazell is a recent M.Ed graduate from OISE’s Adult Education and Community Development program. When not studying or working, she loves exploring the beautiful St. George campus, taking her dog on long walks in High Park, and reading crime fiction.

Photo credit: G2G Team

 

June 13th, 2018

Grad Students. Stop and Recognize your Accomplishments.

At this point in your academic career, there will be expectations of you, whether that comes from your family, your supervisor, your peers, or yourself.  You’ve been developing a CV that lists your professional development and impressive “accomplishments” that may be major or minor. There may not be time in your life now to focus on much else.  

But to limit your concept of accomplishment to career milestones is being too harsh on yourself, because most likely there are things unwritten in your CV that bring you fulfillment.

In this context, to “build a ladder” is an intuitive concept — setting short-term goals and achieving them are analogous to climbing the rungs of a ladder.  

Climbing the ladder may mean trying to reach a long-term goal that seems out of sight now, but as you gradually work your way up the ladder you will finally see that destination. Perhaps an even more important aspect of building this ladder is that it is self-propagating, i.e. you are the one building the ladder rather than simply climbing it.  In other words, you are in control of your life. You are also free to make adjustments in the placements of your ladder steps that may mean ending up in a career that you had not originally planned but have regardless built up to. Finally, in building this ladder upwards, you cannot go back down. In building a ladder with personal accomplishments, whether big or small, you can pull yourself out of the darkest pits (I’m talking about you, depression) and get yourself further and further away from that darkness.  

As we build our personal ladders, the community would love to hear about your accomplishments as well — spread the positivity!  There is an Accomplishments Board in the Grad Room for you to do so. Be sure to check it out and contribute. All accomplishments are worth mentioning! 

-Raymond

June 7th, 2018

10 Recommended Study/Work Cafés for the Busy Grad Student

Need to get some work done over the weekend but at home just isn’t an option? Libraries are great, but they’re not for everyone all the time (i.e. when HUNGRY, since food/drink is often not permitted).  So, I have compiled a list of 10 Recommended Study/Work Cafés that you can explore and hopefully get a productive session in!

  1. Green Grotto- Bay / St. Joseph or Bay / Grosvenor
     
    Part of a chain, these two locations are fairly close to each other, both just a bit east of Queen’s Park Circle.  This Taiwanese restaurant café offers a large selection of bubble teas and other drinks and even food (i.e. not just muffins or cookies, but full meals as well like noodles and curry rice, etc.). Of course, they have dessert too.


    The locations are also equipped with free wifi and outlets. As for the atmosphere, they have background music but the overall atmosphere is peaceful as many other customers are working away on their laptops as well.  They’re open late, and there are other branch options as well if you’re a commuter in the Markham/Scarborough area.

    In conclusion, GG has everything a graduate student needs (except money).

    For hours & menu:  http://en.greengrotto.ca/#/restaurant
  2. Charidise Baldwin

    Another Taiwanese restaurant serving drinks, food, and dessert, Charidise is great for studying because of its close proximity to the south end of campus and its large venue.  You can either order with the cashier or use the touch screen to generate your order and then pay the cashier.

    There is free wifi, many outlets, a couple of big individual washrooms, background music, and quite a bit of space between you and the next guy.

    Con:  I’ve never seen bubble tea as expensive… this can be remedied by purchasing a lunch combo from the given options. And, I suppose you’re paying for the study space.

    For hours & menu:  https://www.charidise.com/
  3. Crimson Teas Spadina / College


    A different sort of asian  tea restaurant, Crimson Teas is peaceful and artistic and consequently appeals to many studious individuals.

    As an independent store promoting health, both the food items and great tea selection are specialties. Healthy also means no bubbles in your tea (i.e. no tapioca). However, wifi and outlets are a yes.

    Disclaimer: Be sure not to come here short on time (or hangry), as the food can take a while to prepare as sometimes the owner is by himself.  But he’s a really kind guy who may take an interest in your studies. In addition, space is limited and it’s very popular among students, so I hope you’re able to get a seat because this place is a great afternoon study spot.

    For hours & menu: www.crimsonteas.com/
  4. Green BeaneryBathurst / Bloor

    Quite a bit further from campus but something on the north-west side, Green Beanery is generally quieter in the day and pretty busy in the evenings, so it’s a nice place to venture off to if you’ve got a longer break.


    They serve only 100 varieties of roasted and unroasted coffees, as well as other favourite classics, breakfast foods, sandwiches and salads.  

    There’s no wifi as part of their “café culture” so bring your books. No social media distraction here! There are outlets by the window counter though.

    For hours & menu:  https://greenbeanery.ca/
  5. Slanted Door Bloor / Borden

    This art gallery/lounge/cafe is quite new, and it has a wonderful atmosphere to motivate your studying.  

    The place is also very clean and modern. Local artwork is showcased here! There are quite a few seats to enjoy your café beverage and eclectic healthy snack items.  However, only a couple of spots have an outlet, so plan your work/study materials accordingly. On a similar note, some of the tables are petite and seat 1 or 2 people, so leave your most distracting friends behind.  

    They also open pretty early, at 8:30am.  Better check it out before it gains too much popularity.

    For menu & hours:  https://slanteddoor.ca/
  6. Voodoo Child Bathurst / College


    That skull cup is adorable.

    Anyway, Voodoo is a small espresso & cocktail bar with a minimalist menu including a few baked goods and nice beverages (and weekend brunch).  

    Despite its limited space and liquor license, it isn’t that full during the day, and the atmosphere is calming.  This café also caters more to traditional pen-and-paper notetakers (or as long as your laptop battery can last). And unlike most Toronto restaurants, this place opens at 7:30 am for you early birds.

    They’re too hipster for a website domain, so here’s their FB for the hours:  https://www.facebook.com/Voodoo-Child-194163417383931/
  7. Jimmy’s Coffee McCaul / Elm


    Jimmy’s Coffee has six locations in Toronto but the most accessible one for UofT students is the one on McCaul (especially if you’re living at the 222 Elm residence).

    It has a nicer atmosphere than big chain coffee shops and more sophisticated blends of coffee.  And if you’re not into coffee, you can have a tea. There are some croissants and other baked snacks to go along with your drink of choice.

    For hours and locations:  www.jimmyscoffee.ca/
  8. Aroma Espresso BarBathurst / Bloor


    Although it’s a coffee chain, only this location is really accessible for UofT students, and it’s nice and spacious.

    Being big also means free wifi and outlets and competitive pricing.  (Sandwiches under $5 are so rare these days…) Other benefits of Aroma include their healthy Mediterranean-inspired food menu and extensive beverage menu. Therefore, I think they deserve a spot on this list.

    For menu & hours:  https://aroma.ca/
  9. Stay Cafeteria Spadina / Nassau


    Stay’s menu is largely Chinese but can also be described as fusion (e.g. UFO Cheese Kimchi Rice; probably their most filling food item).  It has a similar vibe to 1 Hour Cafeteria just up the road (Spadina / College) but is more suitable for studying because it’s not as busy and you don’t have to subconsciously worry about being allowed to stay for more than an hour.  

    As with the similar restaurant cafés, there are outlets along the walls, free wifi, and Asian background music. The food and drink menus are decently sized.

    However, there is some inconsistency with quality across the menu.  That is to say, it’s a little expensive and some menu items are better than others in my opinion.  (Recommendation: rose tea, blueberry smoothie.) But for getting work done, the atmosphere is perfectly fine for that.

    For menu & hours:  https://staycafeteria.com/
  10. Dark Horse Espresso Bar  Spadina / Sullivan


    If looking from the outside, don’t let the “dark”, “bar”, and a red star fool you into thinking that this place is some grungy bar.  Quite the contrary, it is fancy, spacious, and the large windows make everything bright and warm.

    This location is a bit farther from campus and your latte art may take a while to prepare.  The environment is usually quite suitable for staying and doing work, however. There have been reports of baristas turning up the music very loudly, so you may have to get lucky.

    For food and drink, Dark Horse offers espresso, a cold-brew, and other café beverages, as well as baked goods that have a similar quality as Starbucks.

    If this place suits your fancy, there are also two other downtown locations further south, and multiple Toronto sites as well.

    For hours & locations: http://www.darkhorseespresso.com/

And that’s it (for now)! If there are any other places that you would want me to mention, please let me know and there might be a continuation to this list!

Cheers,

Raymond

May 28th, 2018

Introducing our new Gradlife Ambassador who Shares his take on Getting Involved


There is extensive research showing strong correlation between students’ academic performance and their quality of life. Having done an undergraduate and Master’s at UofT, and currently a PhD candidate in Physiology, I have come to genuinely appreciate that academic success is profoundly influenced by our satisfaction of graduate life.

My Story: I first connected with graduate students across campus through opportunities at the Mentorship Resource Center. I realized that, although we welcomed the various resources and programs, we often felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. Unfortunately, I feel that a disconnect with our community will restrict us from achieving the fulfilling graduate life that we all seek.

But things can be different! GradLife is here.

The goal of GradLife is to help you embrace graduate life through various outlets, such as Grad Escapes and Grad Talks, which are two key initiatives that helped me a lot during my grad studies. GradEscapes offer a wide array of activities to help grad students de-stress and connect to campus life. Just this past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to meet some of you at the ROM tour. I hope you all liked it as much as I did, and perhaps even learned something that you thought was interesting. Personally, I didn’t know that the ROM had real mummies! GradTalks help you build critical skills that may not be emphasized in your academic program through structured curriculum.

I will keep in regular touch to let you know more about these valuable programs. Be sure to also visit the GradLife site, Facebook, and Twitter to get all the latest updates about these and more! If you have any questions, feel free to email us at gradlife@utoronto.ca. Additionally, I will connect with you through the GradLife Blog, where I talk about topics relevant to UofT graduate life. By commenting on these blog posts, we can start a dialogue. Is there a topic that you want covered? Or like what you read? We welcome all suggestions, feedback, and comments.

Remember that you are not alone!

Often times, we might feel that we are traveling our graduate journey in solitude. By reaching out and effectively communicating the available offerings, I hope to make an impact as Gradlife Ambassador by connecting people here at UofT.

See you all soon,

Raymond

March 6th, 2018

Deals You Can Get With Your UofT Student Card

Written by Cricia Rinchon, Recent Gradlife Ambassador

Studying (particularly downtown) can get really expensive. Between Toronto and our neighbouring university city, Hamilton, there is supposedly a 212.42% price difference per kilo of potatoes! This number may or may not be an exaggeration, but the cost of living in Toronto is undoubtedly more expensive. Don’t miss out on these deals that you can get with your UofT student card…

FOOD

Don’t miss out on these deals that these grocery stores give to anyone with a student card:

15% OFF AT METRO at the Bloor/ Spadina location on Wednesday and Thursday

10% OFF AT BULK BARN on Wednesdays

10% OFF SOBEYS any item any day

Don’t feel like cooking one day? Insomnia (563 Bloor Street W) has 20% OFF of all meals on weekdays! It’s a bit West of campus, but a lot of students vouch that their selection and portion sizes are well worth the walk.

TRANSPORTATION 

TTC — FREE AFTER 40 RIDES. Are you travelling around Toronto? There is no Presto or cash fare discount on the TTC for post-secondary school students other than a post-secondary Metropass; however, if you know you’re going to take the TTC more than 40 times in a month, a post-secondary monthly pass would be worth it. To get one, you have to obtain a TTC Post-secondary Photo ID card at Sherbourne subway station.

GO Transit — 18.40% OFF FIRST 30 RIDES/ MONTH, FREE AFTER 40+ RIDES. Travelling around the GTA? Be sure to fill out the Student ID Request online, you’ll just need to know your UofT student number, and then get your Presto card set up with the student concession.

Greyhound — 25% OFF W/ ISIC. Traveling outside of the GTA? International Student Identity Card (ISIC) cards aren’t only for International Students; it’s actually called an International Student Identity Card because you can use it globally. As UTGSU is part of the Canadian Federation of Students, you are eligible to get your ISIC card for free at the UTGSU office! Through it you can get discounts on travel, merchandise, and services throughout the world.

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) — FREE ON TUESDAYS. The ROM (100 Queen’s Park Ave) is just East of the Varsity Centre and permits general admission to post-secondary students. General admission includes access to all four-stories (but excludes special exhibits).

Art Gallery of Ontario — FREE AFTER 3 PM ON WEDNESDAYS. The AGO (317 Dundas St W) is a 10 minute walk from the South of campus. In addition to the works of art, there’s free programing for students aged 18-25 during weekday evenings. Participate in tie dying, break dancing workshops, and create with clay and ceramics!

Canadian Opera Company — UNDER $30 TICKETS IF YOU’RE UNDER 30. The Four Seasons Centre is just a 15 minute walk South of campus, and if you are between the ages of 16 to 29 years old (of have a colleague that is!) you can purchase $22 or $35 tickets to COC mainstage performances.


Astro Tour — FREE EVERY MONTH. The Astro Tour (aka the UofT Astronomy Public Tour) takes place right on campus. After a public lecture by a member of the Astronomy Department, you can look at the night sky through their balcony and dome telescopes, or watch a planetarium show run live by astronomer. The next tour will take place on March 1st at 8PM!

Happy $aving,

Cricia

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