For years, SMUS students have been hearing me say that one factor in deciding which university to apply to is their tolerance for Winter: “Now remember…..it snows in Canada and the USA everywhere east of the Rockies! You can count on Winter in Ontario, for example, and New England.” On January 27, 2012, I was proven wrong, at least partly wrong. On that morning I visited the Keele campus of York University and there was a dusting of snow. See the photo below. But later that day I walked onto the campus of Ryerson University, in the centre of the city, and – no snow! In fact for the three days I spent in Toronto, there was no snow visible in the core of the city. Moreover, it was warm and several times I saw the sun. January in Toronto!? This does not compute.
I got over the weather shock well enough to come to appreciate both York and Ryerson. York University has two campuses in Toronto. The Keele campus is very large and its programmes are expansive. There is evidence of significant investment in the buildings and infrastructure of the campus and public transport (bus and subway) are improving daily. The Yonge-University subway line is due to reach York by 2015. In that year, York will host some events for the Pan Am Games.
The Keele campus is well-known for its business school (Schulich) and its law school (Osgoode Hall). But there are many other superb programmes at York Keele, well worth looking at, the Fine and Performing Arts, Science, and Aboriginal Studies programmes, to begin with.
The Glendon campus is the original campus of York University in Toronto. Glendon is very small and has a specialty – bilingual education. If you’re really ambitious and capable, Glendon can give you a trilingual option. Glendon offers a more limited span of degree programmes, concentrating on Arts and Humanities and offering an International Bachelor of Arts that is available across nineteen programmes. The IBA (bilingual or trilingual) includes an international exchange, advanced language training, and courses oriented to international topics and study. Studying at Glendon is a dream come true for students who love languages.
Ryerson, in the city core, is a large, multi-faceted university offering fascinating options for students who want a cutting-edge approach to architecture, fashion design, media studies, and a host of other programmes. Ryerson recently acquired Maple Leaf Gardens to add to its impressive list of buildings and facilities which include the Rogers Communication Centre, the new George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, and Ryerson’s underground athletic centre. Ryerson does have a campus feel even though it is bounded on all sides by the city streets and commercial buildings. Student services are excellent and there is some student accommodation on campus although the vast majority of Ryerson students prefer to live out in the city in apartments and other rental accommodation. Well served by bus and subway routes, Ryerson students have access to the whole of the city of Toronto from transit stops very close to campus.
Ryerson University and the two campuses of York are excellent options for students wanting to study in Canada’s largest city.