It’s September, and let’s face it, you’re not thinking about school yet. So why not take advantage of the best outdoor campus spots while the weather’s still bearable?

Behind Robarts
A prime spot for people-watching, particularly on windy days when keeping your ‘look’ is all but impossible. Robarts’ food court is easily accessible, which is handy for when your light reading leaves you with an appetite (Robarts books: not suitable). The grounds staff at U of T will thank you for not running through the flowers as you play frisbee or toss a ball around. The abundant parking space here is a bonus, whether your chosen mode of transportation has two wheels or four.

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Willcocks Street
The blocked off section of Willcocks Street is the ultimate outdoor café. You’re not restricted to one restaurant, and there are no waiters to rush you off. There’s plenty of seating, between the tables (equipped with umbrellas), benches, and geological formations. Just off of St. George, this lively go-between is a fun place to chill after or between class. It’s one of the more socially vibrant locations around, though the astroturf is more suited to sports than sitting. The basketball nets are also a draw, but remember to B.Y.O.B(asketball).

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Knox College
Knox College is a sanctuary from the modern world, and you can feel the history in the silent courtyard. Though the windows of the encircling walls look upon the quad, you feel as if you are totally alone. The outdoor hallway that runs through the centre provides shelter from the elements when you’re playing a game of chess or backgammon on the table-boards. On either side of this hallway, there are contrasting lawns; one manicured and the other more natural. Though it’s relatively obscure, it’s surprising that more people do not spend their free time here.

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Philosopher’s Walk
Spacious enough that everyone can ponder, reminisce, meditate, or vegetate without interference. Much like Rome, all pathways seem to lead here, and its amphitheatre is well-suited to spectacle. It lends itself to all forms of relaxation, whether you want to read, nap, study, or people-watch. Its contemplative and calm ambience puts you in a quasi-meditative state, providing you with some much-needed tranquility. The name says it all.

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Battle of the quads

Beside hustly-bustly Hoskin Street, Massey’s quad is the secret garden of the St. George campus. Serene and solitary, it’s a place to stop and philosophize — make sure to ask (or sneak past) the porter.

Stepping into Trinity’s quad takes you back to a time of sophistication and prosperity. If the insularity of it all doesn’t send you running for Philosopher’s Walk, you’ll feel quite at home.

St. Mike’s
Think back to your childhood adventures. It may not be the showiest of spaces, but the residences backing on to the St. Mike’s quad give it that same yard-like feel.

Literally and figuratively, the quad is the hub of Vic. Along with (arguably) the best waterfall on campus, Vic’s quad is populated by students from across campus, reading, socializing, and playing guitar. Also, frisbee.

Conveniently located at the centre of our teeming campus, UC’s quad is a veritable campus Shangri-La. Private and sublime, it’s the ideal place to talk quietly with friends.