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How to stay engaged while social distancing

Find new things to watch, online courses to take or ways to connect with the Ryerson community all from the comfort of your home
By: Michelle Grady
March 19, 2020 - 3:36 PM
A young woman standing outside with headphones on, overlooking the city

An online walking tour is one way to practise social distancing and get some fresh air. Photo credit: Element5 Digital.


In response to the state of emergency Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared on March 17, Ontarians are being asked to practise social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing means staying home as much as possible, maintaining a distance of two metres between people when you do go out and limiting large groups of people coming together until further notice.  

What to avoid

For most of us, social distancing is a new concept and making sense of the right way can be confusing. On top of avoiding gatherings or spaces that tend to put people in close contact (like gyms, shopping malls and public transportation), you should avoid entertaining in your home and having any non-essential workers stop by.  

When stepping out to get groceries or other essentials, use extra vigilance not to touch your face and ensure you use hand sanitizer or wash your hands upon your return home.

Local businesses are responding by closing their doors until further notice. Ryerson, too, has closed many community gathering spaces like the Ryerson Library and the SLC.  

Staying stimulated 

If you’re worried that your Netflix list won’t cut it, don’t fret! Ryerson community members have free access to a number of great other content sources and activities.

  • All digital resources including electronic articles, ejournals, ebooks, online course materials and e-reserves, as well as data sets and streaming media, remain available to faculty, instructors, staff and students through the Ryerson Library. 
  • Ryerson Library also provides the community access to the following platforms:
    • Films on Demand has nearly 40,000 documentaries, classic and indie films available for stream and Ryerson community members have unlimited access to the resource. 
    • Criterion on Demand is a digital platform that grants the Ryerson community unlimited access to educationally relevant feature films. 
    • JSTOR, a full text digital archive of scholarly journals is available off-campus through Ryerson’s web portal. 
  • Many of Ryerson’s zones have moved opportunities to connect online, including the Social Venture Zone’s the weekly Caffeinated Innovators, external link meet-up that happens every Friday and the Fashion Zone’s Magnet Workshop, external link.
  • Toronto Public Libraries may be closed, but they too have tons of digital assets to explore, external link, including downloadable ebooks through OverDrive and magazines through RBdigital, external link.
  • Take the time to teach yourself something new through Ryerson’s access to LinkedIn Learning, with thousands of video courses that are personalized towards on-demand career skills. The Library’s Digital Media Experience lab’s in-person tutorials on Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop, 3D design and camera basics have moved online. For more information and to participate, visit the lab’s website or email
  • The RAC will soon be sharing active well-being resources with the Ryerson community through their website and via their social handle @rurecreation, external link.
  • For those missing galleries, you can browse through the RIC’s online portion of their collections on their website., external link 
  • Get outside for a walk! You can still practise social distancing while getting fresh air, and Myseum, a Toronto-centric mobile museum, is hosting free online walking tours, external link that participants can do from their phones while out for a walk in the city.

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