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Archive for the ‘Toronto’


long time reader, first time asker

Hello Aska!

First – You are utterly brilliant!
I will be applying to UofT this fall, and scrolling through your blog has
saved me many a panic attack! Within this wall of flesh, there is a soul
that counts thee its creditor.

P.S. I went through the tags before writing this (true fan here) so don’t
worry – this doesn’t have ‘another college question’…..(or does it…..?).

1. Oh all seeing eye, how do you know everything that’s happening at UofT’s
massive campus? What are some of the best ways to keep on top of student
events, displays, Disney serenades, aska fan-fests, food trucks etc? (Most
importantly – food trucks!).

2. Slightly beyond UofT – which are the best natural sites to explore in
and around Toronto – hikes, trails, hidden Narnias perhaps?

3. Innis is one of the only apartment style residences on campus, and as
far as I can see this style of residence (and Innis in general) seems
perfect. But, as an Innis insider, what are some of the disadvantages of
apartment style living?

4. I have been looking through the PolSci and International Relations
department pages, and although I found a massive list of internships
offered to PolSci students, I could not find a similar list for
International Relations. Does PolSci generally have more available
internship and exchange opportunities in general?

Finally, I feel like I am compelled by tradition to put this question here,
if only as a symbol:
‘Innis or UC?”

May the odds and even be ever in your favor.



thank you so much! i am always humbled and delighted to meet a fan like yourself.

since you’ve asked me a five-part question, here’s a five-part answer:

  1. first, you could check out the student life website. they have a lot of stuff on events, displays, clubs, anything you may desire! if that isn’t enough, you can also check on facebook- lots of clubs and societies post when they’re hosting events (and whether or not there’ll be free food). you could also check out hart house (they always have a bunch of stuff going on), the utsu (university of toronto student’s union), your college’s student society, and the clubs fair during orientation week.
  2. there’s lots of nature-y stuff to do in and around toronto. so much so, that i’ll just redirect you to this. in all seriousness though, there are a lot of places to go hiking in toronto, check out this article.
  3. it all has to do with your personal preferences. however, you’ll have to think a lot about things like food (innis doesn’t have a dining hall, but you could still get a meal plan) and cleaning (you’ll have to look after a kitchen and a bathroom and a common area AS WELL AS your own room).
  4. i don’t know if there are MORE internships for polisci students as opposed to international relations students… it just looks like the IR department’s student experience page hasn’t been updated as recently as the polisci department’s. you could get in contact with the IR department and they’d probably have way more information than me, a humble not-IR student.
  5. innis or uc?






just give up now

Hi, I have a simple question. How to survive winters in Toronto? Any tips?


hey there,

here’s a tip: abandon all your pride. just do it. because if you don’t, you’ll convince yourself that there’s a chance that you can get through the winter in little boots and cute, tiny jackets. you’ll believe you can get through the winter alive and still look cute as heck.

well, i tell you what’s gonna happen if you choose to believe that: you’ll spend 5 months slipping and sliding around on the ice, cursing the wind that blows right through your jacket and leaking water from your nose that freezes on impact with the air. at that point, you won’t care that you look cute. you’ll hate yourself for looking cute.

so, in the name of your own sanity, just accept that you’re going to spend the better part of the school year looking like a fleecy manatee. buy warm, columbia jackets. buy real boots. buy a hat that fully covers your ears – cute little beanies that hang off the back of your head ain’t gonna cut it. buy real mits and a thick scarf.

if you’re going to be commuting to school – or even for the walk between your residence building to class – you should have a playlist on your phone/music player of songs you actually, currently like. otherwise, you’ll drive yourself insane taking off your gloves every three minutes to skip to the next song you can tolerate in your library.

warm tea or coffee can make even the most blizzardy day a little better, especially in the morning. yeah, you might burn your tongue, but you’re a torontonian now. you’re hardcore. some fried taste buds before class won’t shake you.

if you’re gonna be living in residence, buy some portable heaters. notice i made ‘heaters’ plural.

and finally: try and enjoy it! if you’ve never had a winter in Toronto or even Canada, your first one is going to be a little magical, no matter how much you despise the cold (and believe me, i despise the cold). build a snowman with some friends. go skating in nathan phillips square. walk along the harbourfront while it’s snowing. enjoy the christmas lights along bloor street. hold hands with a crush in the name of ‘warmth.’ and try to remember: spring will come back eventually.

i hope that was helpful!




housing. need it. where?

Hi there,

Moving to Toronto soon. Kindly suggest housing search engines. Also, please inform me of any neighbourhoods that I should avoid or consider. Money is an issue, so affordability trumps trendiness.




Hey hey,

I have half a mind to respond in irritatingly short and curt sentences, buuuuuut I don?t quite like those so I?ll refrain from being sassy.

For someone attending U of T, one of the best neighbourhoods would be Kensington Market. A girl I know shared a five-bedroom ‘apartment’ and paid $650 a month, utilities included. Aside from that, you?re in the middle of a lovely area with great food and great places to check out. Another one close to the university is the Annex, which is a little bit north of Kensington. Basically the same in terms of rent and places to go, but my favourite selling factor would be the nearness to BMV and Labyrinth. Living in an apartment either alone or with a roommate will probably cost around $800 or more regardless of the area you choose, so I maintain that Kensington and the Annex are great picks since with all the houses around there, getting a room would be more economical.

And as for search engines, U of T has its own on the Housing website. But if you?re capable of sifting through sketchy ads, give Craigslist a try too.




trinidad in toronto

Hey I’m from Trinidad but Canadian as well. Is there a huge Caribbean population at UofT?


Hey there!

Centered in Toronto, an extremely multicultural and diverse city, U of T is an extremely multicultural and diverse community.

While there aren’t any numbers per se about the Caribbean population at the university, I can definitely tell you that we offer a Caribbean Studies program through New College and that there is a Caribbean Studies Students Union and a club called Caribbean Connections. The Caribbean Studies website also has a set of links about groups in the community that you can check out.

In a city like Toronto, you’re bound to find a sizeable community of Caribbean people somewhere, so do come check us out!




what happens when a man in a kilt walks over a wind grate?

Do you know how many students have Scottish heritage in Toronto? If not, how is the best way to find out?




Dale man,

Are you trying to get me to do your research for an assignment?
Aska will not allow their intelligence to be manipulated. Who do you think we are Jstor?

ya … ok … I have no clue



the CN tower. It’s… uh… tall… and… definitely not boring, nope.

Hello aska,

I’ve been worrying about colleges for a while now. The University of Toronto is my first choice. I really want to go there. It’s a dream for me. But I’m worried that I might not be accepted. My GPA is a 3.3 or 88.04. After this semester, it may go up, though. I’m working hard on that. I scored a 27 on my ACT and I did two SAT Subject tests in Literature and Math Level I. I got a 580 on the Literature test and I’m waiting for my score for the Math Level I exam. I know my SAT II score for Literature is low and I’m trying to see if I can change that. I have also been in the National Honor Society for the past two years and I have been on my school’s newspaper for three years. I am now an editor for the paper. I have volunteered in a hospital during the summers of my sophomore and junior year and I volunteered at my middle school during the summer of my freshman year. I have taken a college course and received credit for it. Now, my questions are:

1) Does the University of Toronto look at SAT II scores as much as they look at everything else?
2) Do they look at the extracurricular activities you have done throughout your high school career?
3) Do I have a good chance at getting in?

If this helps, I am interested in taking psychology. So, I guess that would be the life sciences program.

I also have questions about the University of Toronto in general. They are:’

1) Can I take a double minor?
2) Is the University of Toronto a fast-paced school or no? I want to go to a school that challenges me but I do not want to go to a school that teaches you a topic one day and then that is it.
3) Are the people there generally nice? =)
4) Is Toronto as fun as people say? I heard it’s a fun city and I want to learn but have fun at the same time.

Thank you for your help! =)


First batch of questions:

1) I’m sorry. I don’t know. I just know they do look at SAT II scores.

2) No. The Faculty of Arts and Science does not look extra-curricular activities at al (unless you are applying to commerce). However, you seem to have some spectacular extra-curricular activities. One possible idea is to write a letter to admissions and awards highlighting your non-academic strengths and mail it in with your application. Who knows? It could be the deciding factor in the application.

3) I would say so, especially if you manage to pull up your lit score and get a good score for the math one, but the last time I checked, I’m not an admissions officer. *checks wallet* yup, I’m still broke, so that means I’m still a student. Sorry, I’m not going to be of much help with your first batch of questions – hopefully I can help you more in the second part.

Second batch:

1) Yes, you can definitely take a double minor. You can take up to 3 programs at the UofT, with no more than 2 of them being specialists or majors. That means you could have 1 major and 2 minors, or 1 specialist program with 2 minors.

2) That’s hard to say. I think the pace of each course depends on the material of the course itself. I’ve taken some courses where the profs actually cram as much as they can in one lecture, and I’ve taken courses that just seem to drift along at a leisurely pace. UofT isn’t a pressure-cooker like the pretentious Oxbridge, but ultimately, it will challenge you. The Faculty of Arts and Science here is so flexible that you can really choose courses to be at just the right level of difficulty. For instance, if you feel that taking 5 courses is too easy, go ahead and take a 6th. If you feel that taking 5 courses too hard, add a bird course. If you feel that your psych degree is too easy, go ahead and combine it with another major in, say, cell biology or history or economics or chemistry or equity studies. (Here’s a list of all the programs available at UofT.) Or challenge yourself by joining some extra-curricular activities that require a lot of commitment and involvement.

3) Well, I think so. There are jerks everywhere, but people here are generally nice people. Some people say that the big campus causes people to feel isolated, but you could mitigate this by, say, joining some extra-curricular activities. (I’m getting deja vu. Didn’t I just say this?)

4) Toronto is no Paris, but overall it’s a vibrant city with a decent amount of places to explore (though there are no must-see landmarks if you know what I mean, except for maybe Niagra Falls). Being a city that prides itself on its diversity we also have a lot of good, non-American-style restaurants. I’d advise you to visit Toronto first though, if you don’t live too far.

Hope this helps.


It’s because no one likes you.

Why doesn’t the UC registrar office answer their phone?? HELP ME!!! I’m trying to switch out of St. Mike’s res!!!


Just be happy you have somewhere to live.

In late March I received my acceptance to UofT; however, I did not get into my first choice college (University
College). Instead I got into New College. Today (late May) I attended an open house of sorts, and we toured the residence rooms. To say I am not impressed would be an understatement. I have already accepted UofT (obviously) and have sent in my residence reply form. My first question is, is it still possible at this time to transfer into
College, or am I just going to have to suck it up? Also, I have seen the UC dorms and I like them much better.

My second question: do languages count as a humanities or social science? I want to go into Pharmacy and one of the pre-requisites is that I have at least one humanities or social science course along with the regular sciences.




a wise one, indeed

I want to know if i can make an appointment with you to help me pick a course.I came from India last month. I did B.Sc, M.Sc (Hons.)Zoology, B.ed and M.ed (Masters of education) from Panjab University. I will be thankful to you.


When School Isn’t So Delicious…

I have been doing really bad in school. I still have one mark left to be posted
on ROSI, but I’m sure my CGPA will be below 1.60. I heard that means I will be
put on academic probation. Does that mean I will be kicked out of school this
semester, or would they give me a chance to bring up my marks this semester?



tea time is at four pm, not at two

My name is Habiba Rauf and I am doing my GCE A levels from Pakistan.I want to apply to the university of Toronto. I wanted to ask you a question that can international students join the summer session? If so, then when does it start? and are all the courses available in this session? Kindly reply me asap so that i can proceed with my application.
Thanks. (more…)


a registrar’s office with a rough childhood

askastudent!!! i have a question 4 u. i called my registrar at UC and i wanted to know if i could make an appointment with a registrar to help me pick courses for first year. i am in vic one and i need help! but… i was told to come to the info sessions for first years in july… can’t i book an appointment with a registrar or are the days of nagging my guidance councilor long gone 🙁 mind i add i was on hold for 15 minutes! what are my options???
-thanks a bunch



no more paint by numbers!! design a degree

Does U of T have a “Design Your Own Major” program? if so, where can I get more information?


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