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Across Canada, the universities nestled in each of our cities are hubs for innovation, creativity, and social interaction. Here in Toronto, Ryerson University is a case in point.
The university campus has much to offer students and oftentimes locals, too, including quirky cafes and beautiful spots primed for relaxation and focus. Now, as students prepare for their return to campus this fall, we wanted to learn about their favourite spots in and around Ryerson — so we asked them.
Here are five of the best locations as recommended by Ryerson students in Toronto and why each spot brings them joy.
Mos Mos Coffee
In 2014, Mos Mos Coffee was born in Toronto and began offering a new generation coffee experience. The coffee purveyor’s view is simple, and as its website reads, “Coffee may be common, but it should never be ordinary.”
Katryna Klepacki, a student at the Ted Rogers School of Management completing her first year of the MBA program, describes Mos Mos coffee as being “tucked away on Bay Street but still near campus,” serving up the “best variety of specialty coffee,” with a menu offering everything from cold brew and americanos to tiramisu lattes and teas.
“The bakery section always has a good selection of cookies,” says Klepacki, who consulted her classmates when pondering her roundup of top locations for this article.
JOEY Eaton Centre
The first-ever JOEY restaurant opened its doors in Calgary in 1992. Fast-forward to 2021, and there are 27 JOEY locations across North America — each with its own unique ambiance while sharing one element in common: great-tasting food and beverages.
“It’s right beside the Ted Rogers Business School building, so very convenient,” Klepacki says of the JOEY Eaton Centre restaurant. “Pre-pandemic, this was a go-to meeting spot for TRSM [Ted Rogers School of Management] students after class.”
Aarjav Samir Vakharia, an MBA student in his second year of study at the Ted Rogers School of Management, agrees. “Although the campus is shut, for now, we MBA students had a standing reservation with JOEY’s, right outside the campus building, every Wednesday,” he says. “Our cohort would generally go there after our evening classes ended.”
The Halal Guys
Back in 1990, The Halal Guys’ story began with its three Egyptian founders operating a hot dog cart in New York City. After this, the trio pivoted to offer authentic halal food, which paved the way for the creation of their beloved falafel sandwiches, chicken, and gyro over rice — not to mention their house-made sauces.
What started as the first halal food cart in New York City is now one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in North America. And in Toronto, The Halal Guys’ eatery is situated on Yonge Street — just over a 10-minute walk from the Ryerson campus.
Klepacki tells us this is her “favourite takeout after a study session on campus,” with the “best value meal for students (around $10 for a full meal!).”
Balzac’s Coffee Roasters was founded in 1996, with the goal of bringing the enchantment of Parisian grand cafes to Canada. Today, the Canadian roaster has 14 cafes across Ontario, each designed to echo the cultural nuances of its surrounding area — including its Ryerson location (essential for busy student life).
Klepacki says the Balzac’s at Ryerson Image Arts by the quad is known for its “great coffee and baked goods.” She continues, “The outdoor patio is a great spot to meet up with classmates before and after classes.” Ordering a bite to eat and a coffee to go is made easy here using contactless Interac Debit.
The university quad
The university quad at Ryerson is one of the key spaces where students, staff, and faculty can recharge on campus. This expansive outdoor green space is a popular spot for students to enjoy activities “from playing sports to having a picnic,” says Vakharia.
“Although it’s a part of the campus, it is open to the public, and so it is a perfect spot to enjoy your coffee bought from Balzac’s, which is right opposite the quad gate,” he adds.
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