A Touch of Summer in the Middle of Winter

large round leaves against a glass ceiling

I’ve been in a bit of a creative rut lately. Between the perpetual grey weather and the sudden onslaught of midterms, I’ve been finding it difficult to feel inspired. Thankfully, this changed when I attended VicXposure’s Allan Gardens Photowalk this weekend. The bright greenery and the group of happy photographers were more than enough to shake me of the January gloom and doom I was feeling. 


Confession: There’s a New Library in My Life

There are 44 UofT libraries, spanning UofT’s three campuses. There are libraries of all shapes and sizes, all styles and atmospheres. You would think this would be enough for me. You would be wrong.

Recently, I have been cheating on UofT. Maybe I took #TryItUofT too far; you be the judge. Consider this my confession:

Dear Robarts,

We have had a long and beautiful love affair. Just over three and a half years ago, I first decided to overlook your imposing and intimidating exterior and give you a chance. I grew to love you.

We have had some wonderful times together, haven’t we? Do you remember meeting my friends? We used to hang out and study together all the time. They grew to love you, too. We presented a united front during many a finals season. I came to see your beauty more and more as I got to know you better and better—your blossoming cherry trees in the summer, your amazing Toronto views, your Rare Book Library. I will never forget all that you have given me; you were always there to provide me with research materials and unlimited free WiFi. You have been my rock. I regret nothing. Please remember that.

We had our good times, yes, but after three and a half years of dogged commitment on my part, I have become more sensitive to your stone-hearted habits. Three and a half years of endless Starbucks lines, freezing my hands off in study rooms, and red-walled cages—I mean, elevators. I’m tired, Robarts. I can’t do it anymore. Things have changed.

I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’m seeing someone else.

The Weird and the Wonderful: A New Year’s Resolution

Well, hello there, U of T! I know it’s been three weeks since we rung in 2016 and the ‘new year’ excitement has worn off considerably with classes and assignments already piling up (it’s not just me, right??)  but being my first post of this year- let’s talk resolutions.

For me, seeing as most of my courses are full-year, the second semester always seems to be longer, more difficult and most importantly, colder. (though I’m told that this winter is one of the mildest yet- positive temperatures in January- whaaaat?!) But even though the second semester brings on so many more challenges to deal with, I decided to voluntarily add another little one on the side in the form of a resolution: to explore Toronto more. Last year was a busy one, and what with academics, commuting, and managing extracurriculars, I found myself not venturing outside the ‘U of T bubble’ as often as I should have, which is really a pity considering how much Toronto has to offer.

One Down, One to Go

Crazy as it may seem, this semester’s almost over! Classes ended this week, and finals season has finally arrived. If it weren’t for my impending doom, I wouldn’t have been able to tell that it’d already been four months since I first touched down in Toronto. Amidst all the hapless cramm — I mean, conscientious studying, in a bout of productive procrastination I thought I’d take a look back at my first semester here at U of T.

A Drake-themed guide to Robarts during exam season

Exams are upon us, U of T. Time to buckle down, catch up with readings, and hit up the nearest campus library for some serious studying. Robarts is the natural go-to choice for many students. Exams may make you miserable, but at least being around other people who are stressing out as much as you are is somewhat comforting. Also comforting is knowing that you’re making Drake proud by acing that calc exam. And always remember that if Aubrey Graham could go from a teeny-bopper D-list actor on Degrassi to a bonafide rap legend, then you can certainly power through these final weeks of the first semester.

Drake leaning against a large storage container and a stereo, using the stereo as a desk to write lyrics on a piece of paper.
Even Drake’s gotta constantly put in werk (Source: Instagram @champagnepapi)

photo of a black horse and a light brown horse

A Trip to the Farm

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard that Toronto opened up it’s first cat cafe last week. Sadly, the long lines have kept me apart from Toronto’s hottest felines, so I decided to hit visit the next best place, The Riverdale Farm. Sure, I didn’t get to have coffee with a cat, but I did get to pet a horse which was pretty darn cool.

photo of a black horse and a light brown horse

The Perks of Being a Winterlover

Perhaps some of you have felt that shift in winds over the past week or so. Perhaps the chill running down your spine was due not just to the physical cold but also to an ominous feeling of wintery dread. That’s right – it’s officially getting colder in Toronto.

As someone who’s born and raised in Canada, I am no stranger to the blistering winters of the Great North. I would go so far as to say that I’m a cold-weather person. So call me biased, but I would argue that Canadian winters aren’t so bad (I have a feeling Emaan would beg to differ). Scratch that – I would argue that Toronto winters aren’t so bad. There’s those ridiculous ice pellet storms but then there’s also the fluffy good stuff that makes for excellent photos and really beautiful scenery. I love seeing the UC building during that perfect snowfall.

While we do get our fair share of snow and the occasional day (or week) where we are blessed with -30ºC + wind chill, winters in the city are pretty tame compared to what our friends at, say, McMaster would experience:

Three students paddling a canoe across a flooded over part of McMaster campus.
Queen’s Park can get pretty swampy but this scene of McMaster is a whole other monster. (Photo source: Huffington Post)