Hi! I’m Grace, and I just completed my fourth-year of the Creative Industries program. Now that I have closed out my final year at Ryerson, I feel like it’s my duty to share some lessons from the last four years that made my experience in university so memorable. One thing that shaped my experience on a fundamental level was my decision to live downtown for the duration of my degree. Coming from Ottawa, this was seemingly my only choice, and I’ll admit that was a little scary. Talks of soaring rent prices, deafening levels of noise, and frustrating transit kept me up at night as an incoming student. However, my experience living in the downtown core for the last four years has been overwhelmingly positive, and I wanted to share the three things that have made it worth it to me.
Everything is Close
The first (and most obvious) benefit of living downtown is that you can usually walk or take a short TTC ride to just about anywhere you need to go. This is especially useful when it comes to getting to campus. Since Ryerson is so centrally located (right next to Yonge-Dundas Square, hello!), most students living downtown have a commute that is under 30 minutes. When compared to the typical GTA commuter’s trek to school, a short walk or streetcar ride is a major luxury. For me, my 15-minute walk to school has been a godsend–I can make pit stops at home in between classes to eat, study, nap, or even watch Netflix.
The Real Toronto Cultural Experience
The second benefit of living downtown as a Ryerson student is that you get the Toronto experience in its truest form. Living downtown, you’ll be able to easily access all that the city has to offer in terms of restaurants, nightlife, and different cultural pockets of the city like Little Portugal and Kensington Market. These are the things that have fundamentally shaped my Ryerson experience, and living downtown has allowed me to do them much more often. Plus, getting out in the city is an easy way to meet new people and make friends.
Access to Part-Time Work Options
Finally, something that has proved to be a major benefit of living downtown is easy to access to an endless amount of part-time job options. Many Ryerson students decide to work part-time during their degree, and eliminating the commute time to these jobs makes it much less stressful to balance work and school. Ryerson is located walking distance from the Eaton Centre, Queen Street, the Financial District, and the Entertainment District–each with dozens of restaurants, retail operations, and businesses looking for part-time help.
If you’d like some more insight on what it’s like to live downtown as a Ryerson student, check out Mercedes’ vlog walking through one of our newest residence buildings, HOEM.