It looks  as if winter is not ready to leave, and its icy paws are holding on as much as possible. Luckily for me , amidst that snow storm we had a couple of weeks ago, I was able to escape the cold and spent some time in warmer climates, surrounded by palms, banana trees, orchids, cacti and other exotic plants. In fact this all took place just in one day ! Now you might be wondering how in the world is that possible? Trust me it totally is.


Proof that I saw some cacti

My mini vacation started through my role as Ecofest Coordinator for UTERN. UTERN stands for University of Toronto Environment Resource Network, which is a student levy group, to support and finance all undergrads, and graduate students in environment related projects.

Now you may be asking what is Ecofest ? Well like the name suggests it is a two week long environmental and sustainability awareness campaign that took place this year from March 6th to 17th. During those two weeks, we featured events by different clubs and groups from the UofT campus  and held our own events! These events ranged from movie screenings, clubs fair, bike workshops and lectures. It’s quite similar to UHN’s Environmental Week, which is taking place from April 20th – April 28th. (Don’t forget to  vote for your top 3 events !)


This year we had a great number of great events including clothing swaps, lectures on climate change,  DIY workshops such as making your own lotion bar and candles,  coffee houses and more!

My favourite event was the Eco-Spiritual Tour, that took place at UofT’s very own greenhouses sitting on top of the Earth Sciences Building. And as you may have guessed it – this was my mini vacation!

On a cold yet sunny day we had the lovely pleasure of exploring the many different rooms in the Greenhouse. We shed off our thick winter jackets and layers of sweaters and spent the sunny afternoon surrounded by many different species of plants. We saw carnivorous plants, palms, vanilla beans, peppers you name it! Spending a few hours up there really took our minds off all our other impeding tasks and work. It was the perfect afternoon!

Students learning about tropical plants

This tour inspired me to take another mini vacation at another greenhouse. Now unlike the UofT greenhouse, which is open to all students, this one is open to the public! The beautiful Allan Gardens, located at the south side of Carlton Street between Jarvis and Sherbourne, is home to six different greenhouse rooms filled with thousands of different species of plants. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with family and friends, or just to have some alone time.

The Palm Room at Allan Gardens

As the saying goes all good things must come to an end, and thus ends my internship at UHN. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the Energy and Environment Department and other UHN staff. I have met some amazing people, and have learned so much! Thank you all for everything !