Someone once told me that the architectural surroundings within a city have a tremendous amount of influence on the people living there; I completely agree with this statement. The way buildings are designed and constructed are crucial to the atmosphere of any given place. The intricate details of a ceiling, the beauty of crafted doorways, or even the colour of bricks can have either a positive or negative influence on us. It is truly fascinating to see how something so minute, such as a well-designed library or an elaborate hallway, can impact us so greatly.
One of the main reasons I decided to attend the University of Toronto, besides the evident prestige, was its incredible architecture and how much it inspired me to learn. In fact, I fell head over heels the very first time I saw the Victorian style architecture at Victoria College. The buildings greatly resembled many of the historic buildings in London, England and of course for all the Harry Potter fans out there, it looked just like Hogwarts. Not only did the beauty I was surrounded by make travelling in between classes on campus more enjoyable, it also made me look forward to coming to school despite the long commutes I experienced on a daily basis. There is just something about architecture; the way that it reflects history, art, and culture that creates an energetic atmosphere for those around it.
Architecture is not only visually appealing, but it also affects how individuals within that area carry themselves. If you haven’t noticed already, there is a certain quality among students at Vic, and the University of Toronto in general. Everyone dresses well and I believe that much of it has to do with how beautiful our campus is. Even fashion designers get their inspiration from architecture, it makes complete sense as to why we dress a certain way depending on where we work, study, and socialize. I sincerely believe that the upbeat vibes of UofT and the students within it are a reflection of the university’s traditional and modern architectural designs. Personally, I feel empowered when I am surrounded by such incredibly designed buildings because all of these buildings were created by individuals who, at some point in time, were students just like I am. What this ultimately demonstrates is that the sky’s the limit and anything is possible when you put your mind to it.
It is impossible for me to speak of how beautiful the St. George campus is and not name a few (or many) must-see buildings. My list includes: Old Vic, Lester B. Pearson Garden, Goldring Student Centre, EJ Pratt Library, Emmanuel College Library, Trinity College Chapel, University College, Hart House, Knox College, Robarts Library, the Fisher Rare Book Library, and the Medical Science Building. If you haven’t had the chance to visit these places make sure to check them out. Once you have, you might notice it makes you feel a certain way. Do you suddenly feel uplifted by the design and structures of these buildings?
All photos taken by Hiba Siddiqui.