Finding Your Way at York University

Posted by Deea Deb on September 7, 2022

Academic Success | Student Life

Image of students working together on a Keele Campus model with the text "Finding Your Way at York University"

Finding your way to and around York University’s campuses can be overwhelming at times, especially during the first couple of weeks of the fall term when you have to manage a number of commitments like Orientation, Frosh Week, classes and more! We’re here to make your experience a bit smoother by helping you plan your commute better.

Getting to campus

Public transportation

Image of the entrance to the York University TTC subway station

If you’re an international student or are just new to Toronto, you should definitely pick up a PRESTO card for all your public transportation needs. PRESTO is a simple, easy-to-use payment card that allows you to use public transportation across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

You can order your PRESTO card online. There is a one-time, $6 fee to pay when you order. Visit a designated PRESTO Customer Service outlet to add your student discount to your card. You can also purchase a PRESTO card at any TTC Subway Station, including York University Station and Pioneer Village Station, which are both located on Keele campus.

You can use your PRESTO card to commute on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), GO Transit, York Region Transit (YRT)/VIVA and Züm (Brampton Transit).

Success Tip: A single fare price, or one ticket or PRESTO tap on the TTC, YRT and VIVA gives you two hours to use the service – you can hop on and hop off as many times as you like within this time. Students get up to a 22.5 per cent discount when they use a GO-approved student ID and their PRESTO card. Don’t forget to check out York’s Transportation Services page for more details.


If you plan on driving to campus, there are many paid parking spaces at the Keele and Glendon campuses. You can either purchase a parking permit or pay the daily fee at the visitor lots and garages. There is also a Daily Multi-Pack option available through the HonkMobile App. Be sure to review Parking Services’ Daily Rates web page and Parking Permits web page for details about parking at York!

Success tip: Try to find a parking spot close to where your classes are!

Sustainable Commuting

If you like getting around by cycling, York offers secured bike enclosures in parking garages and bike racks around all main buildings on both campuses. York also partners with Bike Share Toronto to give you 24/7, convenient access to bikes to help you get around campus in a fun and environmentally friendly manner. There are three Bike Share stations: the north and south sides of the York University Subway Station at the Keele campus and inside the main campus entrance at Glendon.

If you only need to drive occasionally, why not try carsharing? York partners with Zipcar to provide car share services on campus. International drivers are welcome!

Getting around campus

Building Codes at York

You may have noticed that some of your classes have location codes assigned to them.

Screenshot of a course schedule from York University's course website indicating the course format, day, time, location, and instructor.

In the above example, VH stands for Vari Hall and 1005 is the room number at Vari Hall where this seminar will take place. It is a good idea to bookmark the building acronyms that are used across the University. Don’t worry, it gets easier! Also, instructors usually end the class 10 to 15 minutes early to allow students time to get to and from classes.

The interactive campus map can really come in handy when you find yourself, well, lost on campus (you’re not the only one!).

Success tip: Make sure to familiarize yourself with the buildings assigned to your classes so that you can factor in enough time to get from one class to the other or at least find the shortest route! Keep an eye out for building codes and refer to the interactive map while enrolling for courses to find classes that aren’t too far away from each other.

Shuttle Services

Have classes on both Glendon and Keele campuses? You can take the Glendon – Keele Shuttle which runs approximately once every hour. York also offers VanGO, a mobility service to assist students who have registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). If you live in ‘The Village,’ you can also take the Village Shuttle. Don’t forget to reserve your seat on the York University Mobile App!

Finding your way as a student

Image of one of the directional signs at York's Keele campus

Not all wayfinding is about going places. As students, we may also need help finding our way through academics, mental health, and developing other skills.

Start Strong

Start Strong YU is here to support your return to campus. Here’s a comprehensive checklist of what to do before class starts, along with all of York’s resources. Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference! Check out current health and safety guidelines on Start Strong YU, especially if this is your first time on campus.

Success tip: Find answers to your questions on the Start Strong YU FAQ page! You can also ask SAVY, York’s Student Virtual Assistant and get answers 24/7. Find SAVY across York’s websites, on eClass or scan the QR codes around campus if you have more questions.

Student support services

York has amazing student life support, writing help, mental health & wellness, career education and self-development. Check out these resources here:

York’s colleges also offer a peer mentorship program where each incoming student is paired with a peer mentor – a high-achieving upper-year student, who can help in developing the skills needed for academic and personal success like organizational strategies, learning techniques, self-awareness and academic confidence.​​

If you are an incoming student and have no idea what I’m talking about, Monica explains it all in her post on Your Home Away from Home: York’s Colleges.

Success tip: Make sure to reach out to your college and get involved in activities, events, volunteering or whatever interests you. It is a great way to make friends, feel at home and make the most out of your university experience. These posts may also be useful:

Let us know which is your favourite building at York University in the comments below!

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails.

Deea Deb
Deea Deb

Deea Deb is a third-year English and Professional Writing major at York University. She loves reading, travelling, being organized, and writing. She hopes to help York students succeed at university.

See other posts by Deea Deb