Ryerson may have a reputation as a commuter school, but its three on-campus residences are full of spirit and some of my best university memories. In my first year at Ryerson, I lived in O’Keefe House, a former mansion converted into a student residence right in the heart of campus. O’Keefe House completely changed the way I looked at Ryerson, and I do not doubt that I would be the same person without it. Maybe I’m a little biased when I say O’Keefe House is the best residence on campus, but Pitman Hall, a typical dorm-style residence, and the International Living & Learning Centre, an old hotel that houses students in single rooms, are pretty great too. Living on campus defined my first year of university, so if you get the chance to apply for residence I highly recommend it!
1. On Campus, you live steps away from everything
Living on campus made it easy for me to get involved with a lot of clubs and extra-curricular groups because I didn’t have to worry about long commutes home. Most student groups meet in the evening, so for someone who liked being involved it was perfect for me to not have to worry about getting home as I knew my bed was only a few steps away.
2. Your housemates become your Toronto family
O’Keefe House is known for being the smallest residence with only 32 students, which I loved because living under one roof made us all feel like a family. If you had a bad day, you knew you were coming to home to people you enjoyed spending time with. Some of the best times in residence were simple moments of everyone hanging out in the basement common room, laughing and eating (my two favourite activities) to their heart’s content.
3. You get to live in downtown Toronto
Yonge-Dundas Square is less than a five minute walk away when you live on campus, as is Dundas subway station. Toronto is at your fingertips when you live on campus because it is located right in the centre of the city! Since you don’t have to commute every day, you can save more than $100 a month by not having to buy a monthly transit metropass. Anything you would need is less than a five minute walk away, making living on campus a pretty convenient location.
4. You can wake up 10 minutes before your 8 a.m. class
Everybody dreads an 8 a.m. lecture. But when you live on residence you can easily roll out of bed a few minutes before a lecture, looking any level of presentable you wish (teeth brushing optional). After class you can make the 30-second walk home and get right back in bed after taking quality notes with all the extra beauty sleep you got in the morning!
5. You meet friends for life
The residence gods were good to me and allowed me to meet my best friend and current love of my life, Jacquie. In university there seems to be this pressure to meet your new best friends right away who you will spend the next four years of your life crying and laughing with. Jacquie and I met in first year but didn’t actually become BFFs until second year, but if it wasn’t for all the nights we spent in residence baking cakes together, giving each other back massages, or dying her hair in the bathroom we maybe would have never met!