Construction is finally done, and UTM has more study space now than ever before. The library, while an appropriate place of study, felt rather cramped last year thanks to the already minimal study space combined with the ever-growing population of UTM. You could go into the library at any given time and find that every seat on every level was taken. We had to find a “cozy” spot on the floor, between the bookshelves. Thankfully, Deerfield Hall, the Innovation Complex, and the newly renovated Colman Commons have provided new alternative study spaces, none of which are quite as full yet.
The appropriately named Deerfield Hall is located beside the North Building and has a beautiful view of the forest (and sometimes deer!). The tables and cushioned benches by the North Side Bistro are probably best suited for grabbing a bite or just lounging around, although it can also be an appropriate spot for group study. Group study rooms are also available for booking on the building’s upper levels. Located across from the North Side Bistro is a much quieter study space with sectioned tables for individual study, as well as bar stools similar to those in IB. This place is not perfectly quiet, but the noise is not much. You can spread out your books easily and be comfortable while getting your readings done.
The building being four floors tall, there are other little study spots throughout. As far as quiet study goes, the second floor individual tables are your best bet for getting a lot of work done. The food options also happen to be great at the bistro. They have “wood stone oven” (whatever that might be) pizzas, hearty soups, healthy salads, coffee, and pastries.
Next, we have Colman Commons, the cafeteria on the main level of Oscar Peterson Hall. This space has been newly renovated and has multiple cafeteria-style tables, finished beautifully with an artificial fireplace. This space has an amazing variety of food choices—probably the most diverse on campus. The salad bar has been expanded and customized, and if you’re looking for a healthy drink, a juicer has also been added. New tables and chairs make the experience more enjoyable, although the space is better suited to group study. The lively environment is probably not quiet enough to get readings done. The tables are nice and big, so you can easily spread out your books or take out your laptop. This area is set to have a full-scale opening after winter break. It will feature a tea and coffee bar with Sloane tea and Nespresso coffee—perfect for late-night studying!
Meanwhile, the Innovation Complex, an expansion of Kaneff, features many tables of various sizes as well as couches in the rotunda. This space caters to individual or group study depending on the noise level. To get the best studying done, mornings and evenings when there are fewer people are probably best. It can get quite loud around lunchtime. Beware, though: there are no outlets around the tables, only on the edges by the wall. As for study snacks in the Innovation Complex, there’s a Second Cup, which also features On the Go products.
Paul Donoghue, UTM’s chief administrative officer, has also suggested that the campus might try different divisions and furnishings in the rotunda at peak study times, such as during exam season, to make better use of the space. On the other hand, the online announcement of the building mentions that the rotunda “will serve as an event and social gathering space”, which could mean that it won’t be available for studying at various times.
The study spaces that have been reviewed above are definitely not for anyone looking for the total silence of the library’s silent study zone. The quietest study space out of the three is Deerfield Hall, whereas the one with the best food is Colman Commons. After talking to random students who have used these study spaces, the consensus seems that Deerfield is the best study space. It has beautiful architecture, a plethora of snack options, and somewhat quieter space on the upper levels.