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Guide to Colleges & Universities in the GTA 2010


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An annual magazine published by the Toronto Star. Designed and produced by Kathleen Doody. In-depth information about 11 post-secondary schools in the GTA.

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Guide to Colleges & Universities in the GTA 2010

  1. 1. 2010 EDITION t h e s t a r. c o m /s c h o o l s g u i d e A good fit? Students tell you what it’s really like A good start How to apply and how to pay for it all Making the right connection Get advice, see the schools, find the best hangouts
  2. 2. FALL 2010 PUBLISHER John Cruickshank EDITORS Doug Devine, Adam Gutteridge, Kristin Rushowy EDITORIAL DESIGNER Kathleen Doody PHOTO EDITOR Tim Finlan COPY EDITORS Adrian Brijbassi, Roman Pawlyshyn PRE-PUBLISHING PRODUCTION Margaret Piechatzek, Greg Walsh EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michael Cooke SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR Steve Tustin ART DIRECTOR Catherine Pike GROUP ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Taking the heat Keith Alleyne barks an order in Centennial’s student-run restaurant. Below: Ada Cimino finds a quiet spot in York’s Scott Library. Carolyn Sadler 416-869-4143 Inside PUBLICATION SALES MANAGER David Gittings 416-869-4119 COLLEGES PRODUCTION MANAGER Rick Knight 5 Centennial College PROMOTIONS/CREATIVE DIRECTOR 8 Durham College Lorne Silver An Insiders’ Guide to Colleges & Universities 12 George Brown College is published in Toronto by Star Media Group, 16 Humber College M a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corp. aking your decision easier: That’s what we hope this guide will 20 Seneca College EDITORIAL AND SALES OFFICE do as you plan your post-secondary education at a college or One Yonge St., Toronto, ON M5E 1E6 25 Sheridan College university in the Greater Toronto Area. On the cover is Richardson Ng, a mechanical technician student at Centennial College. If you live in the GTA, you’ll likely stay here after high school to continue UNIVERSITIES ALL PHOTOS BY GLENN LOWSON your education. That’s why, for the third year, the Star is giving you all the 37 Ontario College of FOR THE TORONTO STAR Art and Design information you need to know about the 11 post-secondary schools in greater Toronto. 40 Ryerson University We sent reporters out to the campuses to talk to students about their 44 University of Ontario experiences, to give you an insider’s look at what you can expect — the Institute of Technology kinds of things you should know before you go: What’s great about the 48 University of Toronto campus? What do current students like best? Where are the hot hangouts? 53 York University What could the school do better? TOOL KIT This year, you’ll also find out how to wow the registrar and make your 29 Applying application stand out; the true cost of post-secondary education; plus why 30 Schools by the numbers you shouldn’t overlook the possibility of a career in the trades. 31 Survival guide Be sure to check out for lots more informa- 32 Finances tion, videos and photo galleries. 33 Trades We hope you enjoy our third annual Insiders’ Guide to Colleges & 35 New programs Universities in Greater Toronto. Please email your comments and sugges- 36 Campus finder tions to me at — Kristin Rushowy AROUND ONTARIO 57 Colleges FOR ADVICE, PHOTOS AND MORE INFO, VISIT 60 Universities 3
  3. 3. GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE Hands on in the city From perfecting the art of phyllo pastry to mastering the skills for dental hygiene or early childhood education, students at George Brown’s campuses learn their chosen disciplines by doing, writes Nicole Baute Just the facts MAKING CONTACT George Brown College P.O. Box 1015, Station B, Toronto, ON M5T 2T9 Phone: 416-415-2000 Website: Course guide: Campus tours: 416-415-5000 ext. 2896 GETTING THERE Both campuses are near subway stations: St. James is just east of King station, Casa Loma is near Dupont station. NUMBER OF STUDENTS 22,200 full-time, 58,000 continuing education PHOTOGRAPHY BY GLENN LOWSON FOR THE TORONTO STAR PROGRAMS More than 150 full-time; five bachelor’s degrees; 1,545 continuing education courses Most popular: Culinary/chef, business administration, fashion, theatre, nursing, dental health, building technologies and health sciences TUITION Starts at $1,990 per year, with applied degrees costing $5,154 to $6,074 (for bachelor of applied business); interna- tional students pay $9,800 for base tuition and $12,500 for degree programs. Prep work Kerry McGuire gets lunch ready in her first-year chef training lab, one of many classes that offer students real-world experience. HISTORY S Founded in 1967, the college is named tephen Bellotti spent his first Bellotti, 24, a student in George urban appeal. With students helping run a after the Liberal politician and founder afternoon in a professional Brown’s chef school, survived his first variety of businesses and services that of the Globe newspaper (now The kitchen on the demanding garde night of volunteering at the Chef’s House, Torontonians can use, George Brown is Globe and Mail). manger line, prepping vegeta- a swanky year-old restaurant where part of the city’s fabric, connected to its bles, sauces and dressings, and students work alongside professionals to commercial ebb and flow. NOTABLE GRADS wearing a white chef’s hat that, momen- prepare high-end meals for paying Most students attend the Casa Loma Jamie Kennedy, chef tarily forgotten in the classroom, had customers. Ten hours after his shift campus near Dupont station or the St. Paul Rowan, co-founder and vice- almost made him late. began, he walked out into the January James campus on King St. E., but the president of Umbra home design As the dinner hour neared, his boss told night air energized and certain that he college also has a presence at Ryerson Randy Morton, president, Bellagio him to stay on the line. “Oh God, I’ve had made the right career choice. University, the School of Makeup and hotel in Las Vegas never done this before,” Bellotti thought. George Brown College is about as Esthetics in Yorkville, and the Young Elio Pacheo, president of Evian NA But he smiled, nodded and said, “Yes, downtown as you can get, but it isn’t just Centre for the Performing Arts in the chef.” the central location that creates this Distillery District. 12
  4. 4. GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE Residence life The good, the bad There is no residence to speak of at and the ugly George Brown. Most students commute from throughout the GTA, THE GOOD while others live in shared apartments Did we mention that George Brown is or houses downtown. downtown? Both main campuses are Students who need a place to live located close to TTC subway stops, will find some help at the housing and city excitement is always just offices on each campus, where they around the corner. can view area rental listings that are updated weekly. THE BAD Students can also purchase a $22, Finding your way around the Casa eight-week guest membership to the Loma campus can be daunting. The U of T’s off-campus housing registry buildings are attached by confusing (, which is stairwells and hallways and named updated daily. There is also a free only by letters, which might leave you database of student housing at wandering in circles reciting the alphabet. The good news, says Two downtown student residences student Anosiya Ignatius, 19, is “you also accept George Brown students: can always ask someone and they Neill-Wycik Co-op College, near quickly direct you.” Carlton and Church Sts., houses students from several schools. Room THE UGLY rates range from $451 to $532 per Commuting is a drag, and many, many month for first-time residents. More students do it. When you have to information is available at spend one, two or even three hours of or 416-977-2320. your day in gridlock or on transit, you Primrose Hotel, near Carlton and have less time to study, or play. Yonge Sts., offers a deluxe single suite to students for $1,838 per month, which includes prepared meals, cable, Survival tips phone and Internet. Shared rooms are also available. For details, go to Fransisca Kusumowardani suggests or call signing up for a volunteer job to 416-977-8000. network with students, professors and industry professionals. “It’s a chance PARKING to fill up your resumé by having a lot George Brown’s campuses are easy to of experience.” access by the TTC, but make sure you Kristen McKinnon, a 27-year-old budget appropriately if you plan to fashion student, says there are many drive. Parking can be inconvenient and services to help students, such as expensive, with full-day parking bursaries, mentoring programs and costing an average of $9. Meter free tutoring, but a lot of them go parking is available on or near most unadvertised. Make sure you seek campuses, but good luck getting a them out at the beginning of the year. spot. “Definitely get to know the faculty,” To aid in your search, the college McKinnon says. has compiled a detailed list of nearby Secretaries and co-ordinators can lots and prices: point you in the right direction before campuslocations/parking.aspx Brush up Dental hygiene student Karolina Zieba, top, cleans the teeth of fellow student Nicole any difficulties become insurmountable. Menard. The Casa Loma campus is home to industrial programs, fashion and ESL classes. The culinary arts program, which also At St. James, culinary students sell time students, with 65,000 more enrolled they know exactly what they’re doing.” boasts a new cooking school that allows their wares at a small bakeshop open in continuing ed. courses. Students say it’s important to research passersby to catch a glimpse of something daily, while hospitality students seat a program to know exactly what to delicious in the works, is just one of many patrons for lunch at the Chef’s House. GROWING, GROWING, GROWING expect. Before you enrol, they say, find programs at George Brown that invite the And in nine child-care centres across Fransisca Kusumowardani, a first-year out if and when you are eligible for intern- city into the classroom. the city, the school’s early childhood hospitality and tourism management ships and co-ops, how much of your class At the Casa Loma campus, two trendy education students work with children — student, dreams of opening her own hotel time will be spent doing hands-on work student-run fashion boutiques compete for real ones, with real, paying parents. in her native Indonesia and hopes George and whether you will be learning enough business. Nearby, dental hygienist students Since its birth in 1967, George Brown Brown will give her the skills to do so. business skills to suit your needs. clean teeth for jaw-dropping low prices, has grown into a Toronto institution with So far, she is impressed. “I think George Connecting with industry leaders is a while fitness and lifestyle management an international reputation, attracting Brown provides us with a really in-depth key part of George Brown’s success, and students with golf shirts and clipboards are students from the GTA and around the experience,” she says. “Most of my profes- eager to help you tone your thighs. world. It has the equivalent of 22,200 full- sors, they are really in the industry, so Continued on page 14 13
  5. 5. GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE Many students dabble in work or post- Life after class secondary education before figuring out what they really want to do and enrolling HOT HANGOUTS in the practical college programs. The student centres at both campuses Only a third of George Brown’s are hives of activity, but if you want to students come straight from secondary get some work done, you are better school, and about 20 per cent go to off at the library — and if you want university first. some real excitement you might want Vanessa Azzopardi took a winding path to leave campus. to George Brown, studying interior There is nothing but a useless sliver design at Sheridan College first. “When I of green space at the St. James got there, I was like, this just isn’t for me.” campus, so the large rooftop patio is She enrolled in George Brown’s bakery the popular hangout for students and pastry arts management program seeking fresh air. It is also a venue for and now runs her own small business the occasional concert or fundraiser. from home in her spare time, and has a The downtown streets around six-year plan to open a country bakery. campus are full of places to unwind: Like Azzopardi, most of the college’s Gabby’s and Betty’s restaurants on students are ready to learn and aren’t too King St. E. are popular joints, but fussed that the school is not party central. students also recommend nearby “Because you’re mature, you come here coffee shops or a trip to the St. to get the knowledge and get out,” says Lawrence Market. Aileen Phillips, 45, who was a personal There are fewer places within support worker before following her walking distance of the more secluded dream to the fashion techniques and Casa Loma campus, so students hang design program. out in the student lounge, in front of the main building or on the many SERVICES NEED SERVICING cement steps leading up to it. Most students struggle to come up with a Popular restaurant La Dolce Vita list of happening campus hangouts, but has homey, affordable food and a many say the city is there to explore. spacious patio — although the view of The college is working to improve Bridgman Ave. is less than inspiring. student services. There is now a one-stop centre where students can pay fees, drop CLUB SCENE classes and receive guidance. Clubs tend to come and go, but the Although classrooms have the latest good news is anyone can start a club, technology, the college lacks wireless as long as it’s approved by the student Internet access elsewhere on campus. association at the beginning of the Information technology student Kyle year. Sylvester points out the irony: “I’m in the Most are geared toward profes- technology building and in the tech- sional development in a specific field, nology building they had no access.” but some focus on shared interests or Wireless is more widely available now, needs, such as the Muslim Students but students must bring their laptops to Association or the ASL Club for the the library for setup. deaf community. George Brown’s lack of student housing can be an inconvenience for out- JOCK TALK of-towners, and changes the college’s Intramural sports are fairly popular social atmosphere. Many students and include volleyball, ball hockey, flag commute, which means friendships are football, indoor soccer, badminton and more likely to be formed around shared table tennis. interests in class, not in residence over Tryouts for the George Brown beer and Kraft dinner. Huskies varsity teams are in It means you might become friends September, October and January, with with people who live on the other side of men’s and women’s basketball, men’s the GTA. Cinzia Dominutti, a first-year volleyball, indoor and outdoor soccer, Spotting skills Heating, refrigeration and air-conditioning technician student Casius Wait, top, career and work-counselling student, women’s indoor soccer and co-ed welds. Building renovation technology and technician students build it up, then tear it down. says, “It’s not hard to make friends; it’s badminton, golf and cross-country. just hard hanging out with them if they Both main campuses have a gym Continued from page 13 brand (cappuccino almond cookies). live in Ajax.” ■ and fitness centre, offering classes in George Brown has been the fastest- aerobics, Pilates and yoga, and anyone students can count on the college helping growing college in Ontario for the past can register for $100-a-year personal them arrange trade apprenticeships and four years, and can barely meet demand. For a photo gallery and training through the fitness and internships. In some programs, students A new waterfront campus will alleviate lifestyle management program. work with industry professionals on proj- some pressure. Slated for completion in more information, go to ects, such as developing products for fall 2011, it will support up to 4,000 Sobeys’ private-label Compliments students and focus on health sciences. 14
  6. 6. TOOL KIT How to apply, pay for, for and survive it all, plus information on unique programs and skilled trades: Pages 29-36 PHOTOGRAPHY BY GLENN LOWSON FOR THE TORONTO STAR Saucy view George Brown College culinary students prepare dessert for a lunchtime special at the Chef's House, a student-staffed restaurant that overlooks the sidewalk on King St. E. Applying made easy Getting into the school of your choice is so important there ought to be a course on reflection on what it is you want to do, what you need to do to get there, and how how to do it. In the meantime, try this handy cheat sheet, suggests Nick Aveling realistic those goals are,” says University of Toronto director of admissions Merike Remmel. “Students really need to spend S tudy your brains out! Research matters. The bad news? Everything academically based decision,” he says. some time reflecting on what their as if your life depends on it! And, thereafter is crucial. There are, of course, exceptions. A near strengths and weaknesses are.” while you’re at it, stop worrying “We’re not looking at Grade 9 and 10 straight-A transcript won’t get you into A good place to start, assuming you’re so much! marks,” says Keith Alnwick, registrar of engineering if you failed math, engi- not into yogic meditation, is the Ontario Follow these steps and you’ll be Ryerson University. “Increasingly, Ontario neering’s prerequisite. Universities’ Fair, taking place Sept. 25 to on your way to wooing the university or universities have been looking at Grade 11 And many programs — dance, theatre, 27 at the Metro Toronto Convention college of your choice, experts say. marks. A lot of universities will be making music, journalism, photography and inte- Centre. Go to for details. A few simple guidelines to get you very early offers of admission based on rior design, to name just a few — require There is also the Ontario College Infor- started on applying: Grade 11 marks, and these offers will be auditions or portfolios. In these courses, mation Fair Oct. 27 at the Direct Energy conditional on a student getting certain high marks will only get your foot in the Centre at Exhibition Place. MARKS MATTER grades in Grade 12.” door. After that, the application process is Another invaluable web resource is Your teachers were right all along — A single poor mark in the senior grades more or less an episode of Canadian Idol. Here, you’ll be able to almost. There is good news and bad news could be your undoing, adds Alnwick. cruise every university program on offer for the less studious. Then again it might not. BE PREPARED in Ontario. Pay particular attention to The good news? As far as post- “The (grade) average tends to be the A key is to understand what it is you’re prerequisites and other admission secondary institutions are concerned, heavy consideration in most universities, after and why. nothing you’ve done before Grade 11 particularly where admission is solely an “Planning is a self-assessment or Continued on page 31 29
  7. 7. BY THE NUMBERS Making the grade From what marks you will need to get in to how happy you’re likely to be when you graduate, here is a list of vital statistics for GTA colleges and universities to help you find the right fit, compiled by Kristin Rushowy Colleges CENTENNIAL DURHAM GEORGE BROWN HUMBER SENECA SHERIDAN Average entry grade (%) 70 varies baking, 70 varies 70 70 paramedics, 93 firefighting, 75 social services, 78 First-year enrolment 6,260 4,397 10,723 10,200 10,316 7,640 Students in residence vs. commuters 1:28 1:9 * no residence 1:10 1:14 1:20 Students who go on to 2nd year (%) 78 not tracked 72 80 70 86 Teacher : student ratio 1:28 1:20 1:29 not available not tracked 1:32 Average size of first-year classes 15 to 40 50 40 30-60 up to 40 25 to 40 Students satisfied with education (%) 75 77 72 78 78 76 Students who graduate (%) 61 65 73 64 56 68 Employed six months 84 86 89 91 85 88 after graduation (%) Source: Colleges Ontario; individual institutions *Durham College shares its residence with UOIT. Universities OCAD RYERSON UOIT U of T YORK Average entry grade (%) 80 to 84 arts, 81; sciences, 77 77 arts, 80-84 business, 86-90 bus. management, 82 sciences, engineering, arts/humanities/social engineering, 80 business, education, sciences, 80; fine arts, 84 85-89 sciences, 80-85 First-year enrolment 1,000 5,370 1,803 11,894 11,502 First-year students in residence (%) no residence 16 27* 25 14 Students who go on to 2nd year (%) 92 87 80 90 88 Professor : student ratio 1:16 1:20 1:29 1:27 1:18 Average size of first-year classes 30 30 to 60 30 to 250 30 to 1,500 81 Students satisfied with education (%) 65 87 83 69 70 Students who graduate (%) 64 77 not available** 80 68 Employment rate after two years 98 98 100 97 94 Source: Common University Data Ontario (, individual institutions, National Survey of Student Engagement *UOIT shares its residence with Durham College; ** graduation rates are based on seven years; so no figures available for UOIT until 2010 30