Features  Wrecked: Papers, not pillaging

Few stories of people marooned on islands end well. Robinson Crusoe had his run-in with cannibals and Tom Hanks wound up talking to a volleyball. When you find yourself swimming in a sea of notes and readings this year, you may feel like you’re stranded on an island, like Robinson and Tom. And, well… you are. But if you switch up study locales when cramming, you may be able to stave off the insanity and cannibalism that can accompany with solitary island life.

Birks Reading Room & Islamic Studies Library

3520 University; 3485 McTavish

Natural light? Stained glass? Hardwood floors? Texts on every estoteric religious topic imaginable? How divine! As a bonus, the librarian at Birks runs a tight ship and provides a well-stocked jar of Werther’s Originals for overworked students.

Schulich Library of Science & Engineering

809 Sherbrooke O.

A quiet spot with 24-hour access during exams, Schulich is the perfect place to get some late-night studying done. Exposed brick gives the place an extra dash of je ne sais quoi, and on one of your breaks, you can sweet talk an Engineering kid into building you a coconut helicopter that’ll have you off this island come Thanksgiving.


4177 St. Denis

Montreal is rife with cafés and coffee shops, but the folks at Caféo seem to have blended music, comfortable seating, friendly staff, and tasty food into a cramming oasis. And when your readings are done, there’s beer on tap.

McLennan-Redpath Complex

3459 McTavish

Need a break from all that sunshine and fresh air on lower campus? Set sail for the McLennan-Redpath Complex! Breezy and sunny it isn’t, but the McLennan-Redpath Complex is the spot for 24-hour studying during exams, borrowing movies from the reserves desk, and accessing the internet via one of the dozens of computers in the Cyberthèque.

Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec

475 de Maisonneuve E.

Finding McGill’s libraries a little overcrowded during exams? Jump ship and drift on down to the BANQ. At 33,000 square metres, the BANQ is home to databases of book, periodicals, maps, CDs, and the largest French-language collection in North America. Most importantly, it’s quiet, filled with natural light, and connects directly to Berri-UQAM Metro.

Marvin Duchow Music Library

527 Sherbrooke O., third floor

Quick. You’re stranded on a desert island. What album could you not live without? Thankfully, you didn’t need to choose because this island is home to the MDM Library, where you can borrow and burn all the CDs you need. But burning CDs is illegal, so maybe you should just take advantage of Duchow’s extended hours during exams and get some work done.

Concordia University EV Building

1455 de Maisonneuve O.

Pay a neighbourly visit to those folks in the west. The 11th floor crow’s nest of Concordia’s EV Building provides couches, food, and some seriously stunning views of Montreal.

Other cafés

You’re never far from a café in Montreal, but if you need some hints to get started, there are some treasures that stand out in this sea of caffeine. For starters, try out Café Pi (4127 St. Laurent), Le Cagibi (5490 St. Laurent), Café Noir (44 Mont-Royal E.), and Café Olimpico (124 St. Viateur O.). And of course, if the sleep deprivation that often comes with student life leaves you unable to walk anywhere east of Parc, the 24-hour Second Cup (3498 Parc) and Tim Hortons (674 Sherbrooke O.) are always close by. Good luck, and sucks to your ass-mar.