Winter Holidays with YI

Congratulations on making it through the fall term and best wishes for the holiday season!  Check out some resources available during the winter break no matter where you are in the world.

Note that York University will be closed from Friday December 22, 2023 to Tuesday January 2, 2024.
The university reopens on January 3, 2024. Classes begin on January 8, 2024 for most programs.

Key Resources

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Emergency Contacts
Mental Wellness Student Support 

In Canada and anywhere in the world

KeepMe Safe (support is available in several languages)

Within Ontario

Good2Talk (support is available in several languages)

Student Online Self-Service Tools My Online Services
UHIP or Health Insurance*
Global Learning*
Safety Abroad
*These emails will be monitored regularly for emergency situations over the Winter Break. We will respond to all non-emergency emails when the University reopens.

Holidays in the Community

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Two students walking on a sidewalk in the snow

York International Holiday Activities

Are you staying on or near campus this holiday break? Looking for something to do? Join us at our festive events, taking place throughout the break!

Nathan Phillip’s Sqaure – Cavalcade of Lights

Wed. December 27, 2023 (2:30 p.m.)

In this winter activity, the group will travel to Nathan Phillips Square, downtown Toronto. Experience the magic of the holiday season by walking around City Hall to see the Cavalcade of Lights, a glittering festive tree and public skating. If you are interested in skating (not mandatory), you can bring your own skates or rent them on-site.

Distillery District Winter Village

Thu. December 28, 2023(1:30 p.m.)

In this winter activity, the group will travel to the Distillery District Winter Village. Walk through the cobblestone streets under the canopy of lights to hear the festive sounds, see the shops and vendors to experience this Christmas market.

If you are staying in residence over the winter break, be sure to connect with the on-site Dons for their planned activities and community builders.

What's Happening in the City?

Looking for activities to do in Toronto? 

  • Check out all the festive fun happening in the city, on BlogTO and CBC.
  • On a budget? Take a look at all these free events happening over the holidays.
  • Take a walk and explore your neighborhood: don't underestimate the value of a simple walk. Make sure to bundle up!

Looking to stay cozy indoors? 

  • Did you know that as a York student, you can get access to free movies through Library's electronic resources?  All you need is your Passport York login.  Connect to Criterion on Demand to begin your movie marathon!
  • You can access other streaming options through the YU Library.
  • Of course, you can always go back to Netflix if you haven't watched everything already.
  • If you love to read, access the large collection of books that the York libraries and Toronto Public Libraries (TPL) have to offer.  The TPL also has a list of 38 ways you can use the library from home.
  • Enjoy some virtual events suggested by and listed on common sites such as blogTO, and Eventbrite.

Essential Information

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Immigration Considerations

Get useful information on your immigration status and what you need to know about your study permit.

Health, Wellness & Safety

For clinic or emergency room visits, make sure you take a paper copy of your UHIP card. If possible, use a healthcare provider that accepts UHIP. Note the tips below regarding health care providers:

  • Preferred provider: you can find the list of clinics and hospitals that accept UHIP on the UHIP website. These providers can bill COWAN/Manulife (the insurance company that administers UHIP) directly.
  • Non-preferred provider: if you visit a non-preferred provider where they don’t accept UHIP, you can file a claim. For information regarding how to submit a claim, please follow the instructions on the UHIP website.

To access your UHIP card, you should visit the Cowan portal and enter in your First Name, Last Name and Date of Birth alongwith with ‘Certificate Number’ that would have been emailed to your or email address directly by the insurance company. Hence, it is extremely important that you activate your YorkU email address. You can find instructions on how to activate your YorkU email address.

Don't have your UHIP card? Don't worry because you can visit a clinic or emergency room without it if you need urgent care, pay for the service then file a claim within 12 months of receiving the service. For information regarding how to submit a claim, please follow the instructions on the UHIP website.

Note regarding claims: You may not get 100% of your money back and you may incur some out-of-pocket expenses. You can contact COWAN directly for more information about this via 1-833-377-8447 (phone) or (email).

Holiday Blogposts

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Things to do in Toronto on Christmas and Boxing Day

Our team has put together a list of fun activities in this blog post – check it out!

Unwind and relax this holiday season!

Exam season was stressful! Lots of sleepless nights and far too much coffee…well, it’s time to unwind now, you deserve it! Take a look at some tips and tricks on ways to de-stress this holiday season.

Boxing Day - what is it?

December 26th is not just the day after Christmas! Here in Canada, we celebrate Boxing Day – check out this blog post to learn all about this holiday and what you can do to celebrate.