By Kelly Skjerven
The coffee counter that fuels sleep-deprived science, communication and media students won’t be stocked with hot drinks or study snacks ever again, The Eye has learned.
The kiosk located between Kerr Hall and the Rogers Communications Centre bridge was previously a Tim Hortons before it shut down in the spring. The fallout was the result of Ryerson declining to pay $300,000 in renovations per Tim Hortons coffee stand on campus to fit the chain’s new branding.
Voula Cocolakis, executive director of University Business Services at Ryerson, confirmed the kiosk won’t be renovated into a Ryerson-branded coffee stand—or anything else for that matter.
The counter, currently sitting empty with old Tim Hortons logos on it, will be torn down, which will widen the hallway.
The only remaining Tim Hortons on campus is the location on Victoria Street.
The other former Tim Hortons stands, including one in the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, Ted Rogers School of Management and a location in the bridge between the Library building and Kerr Hall, have already been converted into Ryerson Eats coffee kiosks.
The Eye previously reported a Starbucks Coffee self-serve location would replace the Tims in George Vari, but it’s now a Ryerson-branded coffee shop. Cocolakis said the university may survey students to see whether or not it should remain that way or become a Starbucks Coffee stand.
Cocolakis said the school will continue to go through a rebranding for the coffee and food kiosks. Until then, they will remain under the Ryerson Eats banner.
The new kiosk suppliers, both Reunion Island Coffee and Circle & Squares bakery, are located in the GTA.
“We were looking for a competitive price point as well as locally sourced. That was really, really important to us—to have a locally sourced coffee,” said Cocolakis.
On a student budget, even a few extra dollars goes a long way.
For Aisha Irfan, a third-year architecture student, the Tim Hortons locations in campus buildings provided her with a cheap and convenient snack between classes.
“I feel like [Tim Hortons] is a pretty convenient place for students to go. There are a lot of food options around campus but there’s nothing that cheap,” Irfan said.
A large coffee at Ryerson Eats stands is listed at $2.09 and a scone costs $2.99 before tax. A large coffee at Tims goes for $1.89 and a donut is 99 cents.
Abraham Amini, a student at Ryerson said he tried the new baked goods. He said they are “not terrible,” but he’ll be grabbing a study snack off campus from now on.
Pitman Hall cafeteria renovations
Ryerson’s main focus was completing renovations in the Pitman Hall cafeteria for this term, Cocolakis said. The newly renovated cafeteria opened on Labour Day.
“It underwent a massive renovation. Brand new kitchen, stations, everything,” she said, adding the reinvented cafeteria also houses a dedicated vegan station.
In addition to the cafeteria’s new options, Ryerson also made the switch from a balanced meal plan program to an all-you-can-eat meal plan. It gives students who wish to purchase the meal plan an option to opt for a five-day or seven-day plan.
The new meal plans work out to about $22 per day. Previously, with the declining balance program, students could spend money from an amount already loaded onto their one card. This money could be spent anywhere on campus, including the Oakham Café, the Ram in the Rye and Balzac’s.
A five-day meal plan costs $3,900 per semester and a seven-day meal plan costs $5,300 per semester. Each plan includes $400 “flex dollars” that may be spent at campus food retail options such as Balzac’s and the Ram and the Rye.