a, Student Life

Five study spots on campus

Midterm season is just around the corner, meaning that the hour is drawing near to ditch tanning on lower field and hit the books. Luckily, McGill has a plethora of study spots, from its 13 library branches to student lounges and cafes.

Birks Reading Room

Tucked away on the second floor of the Birks Building, this silent haven is a great location to hibernate and ponder away the afternoon. Its architecture gives it a distinctively severe academic ambiance, yet the size makes it feel personal and comfortable. The hall features solid wood tables, beautiful mouldings, and large windows that let in dappled sunlight. Shoes are not permitted, so bring comfy socks or take advantage of the slippers provided. Reward yourself on your walk home with a caramel candy from the jar near the services desk.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00, Saturday to Sunday: Closed

Address: Birks Building, 3520 University Street

Noise level: Quiet

Islamic Studies


This library may secretly be magic. Although it is one of the most central buildings on campus, entering through its huge wooden doors seems to transport students into another world. Study spots are plentiful in this gothic-style treasure, with widely available seating. Both the main and second floors feature study booths and tables, and are great for quiet essay writing. Those fortunate enough to stumble into the Octagon Room, near the back right of the main floor, will be greeted by a beautiful space with antique wooden display cabinets and delightfully scholarly study booths. During the winter months, this library is especially cozy and warm, providing the perfect refuge for in-between-class study sessions.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00-17:00, Saturday to Sunday: Closed

Address: 3485 McTavish Street

Noise level: Quiet to moderate

Nahum Gelber Law Library

Located in the upper part of campus on Peel Street, this library has modern architecture, yet complements it with designs that give a nod to more classic bookish styles. Canadian artwork adorns the walls, tasteful lighting highlights textbooks, and plush red chairs provide comfortable seating. Don’t be afraid to branch out beyond the first two floors, and explore the entire range of study spots that grace the five floors of this library. The table by the enormous triangular window on the third floor is a favourite—a study spot with a view.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00-23:00, Saturday to Sunday: 10:00-22:00

Address: 3660 Peel Street

Noise level: Quiet



Resources Centre

The Education Curriculum Resources Centre has a serene and pleasant study atmosphere that boasts multiple areas for quiet or group study. It also contains numerous computers, which are helpful for those who don’t feel like lugging their laptops up the hill. There is also a cafe on the ground level, which offers a variety of snacks, as well as booths where students can chat and decompress on a study break.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00-17:00, Saturday to Sunday: Closed

Address: 3700 McTavish Street

Noise level: Moderate

SSMU Cafeteria

Meander here after the lunch-hour rush for an unconventional but surprisingly effective study zone. Large windows provide excellent natural light, and the steady hum of conversations lends itself to the perfect amount of white noise for concentration. A great perk is that the multiple food options and microwaves available make studying much more enjoyable. This is great for both group and solo study sessions.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 7:00-13:00, Saturday to Sunday: Closed

Address: 3600 McTavish Street

Noise level: Moderate

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