Life @ U of T

Sun’s Out, Books Out – Finding Outdoor Study Space

After months of studying indoors, be it in my dorm or in one of the 44 U of T libraries, I was starting to experience cabin fever. With a lighter course load over the summer, I've had more time to explore green spaces that our campus has to offer... and I brought my homework with me (yay..)! Hart House Quad
Study set up in Hart house quad
Working on math as the sun goes down in the quad
Hart House is one of my go-to places on campus - whether it is for orchestra music or to curl up with a good book in their reading room. In first year, I was under the impression that the quad was only for private events, but it's actually free to use daily. Since summer school began, I've been revising for my courses in the quad while having lunch in between classes. There is even a canopy with sky lights! So you don't have to sit directly under the sun yet still benefit from working outdoors with fresh air.

New College Quad

Picnic benches surrounded by trees in New College Quad
Picnic benches in the New College Quad
From orientation week to snowball fights, my college's quad has been a multi-purpose hub. In April, the cabin fever from being indoors all winter started to hit and my neighbour and I decided that it was finally warm enough to study outside - we were terribly wrong and retreated to the D.G. Ivey Library. However, now that summer is finally here, the quad has patio sets and picnic tables that provide perfect outdoor study (and the occasional sun-tanning) conditions.

Innis College Rooftop Terrace

Terrace with patio furniture and trees at Innis College
Innis rooftop terrace with it's comfy seats
Tucked behind Robarts Library is Innis College's terrace. Decked with patio furniture, you would never guess that this little nook was right on campus! I would recommend studying here early in the morning or late afternoon as it gets quite busy around lunchtime. Keep in mind that these outdoor spaces are not designated quiet spaces. Last week, there was a group of students practicing their KPop routine. It was pretty entertaining and gave my mind a break from Linear Algebra. Innis College Quad picnic tables under a tree with homework on them Right under the terrace is the quad. It has a few park benches and picnic tables, perfect for group discussions or as a spot to eat lunch while reading between classes. When I was there last, a group of students took a break from studying for finals and started climbing a tree in the quad!

Sidney Smith Bluepath

Sidney Smiths blue path after the rain
Sunshine lighting up the blue path after the rain
As a science student, many of my classes are along St George Street and the Sid Smith Bluepath is one that I often cross. In the fall and summer, patio furniture line the path, providing students with a place to grab a quick bike or sit outdoors to study in the shade. I find it ideal as a study spot as I like to study with ambient noises of passersby on St George Street. Even though it's near impossible to find plug points outdoors, I personally enjoy disconnecting every once in awhile. All the places above are near libraries and indoor designated work-spaces that I can retreat to if it gets too hot, starts to rain or if there are too many bugs. Despite this, a huge plus about studying outside is that I can snack at anytime without feeling guilty every bite that I sneak in the libraries - shh! ?Where are your favourite outdoor spaces on campus?

4 comments on “Sun’s Out, Books Out – Finding Outdoor Study Space

  1. Thank you for the suggestions! I didn’t know Innis had such a nice rooftop! Would love to check it out 🙂

    1. Hi! I personally like the older libraries such as Emmanuel, Knox or Graham. They’re more cozy but if I want something modern, I’d go for Gerstein, Chemistry library or New College’s D.G. Ivey

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