I can’t believe it’s December already. The last few months have been a bit of whirlwind and I’m in need of a break. I’m sure everyone is in the same boat! However, just because classes are out doesn’t mean the entire university is shut down. For those of you not going home for the holidays, there are still lots of things to do in and around campus on break.
Some the buildings will still be open during the winter, so just check their website hours before you attend. The following buildings are open from December 21st-January 3rd.
U of T Bookstore
Gerstein Science Information Centre
The Toronto Public Library offers free passes to attractions such as the Toronto Zoo, the AGO, the ROM, the Aga Khan, the Bata Shoe Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, etc. Passes on a first-come, first-serve basis and are available at most branches. The closest Toronto Public Library to U of T is at 239 College Street. Now’s a good chance to check out some of the awesome cultural attractions the city has to offer while you have free time! Also, the Toronto Public Library has a specialized Indigenous collection with a variety of materials and mediums, including art, books, CD’s, DVD’s, rare items, newspapers, etc. that you can check out over the break. Keep your mind sharp for January!
The Harbourfront has ice skating and DJ nights, which are free and open to the public. If you’re not a wintery person, you can always warm up at the Native Canadian Cultural Centre at Spadina and Bloor, which offers a variety of events such as beading classes, hatha yoga, drum-making and other art activities.
I attended the Indigenous Artisan Market at the NCCT this weekend and found some amazing gifts for the holidays. A variety of vendors making everything from carved beeswax candles, dreamcatchers, jewellery, homemade soaps, beautiful beadwork, moccasins, artwork and more were available for purchase. I’ve included some pictures of the great gifts I found. If you missed it, don’t worry! First Nations House is holding a Holiday Artisan and Book Sale on Friday, December 8th from 10:00am-4:00pm. Vendors include Good Mind Books and community artisans with moccasins, beadwork, paintings, glasswork, and pottery. There will be soup, bannock, hot chocolate and more.
It’s that time of the year when flu season hits, and as the school’s clinic will be closed over winter break, I’ve included a list of emergency and walk-in clinics in the event that you need to see a doctor. It’s also the time of the year when exam stress and holiday blues can kick in. If you need someone to talk to, call the Ontario Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600 or Good2Talk, a free and confidential post-secondary student hotline, at 1-866-925-5454.
I hope you all had a great semester and I will see you back in 2018. Good luck with exams, and have a restful and relaxing holiday break!