the front of the new utsu student commons building

My Experience Visiting the UTSU Student Commons 📚

I was on my way to the Kensington Market on Monday, when I spotted a balloon arch framing the entrance of the new Student Commons. This space has been hotly anticipated, and my friends and I gushed over our excitement for seeing what the interior’s like when we spotted it under construction this summer. Reminding myself that I still have a couple of readings to finish before class, I decided to stop by the Student Commons right after lunch.

The building is on the corner beside the University of Toronto Book Store. It is streetcar accessible, as it sits along College Street at the intersection with Huron Street. When I stopped by, I was required to show my UCheck at the front, where an attendant also kept track of traffic with indoor capacity in mind. Currently, a limited number of students (355) are permitted inside at once (25 per cent capacity).

A work space area on the second floor

The student spaces are on the second floor, which has an expansive seating area catering to both course work and lounging. There are numerous wall outlets around, but mind that there are no chargers for phones or computers on site. For phone charging, I recommend the University of St. Michael’s College’s Brennan Hall. In their student lounge, there are phone charging lockers where you can drop off and pick up mobile devices (Apple and Android).

the charging locker at Brennan Hall

The ambiance of the student space on the second floor was very laid back. Some people were on their laptops doing their online lectures, and others were chatting among each other leisurely. There are some small offices in the back, but they are not open (yet) for public use. Right now, they mostly serve as a storage space for furniture. As time progresses, more space will be open for student use. According to the UTSU’s site, ‘Throughout 2022 the building will continue to be renovated, decorated and will gradually open for certain programs and services. We’re forecasting to have the full experience ready by next September.’

This is a fantastic space for you to check out should you need an indoor space to do online lectures or to take a break on campus. There are also washrooms on site, but they do not provide free feminine hygiene products (as the UTSU office by the Hart House did). 

There are many single-seater table spaces for use.

Overall, the Student Commons is a great new spot on campus to do coursework and to take classes online. The wifi is stable, and there are numerous seats and tables. If you do happen to visit the space, let me know what your experience was like by leaving a comment below!

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