One of the best universities (or is it the best?) in Canada, University of Toronto has a elegant, historic campus with plenty of architecture in the Romanesque, Gothic etc styles, for visitors to admire and photograph. I had the luck and honour to be shown around the main campus (St.George campus) by my two friends who are now alumni of the university. http://www.utoronto.ca/__shared/assets/3D_Map1103.pdf is a good 3D map of the St.George campus.
The Latin motto of "velut arbor ævo" (in English "as a tree through the ages"), has a surprising correlation to the Chinese saying that says it takes 10 years to grow a tree, but a 100 years to cultivate a generation of people.
Turning in from the King's College entrance, the building across the oval lawn at the end of the road is University College, the founding nondenominational college of UofT. This oval lawn, enclosed by King's College Circle, is the traditional centre of the university, with the centrepiece being this very main building of University College.
The university is divided into a number of colleges such as University, Victoria (its main building being affectionately nicknamed Old Vic) and Knox, with the most prestigious being Trinity. Only after I got there then I realised that I have a junior college classmate who was from Trinity College! I even chanced upon a wedding going on in Knox College.
Walking east from the oval lawn in front of University College, you'll find the buildings of the Ontario Provincial Legislature. South of those buildings, on University Avenue are 4 hospitals affliated with UofT.
The university boasts one of the biggest university libraries in the world. Apart from gaping at the extensive collection, I had fun experiencing the antique lift in the library. Another library, the Robarts Library, has a unique building design resembling a peacock.
All work and no play makes for a dull life for any university student. Recreation is also a unmissable part of campus life, with its heart at Hart House. The building is easily recognisable by the neon pink outline of a heart over its main entrance.
Adjacent to Hart House is Soldiers' Tower, a memorial for the remembrance of university members lost to the battlefields of the 1st and 2nd World Wars in the 20th century.
Near dome-roofed Convocation Hall, I found the Meridian of Toronto (recognised by scientists till 1908) as well as a sundial marking Toronto time. If you're interested in astronomy, time etc there're signages explaining these two items in detail. However though I have the interest, I didn't have enough brain to understand some of what was said! :P At the same location, looking away from the university (south), you have a view of Toronto landmark CN Tower.
The campus mascot seems to be the squirrel. On my visit I saw many of these kute animals on the luscious green grass, seemingly totally un-shy of approaching humans.
I'm a big fan of walking around college campuses, and the University of Toronto is something to behold. My only regrets are that I was there on a Sunday, so most of the buildings were closed. As a student of a mid-size (20,000 student) university, I stand in awe of a place that holds about 70,000 students. Not only that, but there is some really interesting architecture around the campus, and some very old buildings that I found neat to view. The college does sponsor some walking tours throughout the summer, but in any case, if you go and it's open, I suggest finding the visitor center at 25 King's College Circle (you walk north on St. George Street from College and watch for the sign on the east side of the street), because it was pretty easy to get lost wandering around campus - there are a few maps sprinkled about, but you never find one when you need it!
The beautiful University of Toronto is located right in the heart of downtown Toronto. The large St. George campus is located within walking distance from many of the downtown attractions, including the Royal Ontario Museum and the Bloor-Yorkville area. The campus is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are a prospective student. This university is one of the top universities in Canada and a leading academic institution in the world, and definitely the largest in terms of the size of the student population.
The University of Toronto is filled with weird buildings and rooms that have often strayed far from their original purpose. One such building is the Observatory, a 19th century building that was originally designed for students and faculty to watch the night sky and atmospheric conditions. Over the years, however, the Observatory was abandoned with bigger and better facilities, and the building is now home to the University of Toronto Students' Union (UTSU). The doors and dome are frequently painted weird and wonderful colours and the grounds are filled with protest placards, community gardens and the like.
Victoria College was originally founded in Bowmanville (a small town an hour or so east of Toronto), but it was moved to the University of Toronto campus over 150 years ago. Although the College is affiliated with the United Church of Canada, it is open to all students of the University. A small seminary remains (Emmanueal College) on the grounds of Victoria College. Victoria is most remarkable for Gate House residences (the tower at the end of St. Mary's Street is part of Gate House) and the Victoria College building, built from sandstone. The Isabel Bader Theatre, also part of Victoria, is often used to screen films during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Soldiers' Tower was built by the university of Toronto after the First World War in order to commemorate those students of the University who gave their lives during the Great War and WWII. The passageway underneath the Tower is engraved with the names of those remembered, as is a wall to the side of the tower. On special occasions (i.e. Rememberance Day, November 11) the bells in the Tower are rung. The tower was designed by Sproat and Rolph and erected between 1919 and 1924.
The place we love to hate.
However, there are some fine old buildings on the downtown campus, some good food to be had, as well as really really nice places to sit down, hang out or enjoy your books and some peace.
In short, a perfect place to get some peace in the middle of a bustling city.
There are a number of cafes and eateries tucked away in the residence and lecture buildings that are worth exploring, if for no other reason than the cheap goodness of university food. Yum!
I wouldn't advise you to stay at the university residences during the summer months, some hearsay I had a while ago tells me that the prices are exorbitant.. BUT! Don't take my word for it!
Be sure to visit the Victoria College pink stone building and the Emmanuel College building right next to it.
Take the TTC to Bay subway, Cumberland exit and you'll find yourself in swanky Yorkville. When you're tired, head south on University avenue and turn left into Charles street. You're in Victoria College territory. Grab a map at the Registrar's office and go exploring!
University of Toronto is the oldest and the biggest university in Toronto. Its campus (one of its three campuses) is located in downtown Toronto, near the Queen's Park provincial legislative building. Founded in 1827, this university has a rich history and you should learn about it by taking a walk through its campus and taking a look at some of the historic buildings there.
If you can't make it across the big pond to visit Oxford or Cambridge then I suggest you check out the U of T campus in downtown Toronto. There are many beautiful old buildings here with fantastic architectural detail.
See my travelogue for more U of T photos.
The St. George campus in downtown T.O. definitely has some of the oldest, most beautiful buildings in the city. For tourists, I would recommend strolling around King's College Circle, as well as trekking across Queen's Park to Victoria College. Many movies are fillmed at Victoria College and at University College (which is situated right along King's College Circle, the heart of the campus). Convocation Hall is also along King's College Circle, and is where graduations are held every term.
I personally graduated from this University in 2002. Although I would not recommend this university for studies, it's a nice place to stroll around and take artistic photos. If you go on a weekend, chances are you'll stumble across at least one wedding party, particularly Knox College is a popular place to get married.
Some Random bits about U of T:
University College is said to be haunted by an old janitor. heheh.
Robarts Library is supposed to be shaped like a swan...do you see it?
Robarts Library is actually sinking into the ground. When it was designed, the engineers failed to account for the weight of the books!
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