A Concise Guide to UTM for the Newbie

CampusMap

Map of UTM Campus-the key to finding your classes.

Image: UTM, UTM

Welcome! You’re probably here because you want straight to the point info on UTM aka University of Toronto Mississauga and you’re tired of googling here and there and clicking multiple hyperlinks on the UTM site. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. The popular misconception people have of UTM is that we’re the ‘lesser’, often overlooked campus to the downtown campus. Even though we’re slightly closer to the UTSG than the Scarborough campus, most people are quick to think of UTSC as the second campus of UofT.

To be honest, I didn’t even know UofT had a third campus and it was at Mississauga. So when I got accepted to CCIT (Communications, Culture, Information, and Technology) at this campus, I needed lots of information before I made a final decision. Here’s three resources that cover information on the mysterious campus that is UTM:

  • UTM’s Website-covers very important information on every aspect of UTM
  • UTM’s Twitter-provides updates on what’s happening around campus
  • UTM’s Instagram-shows glimpses of campus life

(It was lowkey tiring googling “Mississauga” all the time but at least I know how to spell it now.)

To give you a picture of UTM, think of this campus as the more community like, smaller, peaceful campus filled with a lot of nice modern buildings that are conveniently situated among grass, trees, and plants (aka nature).

Although we’re not part of the downtown campus, we still are a part of U of T which is evidently found in the U of T boundless flags hanging around campus and the abundant sleep-deprived, caffeine-dependent students studying in the library. Back to the misconception of UTM being the ‘lesser’ campus compared to St. George… Each campus has their pros and cons. We all pay our tuition to the same school and both have hard-working, sleep deprived students figuring out their dreams or are working towards them.

Now, to dive into what UTM is all about. I’ve nicely broken up sections about UTM into: Campus Life, Res Life, Student Life, Party Scene, and Nice Study Spots for you to absorb different aspects of UTM better.

Campus Life @ UTM

I wouldn’t know how to describe campus life at UTM other than you get what you put in. It’s up to you to decide how involved you get with campus life whether that’s through student club, res council, sport teams, or even having a study group. One way to add to the culture of UTM is by sporting a “University of Toronto” sweater with “Mississauga” under the name, if you want to go to the extra mile.

Fun Fact: UofT’s official mascot is a blue beaver named True Blue however each UofT campus has their own distinct mascot. UTM’s is an eagle. Nice.

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Image: UofT, UofT Bookstore

Res Life @ UTM

UTM has three dorm buildings: Oscar Peterson Hall, Erindale Hall, and Roy Ivor Hall. There are five court residences: McLuhan, Leacock Lane, Putnam Place, Schreiberwood, and McGrath Valley Residence which are mini townhouse complexes on campus. For my first year, I was placed in a townhouse in McLuhan Court Residence and lived with three other girls. McLuhan Court Residence and Oscar Peterson Hall (OPH) are the residences mainly for first years. In a townhouse, there’s a kitchen, living room, four bedrooms, and one washroom. There’s an upstairs and downstairs floor and you have three roommates compared to OPH where you have your own room as well but share a bathroom with one other roommate.

Even though the townhouse was a lot older, it was nice having a kitchen, living room and three roommates to live with! UTM offers a lot of workshops and events to help you transition smoothly into res life. Plus, it’s great living on campus where everything is nearby. Click here for a cool virtual overview of each residence’s rooms.

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Oscar Peterson Hall. Image: Maria Ruiz, The Medium

Student Life @ UTM

On the topic of extracurricular activities, I’m not the best person to talk about it since I wasn’t involved as much in first year and recently joined the ICCIT Council as an Associate this year. But I will say, UTM does have a lot of councils, societies, and events happening you can join and check out here that has a contact person you can reach out to. Also, we have a clubs’ day in September where you can explore and find clubs you’re interested in joining!

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Clubs Week at UTSG. Image: UTSU, LifeatUofT

Party Scene @ UTM

I’ve heard many times that because UTM is a commuter school, not a lot of partying occurs. But the party scene isn’t dead, it’s just not as lit as the ones you find downtown or at party schools like Western and Laurier. And, if you’re really looking to turn up with other students you can just check UTSG’s party events for a more “lit” experience. So, the good thing is when you come to UTM you’re here to study. And when you want to party, you can head over downtown.

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Image: Mauro Gatti, Giphy

Nice Study Spots @ UTM

I really enjoy studying in sunlit areas filled with individuals working hard in a quiet and calm space. So one of my all time favorite study spots is found in the basement of the Hazel McCallion library. It’s the smaller quiet zone that faces the Health Sciences Complex building and is filled with cubicles and comfy chairs. If that place gets too full, I head on over to Deerfield and walk up to the third or fourth floor that has a quiet comfy seating area filled with a great view of the forest and even has yoga mats for you to get a few stretches out! You’ll find that UTM’s modern aesthetic buildings house comfortable and spacious spots to study and do work along with a great view of nature. Take time to find good, comfy study spots, it’s worth it.

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Hazel McCallion Library. Image: UofT, UofT Digital Media

Resources & Tips for the UTM Newbie


Now that you’ve learned more about UTM, I’ve prepared a list of resources you’ll definitely need to survive here. Hopefully you’ll find these helpful and use them to the fullest!

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Health Sciences Complex. Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

  • Academic Calendar-Highly recommend bookmarking your program’s academic calendar because it tells you what required courses and marks you need to get into your program and an extensive list of all the courses offered in your program. In case you didn’t know, you’re not actually in your program until second year. First, you’ll need to get accepted for a Subject POSts (Programs of Study). Confusing, I know. But watch this video for a better understanding of how all this business works.
  • Acorn/Rosi-Think of this as your U of T account containing your financial invoice, timetable schedule, and a whole bunch of important information concerning your time here at UTM. Both sites carry out the same functions. Acorn is just the newer, more updated version of ROSI. But it’s active for you to use too.
  • Dining Hours-Important for when you’re starving and have zero food back at the dorm or at home. Thank God for Starbucks having late hours, you the real MVP.
  • Free agendaIf you don’t have money to spend on a fancy planner, head on over to the Student Centre and pick up an agenda/planner, it’s free and even comes with stickers!
  • GymBelieve it or not, you also paid for this service and it’s available for you to use whenever! If the gym is too intimidating, even just walking down the long black stairs to the gym is a good enough workout. To enter the gym, just scan your Tcard and drop your stuff in a locker but make sure to bring your own lock. Pro tip: Use the showers at the change rooms for when your roomie takes too long back in the dorm washroom.
  • Meal Plan-If you live on res and need to use up your money because the end of school year is ending, spend your basic dollars first. You can only transfer x amount over depending on the type of meal plan you chose. Your flex dollars can be used up quickly by Starbucks or Second Cup so drink up when you’re in the lib!
  • Portal– This is where you can find your courses, lectures, and grades. Always check for your prof’s announcements and syllabus for due dates (I highly recommend the syllabus out).
  • Office of the Registrar-This place is a life saver for all troubles regarding academic, financial, and more. Check out their website to find important dates (so you can pay your fees on time and avoid any service charges), exam dates, and more.
  • Shuttle Bus-One of my favorite resources on campus is the shuttle bus that takes you from UTM to the St. George campus in 40-50 minutes. If you have classes at St. George or just want to have fun downtown, take the shuttle bus! The bus stop is located behind IB and all you need is your Tcard (Free for UTM students but if you’re not from UTM campus, you’ll have to buy the $6 ticket). I recommend checking the UTM Shuttle Bus schedule to check your bus times. If you have classes at Sheridan, you can also take the shuttle bus that stops behind Deerfield.
  • Tcard-This is your personal identification throughout your time at U of T and allows you to access to numerous services such as to take the shuttle bus, take your exam, and check out a book at the library. (Very important piece of ID, bring it everywhere with you.)
  • UTM Miway Bus Pass-I cannot stress how important getting this handy bus pass is. Once obtained, you can board any Miway bus for ‘free’ (you paid for it in your student invoice) and it saves you a lot of money especially if you commute to school.

Oh another thing, UTM is famous for deer sightings and they even have a Twitter account! So if you spot any, take some pics with the flash off. They’re pretty friendly but remember to keep a friendly distance and respect them.

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Image: UTM Deer, Twitter

And that’s the end of the concise guide to UTM. I hope you learned a lot and can use these resources to the fullest!

If you need more detailed assistance on other things, you can always go to the Office of the Registrar, ask a friend, or even shoot me a message on here.  🙂

Good luck! 🌟