These pretzels are making me thirsty. Marissa Dederer/The Eyeopener

Eating at the MAC

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By Charles Vanegas

In case you missed it: the Mattamy Athletic Centre looks amazing and is better than any other athletic facility ever used by Ryerson. The administration loves to boast about its newfound ability to host major athletic events and concerts. And while the athletic and musical events during last week’s “Grand Opening” were deemed great successes, does Ryerson truly offer a great entertainment experience?

One of biggest issues at both Kerr Hall Gymnasium and George Bell Arena was the food. Amateurish would be a polite way of describing the food service. They’d set up a few tables and sell hot dogs and Jamaican patties that often sat there for hours before being purchased.

I was recently thinking: if Ryerson Athletics has stepped its game up all across the board, has that included the food service? I decided to order everything on the menu and see what’s changed.

Hot Dogs

Out with Maple Lodge Farms, in with Nathan’s Famous. Definitely an upgrade in flavour, and it doesn’t taste like they’ve been sitting there all day. But the change also means they no longer offer a Halal product.

Jamaican Patties

Nicely sized and filled. The original patty lacks flavour, but the vegetarian option is surprisingly tasty — which is great since its the only vegetarian option on the entire menu.


If there’s one thing that needs to be present at every sporting event, its pretzels. Sure you’ll be getting your week’s worth of sodium in one take, but these are delicious. These pretzels are making me thirsty.


If I wanted to pay $3 for room temperature Coca-Cola, I’d… go to the MAC. In addition to barely-cold soft drinks, they also serve beer — $6 for a 355 ml can. My advice: grab a six-pack from the LCBO – it’s in the same building, or get your predrink on across the street at Mick E Fynn’s or at the Ram.

While the staff is friendly and the eating area is clean, the lack of vegetarian or religious-friendly alternatives makes it difficult to say that the MAC’s food service is on par with the rest of this excellent facility.

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