Specters and Phantoms and Ghouls, Oh My!

In the spirit (tee hee, see what I did there?) of Student Life’s fifteen-minute leaf walks on campus—and also in the spirit of Halloween—I have decided to create a walking route of my own. Autumn leaves may be a tad more picturesque in terms of dead things you can observe on a walk, but ghosts are cool too.

Without further ado, I present to you my campus ghost walk!

Pictured: a map of UofT displaying a route from Queen's Park to the MacDonald-Mowat Building Continue reading

U of T’s Eric Arthur Gallery: 125th Anniversary Exhibition

As an Arts & Science student, I find myself restricted to the areas on campus reserved for classes and events specific to my faculty. I’ve made it a point to try and branch out by exploring the things other faculties have to offer. This includes visiting the Eric Arthur Gallery within what I’ve always assumed to be this totally nondescript building along College Street. (Branching out also includes teaching myself the ukulele in hopes that the Faculty of Music will acknowledge my hidden musical talent and accept me as their own.) 

The UofT building sign for the Daniels Faculty.

The Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design is located at 230 College Street, on the edge of Huron. (Photo courtesy of Michael Mousa, subject including yours truly)

Turns out that this building on College that I’ve passed by so many times the past three years is the John H. Daniels building for the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Inside is the Eric Arthur Gallery, currently celebrating the 125th anniversary of the architecture program at U of T. The exhibit provides a retrospective look at the history of architecture and the evolution of its teaching tools within the scope of our university.

A large open space inside the Faculty of Architecture. The wall on the right provides a textual description of the exhibition. To the left is the start of the historical timeline, beginning in 1890.

Inside the Eric Arthur Gallery during the 125th Anniversary exhibition.

I was surprised that I’d never heard of this gallery before. While UTAC and the Justina M. Barnicke galleries are two (free) art galleries on campus (see Amie’s post from the archives about the UTAC!), the Eric Arthur is geared towards architectural exhibitions, which may be why I’d never heard of it until now. I loved the layout of the exhibition the second I walked in, just because anything that is organized cleanly makes me feel very satisfied.

The gallery overlooks College Street. Here we see a plaster replica of Michelangelo's Moses, created by past architecture students. Along the wall are negatives of glass slides used by architects from the school.

The gallery overlooks College Street. Here we see a plaster replica of Michelangelo’s Moses, created by past architecture students. Along the wall are negatives of glass slides used by architects from the school.

This exhibit celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Faculty of Architecture is primarily displayed as a timeline, starting from the inception of the program in 1890 and going up by five-year intervals to present day. The timeline is cleverly and meticulously organized; each interval showcases photographs of student life at the time, followed by administrative and professional developments within the faculty, course syllabi and assignments, newspaper clippings and photographs depicting important events in Canadian, architectural and world history respectively.

One part of the timeline along the wall divided into 5 shelves. The first shelf contains 3D letters that denote the year as 1935. Within the same shelf is a piece of paper from a course assignment during that time period. The next shelf underneath contains newspaper clippings. The shelf below that contains photos and captions denoting important events in Canadian history. Below that, pictures of important international architectural events. Below that, world events.

Some of the events related to architectural design and education occurring during 1935.

Piece of paper from a 1935 UofT Architecture Exam. The paper describes detailed instructions. Students must draw and design a room with the appropriate proportions and requirements demanded for in the instructions.

A close-up of a question on an architecture exam circa 1935. Always nice to see that the pain of writing a university exam is something that transcends temporal boundaries!!

There are also other features of the exhibition like old artifacts used by architecture students in particular time periods.

A table lined with geometry sets, rulers, compasses, and colour swatches used by past students.

Equipment used in the past by students in the Faculty, photo taken at a terrifying bad angle.

A table in the gallery with three really old, really large computers that contained graphics software that was used by design students.

Some of the first archaic forms of computer technology used by students in the Daniels Faculty studying design. These were used in the ’80s!

If you’re interested in architecture and/or the history of our school, this exhibit is a fantastic look at U of T’s legacy. There is so much information dropped on you at once that I was very content to spend a long amount of time wandering around the gallery during my break between classes. The gallery is free and this exhibit runs until October 2. I’d love to come back to see what other exhibits they plan on holding next!

A selfie I took with the plaster replica of Michelangelo's Moses statue with the caption "#art". I added sparkles to the photo to make it fabulous

Does art really exist if no one is there to appreciate it/take a selfie with it??

The St. George campus is so big that sometimes we glaze over buildings that turn out to be super interesting. What places have you discovered on campus that have surprised you? Let me know in the comments or Instagram a photo of it and tag us at @lifeatuoft!

The Soldier’s Tower

a poppy display on the wall inside Soldier's Tower

As you walk towards Hart House from King’s College Circle and look directly upward, there are several architectural features that greet your eye, from the beautiful brickwork and pointed turrets of University College to the rainbow-topped dome of the UTSU building and straight ahead, looming in the distance- the 143-foot tall, Gothic-style Soldier’s Tower, one of the instantly recognizable features of the St. George campus.

Soldier's Tower

Throughout my first year, I had passed by the Tower several times, but embarrassingly enough, only ever gave it’s golden clock quick upward glances for time-checks as I rushed to my class at UC, (for which I was inevitably always late) and as a result, never really got to know about it’s history and the existence of the Memorial Room until this summer.

It was one of those cloudy July days and I was making my way back from LaidLaw Library after discovering that it was closed for the summer (quite sad, it’s one of my favourite libraries on campus) when it started to rain and covering my head with a copy of The Gargoyle I picked up inside the entrance, I walked towards Hart House and noticed a little sign resting on the grass beside the Tower.

the nifty little sign outside the Tower

the nifty little sign outside the Tower

Curiosity and the prospect of shelter were enough to pique my interest and I walked right in

the stairwell leading up to the Memorial Room

the stairwell leading up to the Memorial Room

The walls surrounding the seventy-five stone steps up toward the Memorial Room on the second floor are dotted with beautiful stained glass displays, each illustrating the contribution of different Canadian wartime service forces- from women’s special forces to the air force and the Navy. There’s also a wall hanging of the Varsity’s 1915 issue as well as some flower wreaths and fascinating photos of campus during wartime.

stained glass windows


As soon as you walk into the small Memorial Room, the exquisite stained glass windows immediately catch your eye. They are a ‘visual interpretation of John McCrae’s poem In Flander’s Fields’ (who, by the way, was a graduate of U of T) and feature poppies, the maple leaf, the victory torch and men and women performing wartime duties.




Encased in and around the glass displays are many interesting artifacts donated by soldiers’ families or obtained by the Alumni Association- including soldier’s medals and badges awarded for valour during wartime, a piece from No Man’s Land, portraits of war heroes and even a German machine gun.




The Tower itself, built in 1924 as a memorial for the 1185 people who lost their lives in both the First and Second World wars, has four floors or levels- the ground floor with the historic memorial archway, has the names of those who lost their lives in the wars etched in limestone, the second floor houses the memorial room, the third- the clock mechanism and the carillon’s claviers and the fourth with the carillon bells.



Fun fact: the Tower is Canada’s second tallest war memorial after the Ottawa Peace Tower

The Soldier’s Tower Committee of U of T’s Alumni Association handles the upkeep of the Tower and is supported by a host of volunteers and students here at the university through the work-study program. There are also free carillon concerts held several times a year- sometimes featuring guest carilloners- the next informal recital is on Sunday July 26th (10-11 AM) and a formal recital is coming up on August 3rd (7-8 PM) so look out for that!

If you would like to learn more, give the Tower a visit- it is open on these dates this month:

Tuesday July 21st (2-7 PM)
Wednesday July 22nd (1-5 PM)
Thursday July 23rd (1-7 PM)
Friday July 24th (3-5 PM)
Saturday July 25th (2-5 PM)
Wednesday July 29th (1-5 PM)

(or just look out for the sign on the grass like I did!)

You can also email soldiers.tower@mail.utoronto.ca for more information

The Tower is a wonderfully preserved piece of history and the stories of student-soldiers just like you or me who made spent the best years of their lives serving the country stay with you long after you have stepped out of the building.

the Tower by night

the Tower by night

So in between a hectic day at school, whether or not I got into that course or passed that test or got caught in the rain, I’m going to take a moment to look up at the Tower as I pass it by and be thankful for how lucky we all are to simply be alive and free….and I hope you will too!

Getting ready to think about Grad School

As third year moves by at an alarming pace (it’s already the end of October?? what??) I’ve started thinking about my future — which, as many of you probably know, is the perfect way to send yourself into a spiral of despair in the middle of midterms. To try and combat this fear of my future I popped by Hart House to check out the Grad School Fair on October 2nd. It felt really strange being there because I felt like I had just been there during UofT’s fall open house during grade 12 — even though that was a full three years ago (!!! is this what getting old feels like?). As a third year its still a bit early to be thinking about grad school (or maybe its really late, maybe all the other third years already know where they’ll be going) but I’m generally a very keen person and to have a set 5-year plan at all times.

picture of several tables at the grad school fair in the Great Hall in Hart House university of toronto graduate school  banner There was a decent selection of schools at the Grad School Fair, although not really any of the big American or British universities that I’ve been looking at. U of T was out in full force of course and the Museum Studies program caught my eye as a potential program.banner with information about the U of T iSchool's Mater of Museum and Matser of Information studies programsBeing there made me realize that I’m not exactly sure what I want to study? Do I just want to do a MA and then a PhD. in history? Do I want to do Material Culture or Museum Studies? Can I even get a job with any of these? person holding several grad school view books in front of her face

These questions sparked google searches like sogoogle search "best history grad schools"  results are pages with lists of best schools with pretty expected resultsscreenshot of a list of top grad schools, Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard and Yale top the list

I still don’t really know what I want to do or where I want to do it but the Grad School Fair helped me get thinking about it (plus the Career Centre has a whole host of resources that are going to be very helpful) and it doesn’t seem quite as scary as before (although the price tags are still terrifying). table with brochures on it

Any forth years (or third) out there with Grad School advice for me? Anyone feeling super nervous about the whole applying-to-schools process again? Let me know in the comments below! 



Here Comes The First University Assignment! A Story from Not-so-Long-Ago…

So it’s the first of October, which means your first essay/test/some other form of evaluation is near. Before you freak-out because you just realized a month of school has already passed, never fear: I will tell you a little story from my first year that you may perhaps learn from.

My perma-face from first-year

My perma-face from first year

I remember my first class very well. It was seminar connected to the notoriously difficult TrinOne Program. But being from far, far, far away (aka Edmonton, Alberta), I knew none of this.

I sat down and I immediately felt awkwardly underdressed. Many of the folks in class where wearing nice sweaters and dress pants, if not ties and “casual” suit jackets whereas I was wearing my blue cheetah pants with a some-what plain flannel shirt.

Flannel is a Lifestyle

Flannel is a lifestyle

And then my prof came in. Now, to preface this story, my professor for this class turned out to be one of my greatest mentors (where I am today is thanks to him). Nonetheless, when he walked in, I felt incredibly intimidated. The room was dead silent.

He starts introducing himself.

“So you may have heard that I used to interview terrorists for a living.”

For the record, I heard no such thing.


“And although it was not a sort of James Bond type of job, that is a hundred-percent true…oh and by the way, I take plagiarism very seriously.”



“How am I going to make sure I don’t plagiarize? I mean there are millions of books out there! Someone somewhere is bound to have said what I have said at sometime, right?”

Now obviously I didn’t really understand what plagiarism meant, So when my first assignment rolled around I placed a footnote in every second sentence…meaning only half of the work would be considered my own analysis and thoughts. That problem, along with a bunch of grammatical errors and factual misconceptions, led to a pretty low mark. To be sure, I worked my little first-year tail off but I still ended up hugely disappointed and incredibly stressed out.

So, why did this happen?


The classroom that taught me how little I knew

The classroom that taught me how little I knew

Although it certainly had to do with my nerves from the first class, that essay could have been a lot better had I gone to a writing centre, the Academic Success Centre , or had I understood the concept of time-management.

Of course I did poorly because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fix what I didn’t know.

And so I took that first assignment as a learning opportunity to do better on the next one. I bought some grammar books, I went to the writing centre, and I went to my professor’s office hours, and WHAM! I ended up with a fantastic mark at the end of the year and I was far happier and far less stressed.

More to the point, staying organized and being aware of the resources, helped me to maintain my mental well-being (and alliteration!) and ensured that I would not get all nervous and anxious every time I got a new assignment put on my desk.


Okay, my perma-face still in third-year

Okay, my perma-face still in third year

All for now,



Science Literacy and WW1 at the Rare Books Library

If you’ve read any of my blog posts before, you may know that I really like books. I’ve blogged about Fisher Library in the past and just last week I blogged about used book sales on campus.  Although I rarely have time to read for pleasure during the school year I still like to surround myself with books as much as possible, SO I took another trip to the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library last week to check out a special mini exhibit of some of the most important scientific books from history that they were showing as part of Science Literacy Week. Even though I’m not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, I still appreciate these works for the scientific advancements that they’ve resulted in, and the historian/bibliophile in me just can’t resist an old book of any subject.

If you missed the mini exhibit and still want to check out some of Einstien or Darwin’s work you can submit a request to look at individual books through the library website. 

a shot showing a book by Euclid that has been translated from Greek to Arabic. The book is from 1594 and was printed in Rome.  a close up of the title page of a book that reads "construction of the great Victoria Bridge in Canada". On the small portion of the page opposite that is visible is a painting of the Bridge. a picture showing a copy of De Magnete by William Gilbert open on a desk. The page shows a Compass showing declination. a copy of Isaac Netwon's Opticks from 1704 laying open. the book is very aged looking and has very uneven edges. six books lying open to random pages on a table with discription cards below each one.    a title page (or perhaps a short pamphlet) By Albert Einstein lying on a table. The title is in German: Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitäystheorie which is in english: Foundations of the General Theory of Relativity  two pages from "the expression of the emotions in man and animals" by Charles Darwin from 1872. The placard beneath this says they are corrected proof sheets.

While I was there I also took a look at the current exhibit: “Fierce imaginings: text and image in First World War literature” which was really cool (and runs until December 19 so there’s plenty of time to go back and check it out)

Three propeganda posters from world war one on a wall. The first says "A reminder" and has some smaller text that can't be read from this distance. the second shows a youth in what looks like a scout uniform resting one foot on a drum and leaning over so his elbow is on that knee and his head is propped on his hands. Behind him in the poster are other posters encouraging people to enlist. The text of this poster states "everyone should do his bit. Enlist now." The third poster shows a women standing on a rock in the sea with a blue bliiowing toga-like dress and a red hooded cape. She is holding a sheathed sword in one hand and both arms are flung wide, she looks very passionate. In the background is a redish orange sky (like a sunset) and a ship in the sea. The text says "take up the sword of justice"

several open books and front covers of books are shown in a display case. the books are all from the first world war. The ones in focus say "Frightful war pictures" another says "the Huns Handbook"

several books of the poems of Wilfrid Owen are displayed. One is open to show a picture of him while another shoes a strange line drawing that kind of looks like a lion and a person at the same time.


A History Student’s Guide to UTSG Campus

The other day I was thinking about the summer before my first year and how excited I was to start at U of T; at this point 2 years ago, (2 weeks into my summer vacation) I already had a detailed packing list, thought I had my entire degree planned out, and was just all around super keen. I knew where I would be living and had toured my college a couple of times however one thing that I didn’t know much about was where my actual classes would be. I had heard a lot of History classes were at Sid Smith (which I vaguely remembered from my U of T tour) but aside from that I was clueless.

Now halfway through my History Specialist I’ve taken quite a lot of History classes in a variety of buildings so I thought I would put together a post showing some of the locations of History Classes. If you aren’t planning on being a History major you may still find this useful as a lot of VIC, English, History and Philosophy of Science, and French classes take place in these buildings at Victoria College as well.


Isabel Bader Theatre (BT) only has one lecture hall but it’s probably the nicest lecture hall I’ve been in at U of T. If you take HIS109 it will probably be in here along with some of the larger second year classes.DSCF3591DSCF3588  

Northrop Frye (NF) has a mixture of lecture halls and smaller classrooms plus a lot of professor’s offices.DSCF3613DSCF3615

Emmanuel College (EC) is also at Vic and is mainly used for tutorials. It’s super handy when you have a class at Bader or Northrop Frye and a tutorial right after at Emmanuel.DSCF35681

Sidney Smith Hall (SS) is where the History Department is located (up on the second floor) and also hosts quite a few classes and even more tutorials. I don’t think I’ve had a semester go by without a tutorial in here. Sid Smith also houses the Linguistics, Political Science, Psychology, Stats, and Geography departments and due to it’s location on St. George, it’s ample seating areas, and the Sid Smith Cafe it’s a pretty busy hub of student life. DSCF3644


The history department (including the student lounge where TA’s will often hand back/accept essays) is behind these doors. It’s on the second floor when you go up the stairs at the north end of Sid Smith and took me about 20 minutes and 5 text messages to find it in first year.

Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories (LM) doesn’t seem like a spot in which you would find people learning about Russian History but because U of T is a mysterious place in which many things do not make sense many a history course takes place here right along side science classes. It’s right next to Sid Smith on St. George street so it’s pretty convenient if you have a block of classes in a row that are all in mysterious science buildings. DSCF3655


mysterious window decorations

 McLennan Physical Laboratories (MP) is another example of U of T not making sense. There is a tiny little place in this building where you can buy snacks and also chocolate soymilk which is a necessity on days when you have long blocks of class and no time to eat. DSCF3661DSCF3666    

Lillian Massey Building is not a history building but I just love the history behind it. It used to be the department of household sciences for the women at U of T in the early 1900s but now houses the classics department (who couldn’t have picked a more appropriate building) and a Club Monaco. The inside is basically all marble and has really pretty stained glass windows.  DSCF3639 DSCF3627 DSCF3625        

Convocation Hall is also not a history building but if you’re entering your first year at U of T it is very likely that you will have a class in here. It’s big and imposing but if you sit near the front or on one of the sides you forget about the fact that there are 1200+ students sitting in there too. I’ve also heard many a tale of it having wifi now but I don’t know if I believe that. DSCF3672

So there you go! A little post that hopefully helps you see where you might be taking classes come September. Once you enrol in your courses on ROSI you’ll be able to see the location codes and plug them into this map so that you’re ready for September!

Looking back at U of T

Hi all!

My name is Amie and I’m going to be the photoblogger for the next year! I’m a third year student studying History and Material Culture. I love history a lot and since U of T was founded in 1827 it has a lot of history in its halls. Looking through the university archives (http://www.heritage.utoronto.ca/UTA/Imagebank) is an amazing way to get an idea of what U of T was like in the past, what students used to do, and how buildings have changed over the years (one of my favourite pictures shows a bunch of awesome VW Bugs in front of Innis. Sadly I couldn’t make it work for this post so I’ll leave you to hunt for that one on your own).

Below are some images from the archives imposed on current photos of campus – a little time machine of sorts.

This "Feather Fair" took place on Front Campus in 1949. What is a Feather Fair you might ask? I have absolutely no idea but hey it only cost 15 cents to enter. Rad  Source

This “Feather Fair” took place on Front Campus in 1949. What is a Feather Fair you might ask? I have absolutely no idea, but hey it only cost 15 cents to enter. Rad

"Chancellor and officials, exit University College during convocation, 1920." I took this picture directly after a long procession of graduating UTM students walked out those very doors. Two processions nearly 100 years apart that looked very much the same.  Source

“Chancellor and officials, exit University College during convocation, 1920.”                                                                                                                                                                   I took this picture directly after a long procession of graduating UTM students walked out those very doors. Seeing two processions nearly 100 years apart that looked very much the same was kind of awesome.


Students in Military Uniform in the Hart House Library c.1943. Source

“Students in Military Uniform in the Hart House Library c.1943.” This is probably my favourite picture of the Hart House Library. 


1951 Royal Visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. How many times have you walked those steps? You've walked the same steps as the Queen. You're basically royalty now.  Source

“1951 Royal Visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.”      How many times have you walked those steps? You’ve walked the same steps as the Queen. You’re basically royalty now.

"Robert Falconer followed by Wilfrid Laurier walk across the front campus at the Special Convocation for the Installation of President Robert Falconer. 1907."   Source

“Robert Falconer followed by Wilfrid Laurier walk across the front campus at the Special Convocation for the Installation of President Robert Falconer. 1907.”

And So It Begins!

Well, the first week has been off to a good start, albeit a little bit hectic. (#firstdaystories How was your week?) It’s funny how things turn out, really.

Here’s what happened to me:


I have one course this semester. I often feel reluctant to tell people this, because usually they scowl and say they hate me. But that is just how my university career has worked out, and I’ll be honest—it’s pretty sweet. I feel a little like this guy:



Or, at least, I want to feel like that guy. The class is one night a week, two hours, mostly reading—easy!

It was on Wednesday, which happened to be the same day as my Life @ U of T Community Crew meeting. The meeting was at 4 pm, and the class was at 6 pm, so it was fine.

I decided to use my morning wisely. I did laundry. Oh, the joys of living independently!

source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/home-alone-gif

source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/home-alone-gif

The laundromat is close to my house, so I can go home between cycles. It takes six trips altogether to finally clean my clothes. While I’m waiting around at home I usually read, or watch a bit of a movie, visit the internets, or, as I decided to do on this particular day, I work out.

Why did I choose the hottest day in September to start a healthy exercise routine?



But once I was good and exhausted and thoroughly drenched in sweat, I threw on a quick set of clothes, and ran out to grab my laundry. It was 3 pm. When I got home I was going to shower, change (into clean clothes), grab my books, my bag, and head off to my meeting, and then my class. I was feeling exactly like this guy:



And that’s when everything went ridiculously wrong! I had forgotten my keys!

There I was, stranded outside my apartment, burning up in the 40-degree heat, sweating buckets, underdressed, no books, no bag, holding a huge sack full of shirts, shorts, socks, and underwear, and time was ticking!

Luckily, I had my wallet and my cell-phone. But, of course, it was starting to thunderstorm! I really had no choice. It was almost 4 pm. I had to go!

I took the subway to St. George station (blessed TTC!). Along the way, I realized I had forgotten to find out where I my class was being held. Also, the room had been changed for my Life @ U of T meeting, so I really had no idea where I was going.

Find a computer, public access Internet! So where did I go—Robarts! I looked up the building code and room number for my class, and found the new location for my meeting. Then I hit the washroom, rinsed my face, and changed into a clean shirt. Turns out laundry is pretty useful to carry around.



Well, not that good, but I was feeling better. I went to my meeting, met some new people, ate a Timbit or two, and then hurried through the rain to my class.

And my class was great!

It was introductory, but the readings sounded new and intriguing, and the professor was very enthusiastic, which is of paramount importance for evening classes!

In the end, it was a good first day. Unexpectedly hectic, but good for just that reason. It was a jumpstart back into managing my university career. At times things can be chaotic and uncertain. There will certainly be surprises. But that’s life, really. Who knows what will happen? I’ll do what I have to do, and hopefully in April I’ll feel like this guy:




‘Til we meet again, U of T, stay diamond!



Why I love U of T

With Valentine’s Day on our collective consciousness I thought that now would be an ideal time to share with all of you the things I love about the institution I have dedicated the past five years of my life to. While the University of Toronto receives a lot of negativity from students for a plethora of reasons I won’t get into here, I am ultimately happy I chose to pursue my undergraduate education at the U of T and with the onset of graduation in a few short months I know that I wouldn’t have wanted to attain my degree anywhere else! Here’s why:

The history

Did you know that the University of Toronto (which was founded in 1827 as King’s College) is older than Canada? I bet you also didn’t know that University College and Victoria University’s Annesley Hall are considered National Historic Sites by the Canadian government! Throughout the university’s long lifespan, many prominent Canadians have called it home, a short list including: William Lyon Mackenzie King, Lester B. Pearson, Adrienne Clarkson, Malcolm Gladwell, Naomi Klein, Margaret Atwood, Donald Sutherland, Harold Innis, Northrop Frye, Marshall McLuhan, C. B. Macpherson, etc. et. al. You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate university’s long legacy as one of Canada’s premier academic institutions!

The campus

The University of Toronto is an oasis of learning and self-discovery amid the hustle and bustle of Canada’s most prominent urban environment. The campus itself is beautiful, an appropriate mixture of centuries-old buildings and urban planning mixed with modern innovations and cutting edge architectural design. It is easy to forget the sheer beauty that defines the U of T campus as you simply keep your head down in a rush to class in the mid-February cold. Due to its location in Toronto’s downtown, the university offers its students exposure to unique social, economic, and cultural experiences that can only be found in highly developed metropolitan centers.While I can only speak to my experiences with the St. George campus, I hear that the Mississauga and Scarborough locations are nice as well for reasons unique to them!

The Faculty

While not everyone will agree with this assessment, I can honestly say that I have generally had a positive experience with most of my Professors and instructors during my 5 years as an undergraduate student. Faculty are, on the whole, passionate about what they teach and are excited to share their knowledge with you. Some of the most prominent intellectuals and academics today can be found on the Faculty lists of U of T’s various departments and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study under them.

The students

Perhaps the most important category on this list, the University of Toronto student body is all at once intelligent, sophisticated, socially engaged, and welcoming. While I can only speak to my own experience, some of the most intelligent people I have ever met and some of the best friends I ever hope to meet are University of Toronto students. Canada’s future leaders, intellectuals, and innovators can be found sitting next to you in any given lecture and I am often awestruck at the caliber of student found at the U of T.

The libraries

An appreciation of the wide variety of libraries and the vast collection of academic materials within them is something we as students tend to neglect when thinking about our time at the U of T. Very rarely have I sought to take out a book from one of campuses libraries and found it unlisted. The University of Toronto Libraries is the fourth-largest academic library system in North America — we should not take it for granted.

The prestige 

Call me pretentious, but I enjoy my association with one of North America’s (if not the world’s) premiere institutions of higher learning. There’s a reason students from all around the globe flock to the U of T for study.

Let me know why you love U of T in the comments!