With all the expenses that come with attending university and living in the city, it would be nice to know if there’s a way for a broke, underfed student to finally catch a break. Luckily, with all of the resources at U of T’s disposal, and everything that’s around campus, there’s a lot you can access without having to spend too much dough.
The U of T Media Commons, located on the third floor of Robarts library, has thousands of DVDs you can take out for free using your T-Card. Everything from classic Hitchcock thrillers, to Akira Kurosawa samurai pics, to the latest blockbusters is available for rental. You can even find TV shows like The Wire and Sherlock. Each rental is good for two days, and you can renew each item up to three times. The Cinema Studies Students’ Union also hosts Free Film Fridays once a week at Innis Town Hall, one of our favourite spots on campus. Whether it’s an international art flick or a cult favourite, Free Film Fridays are a good way to entertain yourself without having to spend $13 at a nearby cinema.
U of T’s Sexual Education Centre is an amazing resource that aims to provide you with the most care for your personal sexual health. Whether it’s providing free condoms, other safe sex supplies, or free counselling on such matters ranging from queer issues and safer sex to sexually transmitted infections and understanding consent, SEC’s got you covered. They also have a number of events throughout the year that provide a safe space for you to explore issues and ideas about sex and sexuality.
Nothing is more universally appealing than the prospect of free food. U of T has dozens of events throughout the year where you can snag eats without spending a dime. Keep your eye out for large colorful posters advertising these events throughout campus. The University of Toronto Students’ Union generously provides students with free grub at events like Orientation Week, Homecoming (or Spirit Week) and Winterfest, among others.
Furthermore, your own college may provide you with free meals on your T-Card if you’re a commuter, or your college council might host a few free breakfasts or lunches for you. If you just pay attention (and read The Varsity now and again) you won’t be a starving student for long.
Hart House is a great place to stay fit, but you can also take advantage of the U of T Athletic Centre. Located at the intersection of Harbord and Spadina, it has several gymnasia, an Olympic pool, a 25-yard pool, 10 squash courts, and even a dance studio. Lifting some weights or going for a good swim will not only help you keep the threat of extra pounds at bay, but will also help you de-stress after a long day of studying.
Additionally, the Varsity Blues are constantly competing against other university teams in a wide range of sports. Come out and show your school spirit for an hour or two. Watching the games is completely free for students.
U of T’s many libraries
U of T’s library system is the envy of universities throughout Canada. Over 10 million bound books are continually circulating through more than 30 individual libraries. Make sure to identify the required textbooks on your reading lists as early as possible — chances are you’ll be able to find them at one of U of T’s libraries.
It’s not all academic though. You can also find cool graphic novels by the likes of Alan Moore and Frank Miller, as well as great reads on subjects such as skepticism, the great 50s comic book scare, what it would take to become Batman, what’s wrong with conspiracy theories, and obscure horror novels from the 1920s. If you want it, you can probably find it at one of U of T’s libraries. You should also check out the periodicals room of each library, which gives you free access to magazines and newspaper archives.
Also, while the books aren’t quite free, the website tusbe.com will help you pick up textbooks for significantly less than their listed prices in bookstores. Students across Toronto post up their used textbooks for sale. It’s an easy and cheap way to jump past the line-ups at the U of T Bookstore, especially if you’re looking for readings from a popular course.
Cheap Drink Deals
Tuesdays: $5 doubles
The Duke of York
39 Prince Arthur Ave.
The Duke of York’s five-dollar-doubles adds an extra shot to your drink for no extra cash, which makes it great for a mid-week night out.
Wednesdays: $5 Martinis
440 Bloor St. West
The best word to describe this restaurant is zany; the walls and booths are covered with zebra print. When you combine that with a well-priced and well-made martini, you know it’s going to be a good night.
Thursdays: $3.50 Margaritas
458 Queen St. West
These are possibly the best margaritas in town, and at a great price. Choose from an array of flavours: lime, peach, mango, strawberry, and raspberry.
Always Available: $9.99 Fishbowls
W Burger Bar
10 College St.
See www.drinkowl.com to find other drink deals near you.
Chowing down cheap
Madison Avenue Pub
14 Madison Ave.
Half-price appetizers from 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Share a half-price appetizer any day of the week with friends before you order a round at one of the most popular pubs near campus.$12.99 all-you-can-eat sushi lunch
Saku- ra Sushi
394 Bloor St. West
If you have an hour to kill between classes and are craving a big lunch, then this restaurant is the place for you! Fill yourself with California rolls to your heart’s content.
Korean Grill House
754 Yonge St. and 214 Queen St. West
$9.99 all-you-can-eat dinner, 10:00 pm – close
All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ for ten dollars? It doesn’t get much better than this! Perfect for the student who craves maximum food intake with minimum costs.
Cheap Late-Night Eats
483 Bloor St. West
Open late on Friday and Saturday
Futures boasts delicious, healthy food for less than ten dollars a meal! They also have a decent variety of beers. Shake things up and go for late night dinner and drinks.
490 Bloor St. West
Cheese, gravy, and fries make for the perfect post-party snack.
418 Spadina Ave.
These guys deliver, so if you need a snack in the middle of a late-night study session, they’ll bring reasonably-priced Chinese comfort food to you!
This three-floor restaurant is always open, and each floor has a different style. Reasonably priced food and chill ambiance for those 2 AM mid-party hunger pangs.
80 Front St. East, at Jarvis
Tuesdays $5 movies
While some more commercial theatres have reduced-price Tuesdays, $5 is hard to beat to see the newest releases.
Snakes and Lattes
600 Bloor St. West
Board game bonanza for $5/person
Snakes and Lattes is a coffee shop as well as a place to play board games. Grab some friends and reserve a table (they’re often full) and play Yahtzee all night long! An added bonus is that their menu is reasonably priced, with most items under $10.
529 Bloor St. West
Free dancing with your T-Card
This nightlife grotto (housed above the concert venue Lee’s Palace) is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday, each night boasting a different vibe. 60s Mod, 80s, 90s Brit Pop, Alt. Rock, and Indie all make an appearance, so there’s something that lets everyone get their groove on. There are rumors of Dance Cave’s imminent closure, but the party continues until that becomes a reality.