Ryerson University 411: Where to find the best cheap lunch and more

A Ryerson University insider's perspective on campus life

Ryerson University. Photograph by Jessica Darmanin

Ryerson University. Photograph by Jessica Darmanin

Unofficial school motto:

‘Drake was here’

Ryerson University Insider

Best place for a nap:

Bean bag chairs on the sixth floor of the Student Learning Centre

Best cheap lunch:

Fried chicken steamed bao from Banh Mi Boys

Best hangover breakfast:

Peanut Butter Cup pancake breakfast from Denny’s

Favourite watering hole:

The campus pub, Ram in the Rye

Perks of living in this town:

Never running out of things to do

Best place to study:

The library (now that everybody is over at the SLC)

Weirdest tradition:

Karaoke competitions between programs

Best campus event:

Winter Week of Welcome

Best giveaway:

Random things at Yonge-Dundas Square

Best live music venue:

Danforth Music Hall

University Insider Report – Erica Ngao, 21, Journalism

For university students, 8 a.m. lectures are never fun. But on this commuter-heavy campus, waking up early is just part of the routine. While complaining about public transit is many a Ryerson student’s favourite pastime, I’ve found commuting gives me the opportunity to explore and appreciate more of this vibrant city. (I grew up in the suburbs.) Nestled between high-rise condos and the flashy billboards of Yonge-Dundas Square, Ryerson has grown along with Toronto, transforming itself from post-secondary underdog to nimble innovator. Now that the Student Learning Centre is open, construction has started on a $104-million health sciences complex that will include a residential tower with room for 332 students, and a new 30-storey student residence for another 593. Still, the campus is small enough to bump into someone twice, building a sense of community within Canada’s largest city.

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

As a commuter, I feared I would miss out on forming a connection to the school outside of academics. But as I quickly came to discover, there’s no shortage of school spirit. What is lacking in typical university traditions like homecoming is made up in the number of student groups. Whether you come from, or are interested in, Albania, Africa, Armenia, Bangladesh or Bulgaria (and those are just some of the As and the Bs), there is a community waiting for you. I joined the 90-member Dragon Boat Club, one of the largest teams on campus. Aside from being an intense physical challenge, it provided great training in co-operation and sportsmanship.

Ryerson has never been a traditional university and that’s what makes it unique. Here, learning goes beyond lecture halls into labs, internships, innovation hubs and sometimes even the city itself. Just keep your head up and walk fast.



When you need a break from the traffic and concrete, the campus’s hidden green spaces provide an oasis. The Kerr Hall “Quad” is ideal for picnics and games of soccer. Students can volunteer to tend the rooftop garden atop the engineering building, which supplies produce to the cafeteria and the farmers’ market. The therapy-dog program offers cuddly companions to help relieve stress.



Local Vibe

For the price of a transit ride, explore the diversity of the city through its neighbourhoods—one of my favourite spots is the food paradise at St. Lawrence Market. From the paparazzi-filled Toronto International Film Festival to more low-wattage affairs like the Fringe Festival, there’s no shortage of things to do. The arts and culture scene is particularly affordable on a student budget, with discounted tickets or free admission. For the adventurous, head down to Harbourfront for seasonal activities such as skating and canoeing, or hop the ferry for the Toronto Islands.

The Skinny

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