As a St. George student, just exploring downtown Toronto is a grand task that has taken me 4 years of my undergraduate degree. That’s why the fact that the University of Toronto is made up for two more beautiful and fully-loaded campuses in two different cities doesn’t even cross some students’ mind. So finally, this past week, I had the pleasure of travelling to UTM and UTSC for some meetings and although I missed the comfort of home (aka Robarts 13th floor Sussex corner), I have to say the experience was thoroughly satisfying.
UTM was logistically easier to go to because there’s a shuttle that goes from Hart House to UTM’s instructional centre. It’s a $6 ticket that gets you to Mississauga in a mere hour given the time of day. The campus is actually built amongst the valley of Credit River which means cleansing nature hikes between your day classes is a total possibility (Think Queen’s Park times a hundred + a body of water). The buildings are pretty much all connected to each other so imagine the blissful winters. Yet there is an actual forest right beside the campus, so imagine the serene summers.
One of the first things I saw when I entered the campus was a Starbucks so that’s a positive point for any institution. I especially love the contemporary design and the walk-through to the CCT building; the minimalist feel calls for some serious instagrammable moments. It can get pretty busy during the school year, so in my experience, the summer is the best time to really breathe the campus in. It’s really weird because once you get used to the busy-city impression of UTSG, you start to notice the little things that set UTM apart.
UTSC was next on my list; it took me a subway ride all the way east to Kennedy and then an express bus to campus. Luckily, I was there on a Wednesday and this meant that I got to take a look at the farmer’s market that they put on every Wednesday until October. In fact, I was actually informed of the market by someone in my meeting who brought along some Brie to snack on. While walking through the market, I was joined by a herd of people playing Pokémon Go. Surprisingly, even on the hottest year of the season, I actually saw multiple herds walking all over UTSC playing that game. I actually didn’t realize the severity of the situation until my friend stood in a line-up at the food court for 10 minutes before the group noticed and informed her that they were not in line but in the middle of a battle. Other than that, my favorite part of the school was the Rotunda; the space was naturally-lit and I could tell that was where the action happened! It’s also only a coincidence that there is a starbucks right there.
Despite my tourist-esque presence at the other U of T campuses, I realized that they were both very welcoming campuses in that since the buildings are newer than UTSG, they are all accessible and have a very inclusive design. I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely recommend taking some classes, especially in the summer, outside of UTSG just to get a taste of the programs that are unique to UTM and UTSC. I would love to hear about your experiences with the two campuses as a UTSG student, leave me a comment below!