• colleges,  prospective student,  university-college

    commuter’s guide to colleges

    sorry if you’ve been asked this before, but I just got accepted to University College (Humanities) does the college mean anything if you’re a commuter? like how does it work? can I still use services like libraries at other colleges? does the college actually mean anything i’m kinda confused?

    hi, hello and welcome!

    ah yes, the age-old question of “i’m a commuter and does college actually mean anything”… (and also on that note, does anything even actually mean anything? but i digress.)

    as a commuter, your college doesn’t really matter as much but it does come in handy for some admin stuff, student life, and pretending you’re in a hogwarts house.

    it’s not really a restrictive thing, but more like a way for uoft to somewhat organize the absolute barrage of artsci kids here, imo. you’ll get access to pretty much all the other college libraries and buildings on campus, except for some dining halls which have been restricted to their own college’s student during covid. fun fact, uc also has their own commuter student centre with a kitchenette and lounge. i’m not sure how much people actually use these student centres, but i did drop by once for an event and there were free donuts, so that’s one positive review.

    your college registrar is also pretty imporant (the uc one is here!). they would be your go-to for admin things like academic and financial advising, getting transcripts, paperwork, stuff like that. other nice college perks include writing centres, mentorship opportunities, and some scholarships and awards (uc has a bunch of annual writing awards which are pretty cool). uc is also one of the colleges which offers independent research courses for their students, if that’s something you’re into.

    there are also lots of college-based clubs and events. most are open to all students, except for frosh, which is organized by college and also basically the loudest, most obnoxious poster child for “college things”. but honestly, if you’re not staying on res it’s really up to you how much you’d like to get involved with your college. you can parade around campus bleeding uc red and chanting to your heart’s content, and you’re also free to just… not (i mean, there’s nothing stopping you from literally just leaving). or, more likely, it’ll be something in between, and you’ll get to know your college in a way that works for you πŸ™‚

    hope that helps,


  • housing,  residence,  university-college


    Note from aska: *WARNING* if you aren’t caught up to game of thrones, you might not want to read this because it contains spoilers as well as several, and i mean several references to the show

    Hi, so I missed the deadline and thus now I don’t have a residence guarantee ( university college ). Β I’m on the wait list. I wanted to ask what are the chances of me now getting a residence ? High or low ? Because I’m an international student so its really important for me to stay on campus. The residence people said they start sending out offers of residence to people on the waitlist by late June or early July. So should I start looking for off campus residences ? Or there are chances of me getting a residence ??!

    My situation right now is literally like HODOR holding the door while the white walkers tried attacking him. I’m freaking out. I didn’t know about the deadline. I thought June 1st was the deadline to submit the application.

    Looking forward to a prompt response

    Thank youuu


    i really wanted to answer this question with: hodor.

    but it makes me want to cry and being employed is great.

    once you miss out on that sweet sweet first year residence guarantee it’s kind of hard to say whether or not you’ll have a place to live.Β i wish i was jojen reed so i could have a vision and tell you β€œyes, you will get into res”,


    (btw if you haven’t seen this video, you should)

    but alas, like our lord commander jon snow himself, we know nothing.


    waitlists are super fickle and tricky to predict. if you’re on the waitlist, UC residence services might try to set you up with an alternative option or redirect you to the appropriate resources. give them a call, they might be able to give you more info about your situation!

    i would recommend you look through some other housing resources just to be safe. https://offcampushousing.utoronto.ca/ is great for housing for students. you can make your search very specific.

    these two websites are also popular when looking for apartments in toronto:



    for future reference: make sure to always always always always write all deadlines on your calendar and read everything very carefully. the university isn’t exactly lenient on missed deadlines for most things.

    i’m sorry you’re in this situation and i wish i could do more than entertain you with GoT references but i really hope everything works out!

    also, i love that subtle β€œlooking forward to a prompt response”…Β ya well if by prompt response you meant several days, don’t worry, i got you

    (we’ve been going through some changes here at aska, bear with us, we’re trying our best here)

    the lannisters send their regards, (last one, i swear)


  • residence,  university-college

    participation points

    Hey, I’m dorming at UC in Sir Daniels Residence. What’s all this about house points? I have to be a social butterfly to be able to dorm next year?

    Seems a little disproportionately skewed towards high energy extroverts, which I certainly am not, but I’m from out of province and need Res.

    I was put in ‘Hutton House’, what does that mean? Am I a Slytherin or a Hufflepuff in this scenario? What’s the point and significance of this division?

    Thanks for answering.


    hey there,

    i’ve never lived at res in UC, so I can’t speak personally to the experience of living there. i can’t guarantee that you’re going to enjoy it, or that the ‘House Points’ system they have works.

    however, i have been heavily involved in res life at UofT (i’m gonna withhold the specific college because you’re all NOSY BUGGERS), and what i can say is that it’s not just for extroverts.

    as an introvert myself, i hate “participation” events. i picked a job that allows me to write anonymously on the internet and never interact with people directly, which says something about me.

    every True Colours, MBTI, astrology or augury test i’ve ever taken has told me i’m the most introverted introvert to ever exist.

    thing is, res life folks are aware that introverts exist. a lot of us are introverts. we want to create events that everyone will enjoy.

    from what I can see, UC’s house points system provides you with a wide range of opportunities to get involved. not all of them require you to talk to lots of people and be very high-energy. for example, attending house meetings?pretty much just requires you to show up and listen quietly.

    working or volunteering on campus, writing for the Gargoyle, being a crewmember with the UC Follies, participating in dragonboat – these are all things that don’t fit the traditional image of residence life participation. also, not all your floor events will be very high energy. sometimes it’s just a board games night on a weekday evening, or your don will bake cookies and invite people over. not hard to say yes to.

    also, getting involved with school generally makes you feel more invested in school, which in turn makes you more invested in schoolwork, which will get you the grades that will make the $15 000 you forked out for tuition and residence fees at least partially worth it.

    as for the significance of being in Hutton House versus other houses – i don’t really know the culture of that floor, and neither will you, until you join it. however, it’s not going to be drastically different from other floors on Sir Dan, or even from the rest of the UC residences at large. you probably weren’t placed there for any monumentally significant reason.

    i doubt any house will be so different from another as to warrant a Slytherin/Hufflepuff distinction. it’s just a way of dividing people up into small communities; more like different rooms within a Gryffindor dormitory than different corners of the castle.

    small floors make it easier to run events and make friends. also, every floor/house will have one or two dons assigned to it. these are upper-year students who are responsible for taking care of their specific floor/house. it’s a pretty good system.

    so that’s my pitch for being involved in res. at the end of the day, if you absolutely HATE everything the college has to offer in terms of residence and student life, then you won’t get involved, you probably won’t be readmitted to res, and you would be free to look for off-campus housing, which wouldn’t require you to participate in anything but rent payments.

    best of luck, and i really hope you enjoy UC!



    P.S. best drop the habit of saying ‘dorm’ now. say ‘residence’ instead. you’ll thank me, trust.

  • residence,  university-college

    the party is E V E R Y W H E R E

    What’s UC like? Is it a social college? Party much?


    UC, Party college? Is it very social? Whitney vs. Sir Dans if I plan on rooming with my friend?


    hey there,

    you know what, this is probably a sign that i am getting OLD AND GRUMPY, but i honestly have no more patience for this ‘party college’ nonsense. one year it’s st. mike’s, the next it’s UC. d’you want to hear a story? i was at the hospital the other night (don’t worry, aska’s fine – i just have an alternate life which requires me to go to the hospital a lot) and a guy came in who was a UofT engineering student. he was drunk as a fish and had just been badly bruised in a bar fight.*

    now, i’ve never heard of engineering as being a ‘party faculty.’ in fact, it kinda has a reputation as one of the most brutal programs at this school – and rightly so. yet that guy still somehow found the time to go to a bar, and unfortunately spent his night at a hospital.

    my point is: if you like to party, you will find a way to party. if you don’t, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to avoid it. it’s as simple as that.

    even if there ARE colleges that are more party-oriented than others (colleges where, say, the student union hosts club nights), you can avoid that scene if you want to. and if you go to a studious college but you’re a partier at heart, you’ll find a way to do it.

    which is good news! it means that there’s no need to worry about whether a college is or is not a ‘party college.’ the fact of the matter is, most 20-year-olds like to have a good time. you’re not going to get enrolled in a monastery by accident.benedictine monk

    Example of where you won’t end up

    now that that’s out of the way and i have been officially outed as an OLD GRUMP, let’s get on with residence talk.

    as for whitney vs. sir dan’s, the latter is primarily single rooms, so whitney hall might be the better bet if you want to room with your friend. however, both buildings are right next to each other and pretty similar in terms of layout and services.

    i’d also recommend you go on a tour of the residence if you can, since people usually find that super helpful.

    best of luck with it all, and hope to see you around in the fall!


    * he was ok in the end, don’t worry.

  • colleges,  st. mike's,  university-college

    gimme one chance, gimme one night, to be your college

    Hi there, I m a student frm malaysia admitted for faculty of life sciences in sept2014 intake at U of T. FYI, I had applied UC as my first choice for the college ranking in St George campus, yet I was given st mikes….is there any possible way for me to switch my college now? Or I had to wait till the 2nd yr? Thx.


    hey there,

    from malaysia?? that’s cool! well, i hope you like toronto. it’s probably a lot more frigid than you’re used to, so hopefully the academics will be worth the frostnip.

    i spoke with UC and – lucky you – they are currently accepting applications to transfer. i say ‘applications,’ but really, you just have to send an e-mail to the registrar’s office explaining why you want to transfer, and they’ll let you know their decision. keep in mind that all colleges provide the same basic services (scholarships, academic advising, etc.), so make sure to explain what specifically at UC you don’t want to miss out on.

    that said, if there’s nothing unique to UC that you were really hoping to take advantage of, i think it’s best to give st. mike’s a try. i’m willing to bet that when you’re here, choosing a program, keeping up with your studies, and trying to obtain all the f#%&! cards you need to use the horrendous public transit in the city will be much bigger concerns. you may find your college will magically transfigure from a nagging worry to a welcome helping hand.

    if you give it a year and still find that your student life is gravitating towards UC activities, then you can consider transferring again, but for now, if it were me, i would just hold on and see what happens. st. mike’s may surprise you.

    a warm and sunny (finally) welcome to toronto,


  • residence,  university-college

    i’m just a broken record

    Hello ! I was wondering whether you could tell me some information about which residence is better: Morrison, Sir Dans, or Whitney at UC, UofT?


    hey there,

    i’m at a bit of a disadvantage here because i’ve never lived at any of these residences, so i can’t give you any SECRET, INSIDE INFORMATION about, like, which building has leaky pipes, or which one has the comfiest couches. they do look pretty from the outside, though i hope the plumbing isn’t as old as the stonework.

    what i would urge you to do is go on a residence tour if at all possible. if you have the time, tour each building you’re considering. honestly, i can’t stress enough how helpful it is to see the place for yourself. i know this sounds hokey and new-agey, but i really think that you just get a vibe from certain places. once you’ve visited a residence, you’ll be a lot more confident in making a decision about it.

    other than that, it really depends on what you want out of rez. all of the buildings are mostly single rooms, Whitney and Sir Dan have one quiet floor each, Morrison has a dining hall while Sir Dan is farthest away (200m) from that dining hall, Morrison is the only one with A/C…you can compare and contrast more here.

    in terms of logistics, the residences are pretty similar to one another: they’re single-occupant, dorm-style rooms that all use the same dining hall. they’re also all in the same area of campus. that’s why it’s kind of hard to choose between them based on just what the university tells you online or in pamphlets.

    which brings us back full circle: go on a rez tour.



  • colleges,  university-college,  victoria

    hello darkness, my old friend


    I got in to UTSG’s physical and mathematical sciences program along with Victoria College, but I’m not so sure about whether I want to stay at Vic or switch to UC. according to this —, uc is more diverse than Vic, and its residence is definitely newer. So my questions are:

    1. Does choosing a college really matter if I commute? What changes if I don’t commute?
    2. If I live in residence, which one is better? (so for example food, rooms, people, parties, environment etc)
    3. Is it still possible to switch colleges after being accepted?



    hey there,

    ahh, the college question. i’d almost forgotten about it by this point. almost. until you brought it up again.

    not to fear though, my friend, you have levelled up from the most vile college question – “wot college is da best 1” – to a tolerable college question! are you proud? you should be proud.

    ok, so if you tried to link to something in those three dash marks after “according to this,” i didn’t get the link, so…i’m just gonna ignore it. onto the questions!

    1. choosing a college does matter if you commute! apart from those abstract notions of college pride, there are a few concrete ways i’d say college choice matters for the commuter. first, the size of the college’s student base determines how busy the registrar’s office will be. do you want to avoid waiting eons for an appointment at the registrar’s office? then maybe pick a small college. on the other hand, colleges with larger student bases may have more resources.

    second, if you think you’ll ever be interested in applying for scholarships, it’s worth it to take a look at the different scholarships each college offers.

    third, different colleges have subtle differences in the kinds of extra- and co-curricular programs they offer, so maybe do some digging and see if any offer things you especially like.

    if you DON’T commute, then you have to factor in what you want out of residence into your college decision. that includes whether or not you prefer co-ed buildings/floors/rooms, whether you want a suite-style or dormitory-style room, the location of the college’s different residences, and the price. nothing else changes, practically or formally speaking. you just live on campus.

    2. i haven’t lived in residence at vic or uc, so i can’t say for sure. what i’d recommend is that you take a residence tour and make decisions based on your own impressions. only you know what you want!

    3. it is possible, but it’s difficult. usually you need a pretty good reason to switch colleges, and it involves a bit of hassle, what with going to your college registrar and having to talk with them about it and stuff. you can read what vic (the only college that even mentions the possibility of switching, to my knowledge) has to say about it here. tbh, i doubt there’ll be reason to make a switch. you’ll see once you come here that you’ll have more important things to focus on than college affiliation, and that colleges don’t figure as much into your student life as you might think.

    i hope you have a grand-slamming end of high school, and that you enjoy first year!



  • admissions,  colleges,  international students,  university-college,  victoria

    the british-patterned education system hurts my head.

    HI, I recently applied to UofT for Maths/physics specialist degree. I just have a few questions…I did my A-levels in maths, physics and chemistry and achieved A, B and C respectively. Since my school did not offer Further Mathematics, I retook the last year and finished Further maths A-level (B) and retook some physics modules as well. So basically I completed my A-level in 3 years…sigh..but thats not all…i am on my gap year now and have applied for September 2014 intake.. soo long story short:1. Are my grade enough for the Maths/physics degree? A,B,B,C2. will the retake and the gap year affect my chances greatly? 3. How should i send my documents to the uni? i emailed them about it but didnt get the answer i was looking for. Should i just photocopy my originals and enclose a letter from my head teacher for the validity of my certificates?Thank you soo much πŸ™‚ Also please refer me to the colleges posts…i have chosen Vic and University college…any views? Social scene, people, late night parties πŸ˜› but above all the FOOD πŸ™‚


    hey there,

    i hope you international folk know that when you babble on about sixth form and A-levels and GCSEs and whatnot, most of us north americans have no idea what you’re talking about. fortunately i consider myself kind of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to international education systems, so i’ll give this my best shot (and fail completely probably lol but i do my best).

    for the program you’re considering, the cutoffs haven’t been published anywhere. the admissions site for uoft says you need three different a-levels. it doesn’t specifically cite any marks, but generally, A’s and B’s are what’s deemed acceptable from the british-patterned system. however, international students are really looked at on a case-by-case basis, so i’d say you should still go right ahead and apply. i’d also advise you to mail a letter to enrolment services explaining about the C, if there’s any particular reason or extenuating circumstance behind it. there should be an opportunity to do that when you apply.

    speaking of applying (the MOST fun and exciting process -.-) you should follow the ouac 105f form in order to apply. it’ll get all your personal information and academic history and will probably prompt you to send your transcript physically to the university. as for whether you need a letter from your head teacher or any additional documentation, just keep e-mailing enrolment services until they give you an answer – only they know what specific documents they need.

    the gap year shouldn’t impact the admission decision at all.

    finally – the age-old college question rears its ugly head once more! you should know that if you’re choosing between vic and uc, vic will only consider you if you rank it first, whereas uc doesn’t care, so i’d recommend ranking vic as number one and uc number two. as for my views, they’re both lovely places. i have a class in uc this semester and i never fail to be amazed at how old and grandiose (and friCKIN HUGE) it is. if you don’t mind walking a lot and occasionally getting lost for a million years, uc’s great (think hogwarts’ shifting staircases).

    on the other hand, vic has some pretty old, fancy buildings too. it has a really modern library, which is cool. if you really want to know about the colleges’ personalities, i would recommend reading their student papers – here’s university college’s and here’s vic’s.

    as to parties and food, all colleges have that. you can’t put this many twenty-somethings in one place without those things, or they’d wither and die. seriously.

    finally, here are some useful tags for stalking: college, uc, vic

    best of luck,


  • admissions,  residence,  trinity college,  university-college

    uoft is not for the weak-hearted

    Just finished 10th grade. Already excited about University. Anyways, I’ve?read the differences between the College’s there and residence. So far I’m?stuck between College University and Trinity College. I’ve read the differences between them but still can’t decide. Any recommendations? What would you say is better and why? And also what residency is also pretty good? I’ve heard good things about Woodsworth? Any recommendations? And is UoT as hard as people say it is? People say they spend all day – all week studying, is that really that difficult?


    Hey hey you eager beaver!

    So I’m going to divide these questions up because I’m too lazy to write in paragraphs. Enjoy:

    Q. University College or Trinity?
    A. UC all the way.

    Q. For why?
    A. Well to begin, Trinity needs me to complete a profile… a.k.a. more than any other college (aside from Vic). But for you, UC and Trin can be easy to choose between. UC is big where Trin is small. UC isn’t that hard to get into, whereas Trin is more… picky. Yada yada yada.

    Q. Best res?
    A. CHESTNUT! Granted, that one is for the people who aren’t afraid of a little walking and who have a lot more money than others.

    Q. Good things about Woodsworth?
    A. They have a Second Cup and a lovely hall thingie to study in.

    Q. Is UofT as hard as people say it is?
    A. No. UofT isn’t hard, but it does require hard work. The people who say UofT is difficult are the ones that expect university to be a lovely walk in the park.

    Q. All week studying?
    A. Well… the idea of spending all week engrossed in academics when you’re a full-time student shouldn’t be too unbelievable. If you consider that your full-time job at the moment is to get through university, it just… makes sense. Don’t be lazy!

    Q. But all week studying?!
    A. I know. That’s how we weed out the weak.



  • partying,  university-college

    study hard, party harder~


    I am going into UC next semester and I put Whitney as my first choice and then Morrison. I haven’t heard any bad things about UC in general but I just wanted to know if Whitney was really fun? I’m a hard worker but still want to party hard (stupidly considered UWO for that reason haha). I just wanted to know if I will be getting that type of experience, or will I not be since U of T is a great school academically with so many hard workers.


    Dazed and Confused


    Dazed and Confused,

    See word on the street is that yeaaaaah if you want to have a good time, UC residences are the ones to hit up.

    Of course, even if your res ends up being a total bore, there are tons of bars around campus that you can head over to — assuming, of course, you’re of age or have yourself a fake.

    My personal favourite little dump is Red Room over at College and Spadina, where you can get a fantastic pitcher of sangria for quite cheap and some home fries to munch on at the same time. And then if you go the other way and head north, you’ll eventually hit the Annex where you’ll find even more bars and some places to party. If you head over to King Street, you’ll even get to the clubs.

    But yeah, you’re downtown. You’ll find fun somewhere, if not in your own res.



  • colleges,  residence,  university-college

    and what do you see in uc?


    So I’m looking at university college to apply for residency. Can you or anyone else give me the overall vibe at UC or the pros and cons please?

    Thanks so much!


    Hey hey,

    Unfortunately, personally I can’t really tell you anything about UC other than that I’ve taken a few classes in the building and don’t appreciate being on the dark and quiet third floor until 9PM. Likewise, I don’t really know anyone who lived there so I’ll do my best to give you a good answer.

    Try checking out the Life at UC section of their website to get a feel for the housing or the food plans or chances for getting involved. There’s a student mentorship program that you can partake in, along with a bunch of other student groups like The Gargoyle (UC’s newspaper), the dragonboat team, and even a theatre group. I can’t give you anything definitive in terms of UC’s “vibe,” but I can tell you from doing a little research that they’re definitely student community-oriented and care about fostering a friendly and welcoming environment.



  • university-college

    pst. come here. i have a secret.

    What is one thing about UofT that we don’t know?

    maligned mind


    It’s secretly Hogwarts. Moving staircases, ghosts, the whole shebang.
    One of the peaks of University College fell off during a Voldemort attack.

    Don’t belive? Check it out.

    forever truthful,


  • university-college

    seriously, why ask?

    Hi Aska,

    This has always bothered me – why is the University College building missing the west tower cone?



    Because asymetricality is sexy.

    xoxo, Askastudent