After living near the intersection of Richmond and Sherbourne streets for most of last year, third-year chemical engineering student Richard Tek moved into the heart of St. James Town a little over a month ago. The easier commute and lower rent are two of the reasons why.

“My commute is pretty convenient,” Tek says. “I live right beside Sherbourne station so I can get (to campus) in about five minutes.”

Tek hops on the subway at Sherbourne, goes west to Bloor to change to the Yonge line, and heads south to Dundas. His commute, without any delays, is just over 23 minutes from his apartment door to Ryerson’s campus.  According to Tek, he experiences at least one delay per week.

More episodes of the Commuter Complex:
Episode two: Little Italy
Episode three: West Queen West

“The only real issues I have with my commutes are subway delays,” Tek says. “I remember one time I was at Sherbourne station waiting for 20 minutes. I don’t know what caused the delay, but I know could’ve walked (to school) in that time.”

The walk from St. James Town to Ryerson is only about 25 minutes, but he prefers to take the subway to avoid walking through areas he considers troublesome. While there are nice areas like the Church-Wellesley Village, there are also places where Tek says you should “mind your own business and keep to yourself.”

Although he only recently moved into the neighbourhood, Tek has already experienced some unsafe situations. Last month, Tek was grocery shopping when someone with a gun held up a pharmacy down the street near Bloor and Sherbourne streets. Tek had to wait a few hours before he could safely leave the supermarket.

“Honestly, it’s not that bad of a place,” he says. But he would still advise students looking to move into the area to be cautious. “When you walk outside late at night, just stay on the main roads. I’d avoid taking any shortcuts behind buildings or through alleyways.”

Tek shares a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with two friends, splitting a $1,350 monthly rent (including hydro and utilities) three ways.

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Aaron graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2015.