Photo Credit: Sarah Krichel

A guide to fill your eight most basic needs in and around Ryerson’s campus

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By Emma Sandri

The first couple of weeks at university can be daunting. You might be in a new city, with new people and a new (and frustrating) transit system—the culture shock is real.

To help with the transition into university life, here are eight of the best places in and around campus to eat, study and caffeinate:

The best place to study: Balzac’s Coffee Roasters
Gould Street – on campus

Besides the library and quiet floor of the SLC, Balzac’s offers students a convenient place to study. It’s quiet enough to write an essay, but not too quiet where you can’t help but to daydream. The picturesque coffees and lattes also offer up an amazing opportunity to brag about your “grind” on your snapchat story.

The best place to hang out with friends: the Sky Floor (eighth floor in the Student Learning Centre)
Yonge and Gould Streets – on campus

While most people gravitate towards the coveted beach floor on the sixth floor to hang out with friends, the top of the SLC is an underrated scenic getaway from the general Ryerson population. Chock-full of desks, study rooms and groups tables, the Sky truly caters to all. It’s also a lot bigger than the beach, meaning you may just be able to actually snag a seat.

The best place for a coffee break: Church Street Espresso
585 Church St. – 15 minutes walking distance

Okay this one is a little bit far from the well-loved SLC Starbucks, however, the walk is completely worth it. Church Street Espresso is a small cafe which serves fresh and strong coffee with their free wifi, so you can work while pumping yourself with deliciously-addictive caffeine. It also has an adorable outdoor patio so you can truly make the most of the break in coffee break.

The best place for a picnic: Kerr Hall Quad
Gould Street – on campus

The Kerr Hall Quad is one of Ryerson’s on-campus gems. It’s quiet, one of the only green spaces on campus and visited by many cute dogs throughout the day, which makes it one of the best places to stop in between classes or to catch up on readings. If you bring a blanket (or a jacket to sit on) it also doubles as a great place to have a cute picnic with your friends, an easy wallet-friendly activity.

The best place to escape: Allan Gardens Conservatory
160 Gerrard St. E – 12 minutes walking distance

Sometimes you need to escape the smog, noise and general griminess of the city. Other times you need a good background for an Instagram pic. A quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of Ryerson’s campus, Allan Gardens is perfect for those who want to be one with nature and those who just want look like they’re one with nature. Entry is completely free, so it’s a great way to spend the day without breaking the bank.

The best place for a late night snack: food trucks
Yonge and Gould Streets – on campus

When it’s 11 p.m. and your only halfway through your required readings; you need study fuel, otherwise known as junk food. There’s a selection of easy, affordable and greasy food trucks on Gould Street, open fairly late.

In particular, Crazy Burrito’s churros are perfect for a post, pre or during work snack.

The best place to splurge: Don Don Izakaya
130 Dundas St. W – 5 minutes walking distance

A Japanese style pub, Don Don Izakaya is the perfect marriage between good food and strong sake. With food like the teriyaki Tokyo-style hot dog, the Izakaya offers a great balance between traditional Japanese fare and modern flavour combinations for those new to the cuisine. Its long communal tables and small-plates also mean it’s designed with sharing in mind, however, that also means it can be pretty easy to rack up a hefty bill. Yet every once in a while a deep fried food coma is necessary to cope with university stress.

The best place for a night out: Crews and Tangos
508 Church St. – 10 minutes walking distance

Ryerson’s campus is just on the edge of Church and Wellesley, a vibrant neighbourhood which many of Toronto’s LGBTQ2+ residents call home. One of the many nightlife options in The Village, Crews and Tangos is a drag bar with reasonably priced drinks and $10 cover. The queens also offer up a pretty impressive array of songs and performances, from Lady Gaga to The Killers.

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