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harveyspecter993

What's the Issue with North York?

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I had a discussion with a classmate this past week about law schools and she said she would never apply to Osgoode because it's in York. I asked if York had a lot of crime and she said no and it was just a bit like living in Burnaby (We live in Vancouver). Burnaby is a lovely city to live in and commuting to Vancouver really isn't that bad so I couldn't really understand the analogy.

 

The issue of York not being a very desirable place to live in has come up in the UoT prestige thread as well and so now I'm just really starting to wonder, what the issue is with York. I've never been to Toronto before so maybe that's why I'm so out of the loop. Is York the Surrey of Toronto?

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It's far and there is nothing out there except York. The area around campus is also sorta sketchy and there have been numerous assaults on campus in past years.

 

Also until the subway station is finished, transit there kinda sucks.

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Just checked Google Images on Burnaby. You have ostensibly clear water and trees.  York doesn't.

 

York does have a crime issue.  I would never walk alone when dark (even at 5pm, say in the winter).  People get mugged on campus (not just off campus, as some York evangelists like to focus on).  People get mugged in the parking lot, etc.  

 

Obviously this stuff happens at many campuses, but in my experience having attended multiple schools, York is worse.

 

Leave the York campus and it's worse.  A really rundown area.  I'm struggling to think of any positives about the area (not York the university, but the area).  I suppose there is a bank and a grocery store not super far away.  But the grocery store is a good example of the demographics of that area.  Now, before this offends anyone, I am not offended by poor people, but poverty tends to be associated with crime, at least more so than the lack of poverty, and so this is a reasonable concern.

 

If you're looking for any kind of visually pleasing stimuli, you will be out of luck.  

 

I would be VERY curious to know how much higher Osgoode's averages would be if it were located, not even downtown Toronto, but just, anywhere but North York, in Toronto. 

 

Edit, it's a very industrial feeling area too.  And staying on campus, unlike other schools, does not actually seem much better, given that the campus is also depressing.  An isolated mess.

Edited by catchthetraiin
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Burnaby is a lovely city to live in and commuting to Vancouver really isn't that bad so I couldn't really understand the analogy.

I once saw a group of teens snorting "some white stuff" in McDicks on Kingsway....

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Have you ever been to McMaster's campus in Hamilton?  It's often derided, but York's campus and environment is worse.  Definitely.  

 

 

 

The most recent satisfaction ratings report I've looked at placed York quite low from the perspective of students.

 

edit, quite low, not very well.

Edited by catchthetraiin

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Yeah, I think "the crime issue" is often blown out of proportion; jane and finch really isn't what it used to be, and even if it were, the York campus is a good 20 minutes northeast from that intersection. Steeles and Keele isn't the best area to live, but you could always live closer to Yonge. I personally like the GTA and Yonge street from Steeles all the way up to Major Mack, but it's likely because I used to live in the area and have several friends who live throughout. In regards to North York, it's actually a decent area, especially Sheppard and Yonge, but I wouldn't like the commute if I were living there during school. 

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I had a discussion with a classmate this past week about law schools and she said she would never apply to Osgoode because it's in York. I asked if York had a lot of crime and she said no and it was just a bit like living in Burnaby (We live in Vancouver). Burnaby is a lovely city to live in and commuting to Vancouver really isn't that bad so I couldn't really understand the analogy.

 

The issue of York not being a very desirable place to live in has come up in the UoT prestige thread as well and so now I'm just really starting to wonder, what the issue is with York. I've never been to Toronto before so maybe that's why I'm so out of the loop. Is York the Surrey of Toronto?

A better comparison would be one of the less salubrious neighbourhoods in Surrey, yes. Although North York generally bears roughly the same relationship to Toronto proper that Burnaby does to Vancouver proper, Toronto and North York are much larger regions and York is at the far north of North York (almost literally on the border of Vaughan, equivalent to Langley).

 

Beyond mere locale keele and finch isn't a particularly nice neighbouhood, there's a hydro right of way that runs south of the campus, east of it is a petroleum storage facility of some sort. It's part of the city that reflects the absolute worst aspects of car culture - finch and steeles are populated with the sort of strip malls that only make sense for drivers. There really isn't much around it and the transit sucks (they are extending the subway to it sometime in the next few years which will make a huge difference, but for now it's a lengthy bus ride from the nearest subway station or a go bus ride from the various other suburbs. Or you drive. And security is an issue. It's an issue at many universities, but I think it's widely acknowledge that it's a bigger problem at York.

 

It also suffers from its history, the campus has been heavily renovated in recent years, but for much of its history Yorks architecture represented the high (or low, you pick) point of 1960's era new-Stalinist concrete brutalism all plunked down in what was, until York was built, a snow blown farmer's field (which architecture goes a long way to explaining the security issues). For a large number of lawyers, that's the image of York. It is better now, but better is a relative term. York will never be a pretty campus.

 

Also a consideration, although not a comment on Osgoode, York's faculty and TAs have a history of militancy (the sort of militancy only found in people who have never held real jobs in their lives), so go on strike every few years, effectively shutting down the whole school (since they can block the one road in, and the administration, being a bunch of pinkos themselves, lack the royal jelly to get and enforce an injunction to let people through - by contrast UofT's TAs went on strike once and no one noticed, it is functionally impossible to shut UofT down). Granted, it's been a few years since York last had a strike, which either means that the union has been curtailed or that they're due.

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A better comparison would be one of the less salubrious neighbourhoods in Surrey, yes. Although North York generally bears roughly the same relationship to Toronto proper that Burnaby does to Vancouver proper, Toronto and North York are much larger regions and York is at the far north of North York (almost literally on the border of Vaughan, equivalent to Langley).

 

Beyond mere locale keele and finch isn't a particularly nice neighbouhood, there's a hydro right of way that runs south of the campus, east of it is a petroleum storage facility of some sort. It's part of the city that reflects the absolute worst aspects of car culture - finch and steeles are populated with the sort of strip malls that only make sense for drivers. There really isn't much around it and the transit sucks (they are extending the subway to it sometime in the next few years which will make a huge difference, but for now it's a lengthy bus ride from the nearest subway station or a go bus ride from the various other suburbs. Or you drive. And security is an issue. It's an issue at many universities, but I think it's widely acknowledge that it's a bigger problem at York.

 

It also suffers from its history, the campus has been heavily renovated in recent years, but for much of its history Yorks architecture represented the high (or low, you pick) point of 1960's era new-Stalinist concrete brutalism all plunked down in what was, until York was built, a snow blown farmer's field (which architecture goes a long way to explaining the security issues). For a large number of lawyers, that's the image of York. It is better now, but better is a relative term. York will never be a pretty campus.

 

Also a consideration, although not a comment on Osgoode, York's faculty and TAs have a history of militancy (the sort of militancy only found in people who have never held real jobs in their lives), so go on strike every few years, effectively shutting down the whole school (since they can block the one road in, and the administration, being a bunch of pinkos themselves, lack the royal jelly to get and enforce an injunction to let people through - by contrast UofT's TAs went on strike once and no one noticed, it is functionally impossible to shut UofT down). Granted, it's been a few years since York last had a strike, which either means that the union has been curtailed or that they're due.

They just had a strike one or two years ago if I recall correctly.

 

Many of the teaching employees (happened a while ago now, so I am not sure if these were TA's, or contract faculty) at this school LITERALLY go on strike to threaten preventing thousands of students from graduating on time and losing incomes, to secure their own incomes.

 

And this is exactly what has happened at least once a few years ago now.

 

Edit, to clarify, these were two separate strikes. The most recent one was not as bad.

Edited by catchthetraiin

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All the while preaching about how they're sticking up for the working man and fighting bourgeois new-liberal capitalism. At least one of the TA strikes ended when the national union got tired of seeing its strike fund - drawn from the wages of real working people - being drained to fund the strike pay of grad students and threatened to pull the plug.

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And they test fired that missile into the Sea of Japan the other day. Pretty scary.

Those crazy York TAs, I told you they were militant.

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there's a hydro right of way that runs south of the campus

 

And north. It's like a Greenbelt.

 

east of it is a petroleum storage facility of some sort. It's part of the city that reflects the absolute worst

That's to the southeast. To the east is a 2km block of industrial parks. You know, where Real Canadians work Real Jobs. Who's the ivory tower elitist now

 

they are extending the subway to it sometime in the next few years which will make a huge difference

Literally this year. It's almost done.

 

a snow blown farmer's field

Whatever could you mean

 

Also why is no one talking about the proximity to Black Creek Pioneer Village. You wanna see some sheep, you cross the street and go see some goddamn sheep, it's glorious

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Also why is no one talking about the proximity to Black Creek Pioneer Village. You wanna see some sheep, you cross the street and go see some goddamn sheep, it's glorious

 

WAIT WHAT. One of my traumatic York experiences involved Black Creek Pioneer Village, and there were no sheep there at that time, just a bunch of people dressed like blacksmiths. Are there sheep now? Were there sheep then and I somehow missed the sheep? Somehow, there being sheep and me not having seen the sheep is worse than if there were no sheep. I am adding this to my list of York grievances.

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 One of my traumatic York experiences involved Black Creek Pioneer Village, and there were no sheep there at that time, just a bunch of people dressed like blacksmiths

 

please elaborate

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The currently planned completion date is late 2017 - as in december 31st 2017 - at the earliest. Of course, that's the current planned date because they missed the last planned date to have it finished in 2016. It's the TTC, it's never really a question of whether they'll be behind schedule but by how much and why?

 

I obviously don't share your fascination with sheep. What's the old Rolling Stones song? "Hey, McLeod, get off of my ewe!" But yes, if you're the sort of person who's fascinated by farm animals (other that on a plate, grilled, with a black pepper sauce), then York clearly has an edge. :)

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WAIT WHAT. One of my traumatic York experiences involved Black Creek Pioneer Village, and there were no sheep there at that time, just a bunch of people dressed like blacksmiths. Are there sheep now? Were there sheep then and I somehow missed the sheep? Somehow, there being sheep and me not having seen the sheep is worse than if there were no sheep. I am adding this to my list of York grievances.

 

On the positive side, they have the brewery - and unless they've changed their practices, you can just go in to buy a growler of beer, no need to pay for normal admission (I know they have some of them bottled in the LCBO, but it's not the same, and they have special one-offs).

 

Re OP, York (I say this not as a full-time student there, even part-time LLM was professional one taught downtown so only there a few times) is kind of a pain to get to or from (though not as bad as people would have it, there are lots of bus routes and eventually subway in future), and is a pretty crappy looking campus/boring. But there's probably stuff to do on campus...

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Omg... this site is obsessed with York bashing and it makes no sense to me... is Osgoode located in the most glamorous part of Toronto? No. Is it terrible? No. Are you going to get mugged walking to and from class/the residence? No. While it's not downtown it's also not frigin terrible (can I say frigin mods?), there isn't much to do within the local vicinity but you can commute downtown without much issue.. I lived on campus for 1L and while it wasn't great, it wasn't terrible and it was certainly worth the sacrifice because it allowed me to attend a kick ass school... op it depends on your needs. If you want to work in Toronto then it makes complete sense to tolerate yorks ugly 1970's architecture for the convenience of having easy access to the city's major employers (never underestimate the power of coffee dates/having access to firms). If Toronto isn't your goal then I would start considering other schools

 

*i have no filter after midnight

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I really don't think the location for Osgoode is tragic. But people think attending Osgoode means you're going to law school in Toronto, and you very clearly are not. I agree with healthlaw that you're in a reasonably convenient position to commute to Toronto, but that isn't quite the same thing. In Ottawa terms, you might as well be living in Kanata. Or in other Toronto terms, the far end of Mississauga. For all practical purposes, your school is close to Toronto and convenient to allow you to go to the city on special occasions. It's not really in the city. That's about all I have against it.

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It depends on how you define toronto. If we're talking about working and going to school within the city boundaries of Toronto, then yes - Osgoode provides that.

 

There are legal practices all over toronto - from Bay and king to sentinel and finch. It's disingenuous to say attending Osgoode doesn't mean you're attending school in toronto, or that it doesn't provide you with proximity to Toronto lawyers for networking that schools not called u of t don't, without explaining that you don't consider post 1998 toronto, "toronto".

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I really don't think the location for Osgoode is tragic. But people think attending Osgoode means you're going to law school in Toronto, and you very clearly are not. I agree with healthlaw that you're in a reasonably convenient position to commute to Toronto, but that isn't quite the same thing. In Ottawa terms, you might as well be living in Kanata. Or in other Toronto terms, the far end of Mississauga. For all practical purposes, your school is close to Toronto and convenient to allow you to go to the city on special occasions. It's not really in the city. That's about all I have against it.

 

Over the past few years I have had occasion to attend at York University. In each instance it was a miserable drive, parking was a nightmare and in myriad ways I was reminded how stark the differences are between the U ot T and York campuses and their respective environs. With some effort many of the benefits readily experienced by U of T students can also be realized from attending Osgoode. That said most who know Toronto recognize that Osgoode students are not going to school in Toronto.

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