What’s new on campus: A look at food, study and outdoor spaces at U of T Scarborough

Overhead photo of ARC Quad
From greater food options to new study and outdoor spaces, here are five new things you’ll find on campus this year (photo by Don Campbell)

Walking around the campus this September, you may have noticed a few changes.

While some are huge, like opening our new residence, Harmony Commons, others are more subtle.

From new places to eat to expanded study and outdoor leisure spaces, here are five new things you can find on campus.

Tim Hortons and an updated Marketplace

Booster Juice and Bottega
Booster Juice is in a new location outside of the Marketplace right next to Bottega, a new grab-and-go style café

There have been some major changes to the Marketplace. Bento Sushi moved into a larger, more central spot and there’s a new Osmow’s Shawarma location.

Booster Juice has moved to the HW hallway (just outside the Marketplace) and is joined by Bottega, a grab-and-go-style café that features sandwiches, wraps, bubble tea, fair-trade coffee and more.

Tasty Jollof, a local Scarborough restaurant known for its authentic African cuisine, has opened a pop-up in the foyer of the Kina Wiiya Enadong Building (formerly known as the MW Building).

“We wanted to expand the diversity and selection of food available to students on campus,” says Fran Wdowczyk, director of business development at U of T Scarborough. “These new food options are very exciting and designed to serve our students better.”  

Meanwhile, the main Tim Hortons located in the Bladen Wing (BV) foyer is being renovated, but you can still get your popular coffee and donut fix at a pop-up location in Highland Hall. The pop-up will remain open until renovations, which include self-order kiosks and equipment upgrades, finish in early October 2023.

More places to read and study in the library

Library lounge

The library, which is in the midst of a major renovation, has added more places to sit, relax and study.

A new lounge on the main floor features modern lighting, tables and soft seating. The stacks (where you can find books!) are nearby in a more bright, accessible and spacious location.

Group study rooms equipped with monitors have also opened on the main floor. There’s an expanded course reserve room where you can find class materials on short-term loan, and a new podcasting studio room opens soon.

Angela Hamilton, chief librarian for the UTSC Library, says the renovations are designed to support different study needs.

“If you are dropping in for half an hour between class or want to meet up with friends in order to study, these changes are geared toward offering our students greater options,” she says.  

New outdoor space 

ARC Quad

Located next to the main entrance of the Academic Resource Centre building, the ARC Quad has been transformed into a vibrant outdoor space.

There’s new bench seating, outlets to recharge electronics and shade sails to protect visitors from the elements. There’s also improved WiFi access, lighting and outlets for food trucks and additional lighting.

“We really wanted to create a space for our community to hang out, do some work or host meetings. The new ARC Quad does this while also extending opportunities to be outdoors into the spring and fall,” says Jennifer Adams Peffer, U of T Scarborough’s campus architect and director of architecture, planning and project development.

The space also has the infrastructure to host events such as musical performances and lectures. The landscaping takes a permaculture approach that integrates groups of plants to support natural ecosystems. The result is a greener, more functional space.

IITS facelift and new lecture recording system

IITS reception desk

Speaking of welcoming new spaces, the Information & Instructional Technology Services (IITS) office space has also undergone a remarkable transformation.

Located on the main floor of the Academic Resource Centre (AC200), the IITS office has a new, more welcoming front desk, along with greater storage, desk space and a larger work bench.

“The space we have now is highly functional and transparent and our clients find it open and inviting,” says says Zoran Piljevic, senior director of technology and business transformation at IITS.  

IITS is also using a new AI-powered lecture recording system called AuRA. The new system is faster and more reliable, so IITS will be able to accommodate every recording request.

Beach volleyball UTSC

Beach volleyball courts

Four new beach volleyball courts opened this July. Located near the tennis courts in the valley, they have been packed with students daily.

“UTSC has a very active student volleyball community,” says Lyndsay Ezard, U of T Scarborough’s director of physical activity, sport and wellness.

“We already have a 4v4 and a 2v2 league, and there will be tournaments and drop-in programming throughout September. We are very excited to add beach volleyball to our programming,” she says. The fall volleyball schedule is available at @utsc_athletics

A community partnership with Scarborough Synergy Volleyball Club has also been created to run coaching clinics for girls — U of T Scarborough students have already helped as volunteer instructors.