Ryerson University: student tips for surviving life on campus

The best cheap lunch, cultural events and commuting essentials

University Insider: Celina Gallardo, 21, Journalism

Best cheap lunch: You can get a filling pad Thai for $11 at Salad King
Commuting must-haves: I always make sure I have a plethora of music and podcasts downloaded on my phone and a good book or two in my bag to keep myself busy
Favourite watering hole: Ram in the Rye, the campus pub
Coolest electives: Ryerson has a bunch of cool music electives, including courses on popular music. My dreams of writing an essay about Fall Out Boy finally came true thanks to that class!
Best giveaway: Random free Hershey’s cookies ’n’ cream bars on Gould St.
Most notorious bus route: Basically every single form of transportation surrounding campus is going to be a hectic ride, especially during rush hours. Standing on a crowded moving subway, however, is a great way to improve your balancing skills.
Best cultural event: The Filipino Canadian Association at Ryerson’s kamayan night

PROFILE: Ryerson University | Toronto, Ont. | Founded 1948

Although Ryerson officially became a university in 1971, it still is deeply grounded in its college roots. With most programs focusing on hands-on learning rather than pure academia, it’s the best of both worlds.

In downtown Toronto, no two people look or dress exactly alike. Gould Street, which runs through campus, is almost like a fashion runway, with trends ranging from classic sweats to ’90s grunge on display. It will inspire you to experiment with your personal style.

Being at a commuter school means that you’ll meet people from all over the area. And, even if living right in Toronto isn’t a viable option, you can still get to know the city through subway and streetcar windows. Transit delays will also teach you a valuable lesson about patience and planning ahead.

Whether it takes you minutes or hours to get to campus, you’ll find ways to meet someone new. It could be at a game night or during an elective. You might even get to collaborate on projects with people outside of your program or faculty. Innovation is also encouraged and nurtured at Ryerson—it’s home to the top university-based incubator in the world, as ranked by UBI Global. No matter what you do in your university career, you will leave with new perspectives and lifelong friends.

Take advantage of warmer seasons and have picnics in the Kerr Hall quad or the Pitman quad. Bonus: you might even spot some dogs going for walks. But if you’re more of an indoorsy person, explore Kerr Hall and look for odd corners, overlooked murals or a new chill-out spot.

Local Vibe
There’s always something happening in Toronto’s core, whether it be the beloved “Believe Guy” yelling at you on a street corner, or Duckman playing a drum kit made out of plastic buckets. The arts scene is also thriving—some Toronto International Film Festival screenings happen right on campus, so you can get a chance to see some of your favourite stars right after class. City Hall is also nearby, so you can take a selfie with the famous “TORONTO” sign or catch a Nuit Blanche art installation in the fall.

The Skinny
Join lots of campus-based Facebook groups—you can find out where to get free food on campus, buy second-hand textbooks or share good memes.

Ryerson University. (Alex Daddese/Ryerson University)