News / Toronto

Toronto gets a boost from returning students

Expect to find it hard to get a U-Haul this weekend, with thousands of students starting classes next week.

About 850 students are living in residence while they attend Ryerson University this year.

Torstar News Service file / Torstar News Service Order this photo

About 850 students are living in residence while they attend Ryerson University this year.

They’re here.

Toronto’s university and college students are descending on the city — packing their lives into parents’ cars and U-Haul trucks to start a new school year.

And, as they arrive by the thousands this weekend, you can expect thick crowds everywhere from the Eaton Centre to the TTC and lines for everything from Zipcars to, well, the most sacred of Canadian things.

“Tim Hortons line-ups are going to just triple around our area,” said Akeisha Lari, coordinator of student life programs at Ryerson University.

Don’t worry though. It’s really all for the best.

No. Seriously.

There are many economic benefits to Toronto’s roughly 200,000 university students, said Shauna Brail, director of urban studies at the University of Toronto.

“At a minimum they need a place to sleep, a way to get around, and food to eat,” she said.

“So housing, transportation and food services are likely the greatest areas of impact.”

Plus, they’re “great citizens,” said Lari, outlining a Ryerson program that matches students with downtown agencies for volunteer work.

“There’s such a good energy that comes with students,” she said. “They add value to the everyday things that happen in the community.”

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