by Aparajita Bhandari

When comparing my own experience to those of students who have to travel for more than an hour on the TTC daily to get to campus, I’m somewhat ashamed to even call my twenty-minute walk a “commute”. However, with the onset of the colder weather and snow, constantly walking back and forth from my house to campus has become less and less feasible and so this semester I have found myself increasingly taking advantage of the many commuter spaces on campus.

Libraries are abundant on our campus. While they are a great place to study, I personally don’t think they’re the best places to hang out when you just have an hour or two between classes. I’ve tried to find some good places on campus where you can sit and eat lunch, talk with friends or even do a little bit of studying. Hopefully, all of you, will use one of these commuter locations to your advantage this semester, whether your commute is an hour on a GO bus or five minutes from your dorm room.


The Junior Common Room, University College

The JCR is a great hangout spot for the historically inclined with its large chandeliers and walls adorned with names of UC alumni. It’s the home of the popular student-run coffee bar Diablos’ and the large leather couches are rumoured to be the comfiest napping spots on campus.


The Cat’s Eye

Cat's Eye sign

Located in the Goldring Student Centre at Victoria College the Cat’s Eye is a little out of the way from main campus. However, if your schedule takes you across Queen’s Park this student lounge is a cool, retro hangout option. The lounge actually gets its name from the book Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood, who is an alumna of Victoria College. The Cat’s Eye has a pool table, air hockey, foosball, a dance machine and a variety of video games so there’s plenty to keep you entertained.


Medical Sciences Cafeteria and the Donnelly Centre Indoor Bamboo Garden


While the cafeteria in the Medical Sciences Building may not be as historic or as elegant as some of the other places on this list, its central location on campus, varied fast food selection and abundant outlets make it the place that I end up spending most of my breaks. The cafeteria has quite a few microwaves, which means I can easily heat up my leftovers for lunch which I like to eat at the indoor bamboo garden located just around the corner from the main cafeteria. The garden is an unexpected little relaxing oasis of peace. You should head there if you’re in the area and try to search for some inner zen before your next tutorial.


Hart House Reading Room

A smaller, quieter location, with large windows, high bookshelves and sprawling couches that make the room feel inviting and intimate. The room is usually never super crowded so it can be a nice place to sit and read—either your readings for class or maybe even some pleasure reading.

The next time you find yourself with some extra time on campus explore a little and check out one of these commuter locations that you haven’t been to before.

What’s your favourite on-campus hangout spot? Let me know in the comments!