Where to hang
Hit the roof. Literally. On the top of 200 King, the picnic-table seating is, like, so 70s. The place could use a facelift, less concrete and some green, but the view of the gleaming emerald city, from the CN Tower to the gems of old T.O., and of the people minding everybody else's business on the sidewalk below is spectacular.
Named for a politician and newspaper baron who was shot and killed by a disgruntled employee, George Brown operates at three main locations: Casa Loma, St. James and one site run in cooperation with Ryerson.
St. James, the campus on King just east of Jarvis, comes closest to capturing the spirit of George Brown's motto, "The city college." Cafés and parks dot the area, and kooky lunch joint Mystic Muffin is steps away.
Its main building is too much like a large public high school, with lockers lining the halls and the smell of crummy fast food wafting through, but students must be encouraged by school stats boasting 90 per cent job placement. Let's hope they're not including the near-minimum-wage line cook gigs on the job board.
While George Brown offers seven degrees and a pile of diplomas in everything from dental assisting to makeup, what really stands out is the chef school. In St. James's hospitality and tourism building, home to said culinary school, you'll to see people decked out in chefs' whites and funny hats. Inside the labs devoted to butchery, baking, mixology and wine, unlike in Grade 11 biology labs stocked with formaldehyde-drenched pig fetuses, students are out to make things appetizing.
They're also trying, through their student association, to fight rising tuition and make the campus accessible.
Looking at the advanced wines and beverage management program, I can't think of a single person, including me, who wouldn't love a year of classes on Wine Appreciation, Matching food And Wine and Pub Patronage, to name a few. It must be hard to choose when courses include Beer Appreciation, Chocolate Works and Art Of Pies.