Hard copies of campus maps are available at most of the campus libraries and at the University of Toronto bookstore. Maps are also accessible online.
Commuting Between Campuses
If you have TAship, you may be required to commute to the university’s campuses in Scarborough or Mississauga. Although it will cost you, you will be reimbursed towards the end of your TA contract.
Because there is no direct commuter bus from downtown to Scarborough, getting to UTSC can be quite a trek, so give yourself plenty of time! Begin by taking the TTC’s Bloor subway line east to Kennedy Station. From there, the 116E Morningside bus will take you directly to the UTSC campus in peak periods only. Outside of peak periods, you will find it quickest to catch the RT from Kennedy Station, disembarking at Scarborough Town Centre and, from there, catching the 38 Highland Creek bus.
Luckily, there is a university-subsidized express bus between the St. George and UTM campuses. You can always purchase tickets for $6.00 (each way) from the porter’s desk in Hart House or, at UTM at the Student Centre’s Information Desk, but as a TA at UTM you can pick up free shuttle tickets in advance of your journey from Cecilia Martino (St. George campus) or the Assistant to the Chair (UTM). Picking up these advance tickets will spare you fronting any money for your journey. However you board, you must carry your T-Card with you. From downtown, you can catch the bus at the Hart House Circle; the bus stops at UTM at the bus shelter by the main entrance of the Kaneff Centre, and at the front/North entrance of the North Building. For more information: http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/5551.0.html
The bus schedule between St. George and Mississauga: http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/index.php?id=1657
On Foot, on Bicycle, or by Public Transit
Like much of downtown Toronto, most streets in and around campus follow a grid pattern. Memorizing the major East-West and North-South streets will help you orient yourself and give you the confidence to explore. And remember, when on campus, the CN Tower is always South!
Bikechain is a levy-funded non-profit group promoting bicycle use within the U of T community. They offer a free repair facility and host bicycle-related seminars and events. They also operate a free bike-lending program. They are open from noon to 5:00 pm, Monday through to Friday, and are located in the basement of the International Students Centre, 33 St. George street, just north of College street.
The city has put bike lanes on some streets to help make getting around by bicycle easier and safer. However, it is sadly necessary to warn you that not all motorists respect bike lanes, or are mindful of bicyclists. If you’re nervous about bicycling in the big city, plan your route in advance and consider substitutions. For example, when heading west from campus, it is almost always better to bike along Harbord as opposed to the more hectic Bloor or College. Toronto’s grid pattern of streets comes in handy. The city of Toronto provides a map of bike paths and lanes.
Another great map resource is iBikeTO: their map covers the entire city and provides options to show bike lanes, off-road paths, signed routes, suggested routes, and unofficial routes.
Google Maps also provides a laneways and shortcuts map of downtown Toronto: simply Google “Toronto laneways and shortcuts.”
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC): The Toronto Transit Commission, or TTC, operates the vast public transit network that spans the Greater Toronto Area. The TTC is made up of subway cars, streetcars, and buses. To transfer from one form of transit to another, a transit slip is required (unless you have a pass), except in certain subway stations where users can change transit within the station itself (these stations are marked with a “T” on subway maps). Luckily, the English Department is right across the street from St. George Station, which is one of the TTC’s subway hubs.
Full adult fare for one TTC ride is currently $3.00. Tokens can be bought in bulk and offer a modest savings. Day, weekly, and monthly passes can also be purchased, allowing unlimited use during that day, week, or month. On the first two and last three business days of each month, student “metro passes,” (discounted to $107.00 from the standard $121.00) are available from the SAC office, located in the middle of Hart House Circle.
Great news! The U of T student unions have finally convinced the TTC to extend their “student” price to post-secondary students! This means that starting September 2010, all post-secondary students will be able to purchase the student Metropass (currently $99.00) directly from the TTC. Check for updates at the UTSU website: http://www.utsu.ca/
The TTC provides public transit to both city airports. Pearson, the international airport, can be accessed by taking the Bloor subway line to its Western terminus at Kipling station, and then transferring onto the Pearson Express bus. Toronto Island airport, the home of Porter airlines, can be accessed by taking Bathurst streetcar to Lakeshore boulevard; Porter offers a free ferry service to the airport from its building just South of the Lakeshore and Bathurst intersection.
Go Transit: This is Ontario’s only interregional transportation service; the Go buses and trains travel within and beyond the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Go Transit is often the only way to access some of the GTA’s satellite communities short of using a car.
Greyhound: This bus service can take you just about anywhere you need to go in North America.
Mega Bus: For international travelers, this bus provides very inexpensive transportation to various stops in the United States, including direct service to the Buffalo airport (a much cheaper airport than Pearson).
Via Rail: The Via Rail is a cross-Canada railway system, with some excellent student discounts (must purchase an ISIC card to obtain student-oriented discounts).
An car is expensive and thanks to the compactness of Toronto’s downtown core and the TTC, most students do not need one. However, if you do have a car you should familiarize yourself with parking around St. George campus. If you need a car for just an hour or two now and then, you might want to consider companies like Autoshare or Zipcar which offer car-sharing services. Zipcar has a special rate for U of T students.