For students on campus, there are two go to spots to set up laptops, notebooks and take aesthetic photos with your heart or leaf-stenciled lattes: Balzacs on Gould Street and Starbucks at Church and Gerrard. Yet because we’re in downtown Toronto and almost everyone on campus has an aesthetic theme to their Instagram, it is impossible to find a place to sit in either of these places. Plus, with the construction happening on Gould Street, Balzacs’ wide windows offer a depressing view that may or may not enable blank staring out the windows and move you to question your decision to choose Ryerson in the first place.
And so, without any obvious options to stave off an intense caffeine addiction and study at the same time, here is a list of cafes around campus for each day of the week.
It was sunny this morning and it did not smell as bad as it normally does on your morning commute. You might even call yourself optimistic. You remind yourself that you are in the midst of the best years of your life, and you are ready to take on the week as a university student getting sh*t done!
Then you turn onto Gould street, the main vein of campus and it hits—the sound of machinery and construction, the pungent smell of too much garbage in too small of a space. Suddenly you do not want to be a student anymore, and run to seek refuge in Oakham Cafe. It is just passed the construction on Gould and it has that student-esque environment that we sometimes lack on campus. My favourite thing to get there is the hot chocolate made with soy milk. It keeps the whimsical feeling of being a university student alive for the 30 minutes that you can sit there with out feeling guilty for taking up a spot.
I don’t know about anyone else, but Tuesdays are my least favourite day of the week. That small sliver of hope that you saw on Monday has fizzled out and Friday seems very far away. There is one place for me close to campus that is very sacred: Page One. A three minute walk from the RCC where most of my classes are, it’s a hidden gem where you are guaranteed to always find a seat. Plus, whenever I’m there, a woman, without fail, always brings in her French bulldog (it also helps that there’s a 10 per cent student discount with your student card every day)
Their aesthetic mugs don’t have handles so you can wrap your cold dead hands around it and feel hope. Some of my other favourite things about Page One is that the decor is based around books, which I find comforting and unique. And an added bonus: they serve alcohol for those really rough Tuesdays.
This café is a bit of a trek but I am including it because it is close to my house and on Wednesdays, I like to stay home (Mom, I know you are reading this, that is completely untrue, I try very hard in school). About a 15 minute walk from campus, Rooster coffee is rarely busy and has a loft on which you can seclude yourself from the world, while simultaneously watching over it. The espresso is equal parts strong and long-lasting: I met my dad there once at 8 am and the latte was so strong, it got me through the whole day. An added bonus: it is very close to the Rogers Communications company so you might be able to stalk that editor who won’t return your emails.
On Thursdays I feel particularly jaded. Nothing good has happened in the news, the dishes I was supposed to do on Tuesday are starting to smell bad, and despite my café hoping, I haven’t been particularly productive. If you’re anything like me on a Thursday, you need a feel good place, and Good Earth Coffeehouse is it. It’s philosophy is rooted in ethical sourcing, the food is great and the wide windows flood the place in natural light.
It’s finally Friday, you made it. You deserve to treat yourself. It’s time for more dessert than coffee but you can still ebb that caffeine addiction‑ It’s time for bubble tea my friends. Blackball is just two blocks North of campus, once again popping that campus bubble but being close enough to avoid a sweat. They have a huge menu of sweet treats and comfort food, and I’m not sure if this is important to anyone else, but offer a magnificent textured boba. Plus this place is a couple steps from my best friend’s house, so if I am feeling beaten down, I can just hop up to her apartment and hide underneath the blankets on her couch/bed and hide there, while she does her homework (yes, not at a café).