Where to hang
The new buildings are hopelessly soulless, but the constantly expanding campus now includes some of the intriguing red-brick structures and cottages of the old Mimico Asylum, built in 1888. The institution was constructed like a village. One of these oldies now houses the college's School of Business and a Williams coffee pub, both improvements over incarcerating suffering mad folk. Grab a latte and head for the abutting Sam Smith Park teeming with herons, swans and geese.
One of the downsides of attending classes on the outskirts of town is the lack of nice places in which to take them. You tend to get bleak grey boxes, but Humber's Lakeshore campus lucked out.
The cluster of buildings at the east end of campus looks like a quaint 19th-century cottage town, which is what it was when they were built in 1888. Once a satellite of the Toronto Hospital for the Insane (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and the Police Academy movies were shot here), the hospital went independent as the Mimico Lunatic Asylum, then changed names a few more times before becoming home to a slew of Humber programs in the late 90s.
Things look a lot better now than they did a decade ago, when the area was deteriorating and parents could easily shut unruly kids up by driving by the boarded-up buildings and just pointing.
The spot still has a slightly creepy air due to stories of unsolved murders and ghosts and the general isolation you feel in such a large, secluded space. You can't talk about Humber without mentioning the Humber school of comedy, Canada's first and only post-grad comedy program. It's impossible to take the course without running into an SCTV alum, and part of the program includes doing stand-up at Yuk Yuk's on Tuesdays. Don't miss this $3 bargain at the downtown club . Humber campus is worthy of a visit even if you're not looking to take a course in, say, small engine repair. Colonel Samuel Smith Park, adjacent to the campus, is a serene pocket of parkland with amazing birdwatching and lakeshore strolls. Nice that the student federation is prioritizing enviro responsibility on campus this year.
West of the asylum lands, the regular buildings housing the rest of Humber's 25 programs are your standard unassuming school environs. Of note is a cafeteria resembling an infant's nightmare playhouse pumping easy-listening tunes certainly more frightening than any cuckoo's nest.
As for off-campus distractions, the area's kind of boring unless your hopes for entertainment climax with a swingers' club or "spa." You can always head a little farther west for semi-pro wrestling at Legion Hall #101.