Also a university in Toronto. Originally an offshoot of the University of Toronto that went its own way.

It is located in the wilds of very north Toronto, with the geese. There is a partial network of tunnels connecting some of the buildings. In the winter, they are not enough to allow comfortable travel from all the residences to all the academic buildings.

I had a sister who was on the faculty. She told me that in the winter, all the undergrades could do was ride the elevators up and down in the residences--and that hallucinogenic drugs were common among them.

I tried to get there for a workshop with Peak Theatre, a poor theatre troupe. Despite my best efforts, the transit I took up from downtown Toronto--the TTC--about an hour's trip, got me there seconds after the door was closed.

I'm glad I went to the University of Toronto!

My home and place of study, for the next four years or so.

The campus is great, in a shit way. It's undeniably ugly, no matter what the weather, but looks wonderful at night, when the moon and the building lights reflect off the vast lake. Another joy is being surrounded by ducks. It may just be me, but I can't help being cheered up by watching nature's most absurd creations going about their day, especially when they try to land on the lake. The geese, however, are evil bastard predators who hunt in packs. Although watching them attack short-wearing joggers does make me smile, I'll admit.

The lake is the campus' saving grace, there's no denying it. Not only does it make the place bearable and provide a home for the ducks, but it prevented the entire place sinking in this year's flooding. All rain on campus flows to the lake, which then dumps it's load in the Derwent river. Which then floods the nearby town of Selby, but hey, at least we students are dry. We're the future, you know.

The campus is pleasingly politically apathetic, although religious groups seem to be quite active. The various student cinema options are superb, although the Student Union Ents nights feel like they're trying too hard to kick off York's reputation as a relatively sedate campus (it is, and that's why I like it). My only real complaint with the place is the fact that it's got no venue; gigs in the Central Hall were banned after the place was trashed by Bob Geldof's Boomtown Rats. Thanks a bunch, Bob.

Oh, and with regards to the computer labs, there's now three of them, and they run a NT4/W2K/Slack7 triple boot. Most CompSci assignments done using Linux proggies, and the whole place doesn't feel too corporate, although Nortel Networks have plastered all the machines in these labs with stickers and branded mousemats, lest we forget their donation.

Just to clarify ... there is University of York (the one in York, England with ducks and bad sixties architecture - apparently), and York University (in Toronto, Canada with geese and sharing a curse of some bad sixties architecture). This is about the latter. York University was founded in Toronto in 1959 and has grown to become the third largest University in Canada. When it moved to its current campus in 1965 it was on the fringes of what was then North York (now part of Toronto) and in the middle of a farmers field. I went to York in the early 80s and no one I don't think for then or before remembers the campus with much affection (that sixties architecture with buildings connected by wind tunnels). Today (2001) the campus is much transformed with some splendid buildings and located smack in the middle of the greater Toronto area as urban life (for better or worse) has sprawled around us.
http://www.yorku.ca

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