Life @ U of T

Picnics on Campus + the Best Strawberries in Toronto

In my last video, I had mentioned the suitability of the UTSG campus for having a picnic. I did so in passing, but I now think that this practice is so underrated that picnics on campus merit their own blog post. They need not be elaborate or Instagram-worthy, they can be quite simple as enjoying a box of strawberries on the lawn.

a box of strawberries half finished in a clamshell, on the grass

Other student bloggers here have remarked on the fun of food in transforming student life. I agree that a meal, especially when shared, has the power to create memorable instances on a small budget. For this post, I wanted to do something a little different. The strawberries I opted for on my picnic yesterday are called Harry’s Berries. The California farm grows specialty varieties of certified organic strawberries, and only harvest at their absolute peak ripeness and flavor.

I bought them at Eataly, which is steps away from Victoria College. Although they were about seventeen dollars a clamshell, I reasoned that they will taste unique enough to merit the price difference from regular berries. An interesting means of measuring ‘worth-it-ness’ I picked up in university is the measurement of marginal utility in economics. How much satisfaction do you get out of every bite and every dollar? I would say that the box of berries was integral to an especially nice experience yesterday afternoon.

a strawberry that was bitten into, held amidst buildings by Bloor and Bay

My favorite spot is by Old Vic, on the grass between the building and where the E.J. Pratt Library stands. Yesterday, there were many families nearby taking photos for graduation. I watched on as I ate my strawberries with my partner. We marvelled at the cloudless sky and the dexterity of the squirrels nearby. He nagged about the price point of the fruits, but was eventually silenced by how unnaturally delicious they were.

The strawberries have a thin skin and an almost jello-like sweetness. I think that it is very much worth your student budget as an occasional treat. Think about it this way: it’s about 2/3rds the price of a plate of pasta.

the author, Cheryl holding the box off strawberries with Old Vic in the background

Though much of Toronto still remains on lockdown, don’t forget about the fun, little pleasures you can take part in nearby campus. No strawberries? No problem: just enjoy the view! Bring a book and a water bottle, and lose yourself in the bliss of being on campus (without the classes!)

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