Whether you’re a returning student or a newbie to the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, you must have noticed the notable changes to everyday university life, particularly, campus dining. With the exceptions of the Davis Food court, Colman Commons, The Blind Duck, Chatime, and Starbucks, everything is closed. This lack of variety in dining can be limiting to students on campus, so after extensive research—thank you WikiHow—let’s take inspiration from the natural environment surrounding UTM and look for a meal there.
The first option is a creature that is plentiful on campus, darting through the trees and fields with a bushy tail and probably an acorn or two in its mouth. Squirrels are quite similar to rabbits, and if prepared properly can taste great grilled or in a stew. To catch a squirrel, similar to catching a predator, you’ll need a good pair of gloves, a blanket, and some bait—preferably nuts or berries.
If you don’t eat meat, don’t worry! The Credit River is populated with trout and salmon you can catch by fishing (or spearfishing if you really want the hunter-gatherer experience). Vegetarians can also enjoy a natural meal by getting down on all fours and sniffing out the edible plants that populate the forest surrounding UTM, such as black currants, dandelions, acorns, and clover. Make sure to really hold onto the branch if you want to get that acorn before the squirrels.
Of course, you could always go for the animals harder to hunt on campus, such as deer or birds. Both need good aim, preparation, equipment, and camouflage—and no, a camo hoodie and leggings aren’t enough.
However, there is one animal that is very dangerous to hunt, unless you’re equipped with army gear and a tank: the Canadian goose.
I hope these suggestions have inspired you to look more locally—I mean extremely locally—for your next meal. As long as you follow proper precautions and guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy truly authentic Canadian flavour in your food.