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The Best Places to Study: Queen’s University Edition

By: Rory Sullivan

If you’re like me, then studying at home or in your dorm is hard. Scrolling on your phone, watching Netflix, taking a (maybe) well-deserved nap…. There are too many distractions. On campus and around Kingston there are so many amazing places to study! Why not take advantage of being on a beautiful campus, and a beautiful city? Below are a list of some of the best places to study at Queen’s University!

Joseph S. Stauffer Library

As the biggest, and probably the most well-known, library on campus, Stauffer is always pretty busy. However, with a outdoor terrace open during the nice months, a fireplace room on the second floor, and multiple levels filled with study spaces and bookable rooms, there is no wonder why this is a popular spot on campus. The Student Academic Success Services room is also located in this building, and trust me when I say DO NOT TAKE THIS SERVICE FOR GRANTED! They offer workshops

to help develop important skills (ex. time management, how to study for your midterm, etc), and you can book appointments there if you need help with your writing, critical skills, or any other academic issue! There is also a coffee stand in the library for those draining exam season. Though it can get busy, Stauffer is an excellent place to study and do work!

Douglas Library (AKA the “Harry Potter Room”)

Yes, you heard me right. Though Douglas Library has many beautiful rooms to study in throughout its five floors, nothing beats what is referred to as the “Harry Potter Room”. With the high ceilings, vintage light fixtures, wood decor, and the amazing stain glass windows, this room definitely feels like it belongs in a Harry Potter film. This room is usually less busy than Stauffer, and is a great quiet place to do work. In a room that looks like that, it’s hard to not feel focused! This is definitely at the top of my list for places to do work.

Bracken Health Sciences Library

This library may not be as aesthetically pleasing as the last two locations, but it is a great place to study nonetheless. As someone who lived at Waldron Tower during my first year at Queen’s, this was by far the closest place to study near my dorm (if anyone has also lived at Wally, you know the struggle). Not only was this the least busy library I ever visited on campus, it is also on top of the best place to eat on campus - and no I’m not open to criticism on that one. If you go to Queen’s, promise me you’ll go to Market Street in Botterell Hall, right beneath the library - you will not be disappointed. The library has a basement level as well that is a “quiet” area, which is great for focusing, and there are bookable rooms in the library as well!

Common Ground Coffeehouse (CoGro)

This is my number one favorite spot to do work on campus. CoGro has THE best bagels (Cheddar Top Secret bagel, I’m looking at you) and the most delicious pieces of cake in Kingston. Whether you’re going to study, or to attend one of their social events, CoGro is a place every Queen’s student needs to visit. I mean, who doesn’t want a yummy piece of cake after finished a stressful midterm week? Plus, if you have a student meal plan, you can spend your flex dollars at CoGro - though as a student-run business, their prices are made for students on a budget. And if CoGro is ever

too busy, just go to their smaller store: The Brew! They have a lot of the same things, including the delicious bagels, but are a lot smaller, and less busy, than its bigger store. They don’t have the cakes like CoGro, but they are known for their amazing Mac n’ Cheese!

The Tea Room

This is another student-run business, and is specifically run by the Engineering Society at Queen’s! In addition to having delicious sandwiches, endless tea choices, and a great space to study, this cafe is dedicated to being environmentally sustainable. They are committed to being carbon neutral and zero consumer waste, all while providing high quality food and drinks at a reasonable prices for students on a budget! If you are a tea lover, or a supporter of environmentally friendly businesses, this is the place for you!

Undergraduate Room: Bioscience Complex

This room may not be visually pleasing, but it’s a great space to study! Located in BioSci, it is right above a Tim Hortons, so you can ensure you stay caffeinated when working on those lab reports and papers.

Kingston Public Library (KPL)

Only a 10 minute walk from campus, or a quick bus ride, the Kingston Public Library is the perfect place to escape when the popular spots on campus get too busy. Newly renovated, they have everything that a university student would need to focus on studying: free wifi, lots of study spaces, and a quiet environment.

Crave Coffee and Bakery

Quick warning: the food and the beverages this place has is addictive. It can be a bit pricey, especially on a student budget, but it is completely worth it. It is a very popular location with Queen’s students, and can definitely get busy on weekends and evenings, so if you want to go to study pick a good time! The baked goods are to die for, and it is a great place for work and social gatherings too!

Isabel Bader Centre

The Isabel is the performing arts centre at Queen’s is right beside the beautiful lake, so the student area inside the building is one of the most breathtaking places on campus to study. If you’re someone who is appreciative of a good view while studying, this is definitely the place for you, though it is about a 5 min bus ride from campus!

Juniper Cafe

Located right beside the Isabel and right on the lake, this small cafe is another beautiful place to study! With amazing locally sourced food, delicious baked goods, and yummy drinks, this is a great place to either study, or to get a tasty lunch! When it’s warmer out, it’s an amazing place to do work outside as well. However, it is a very popular spot in a small venue, so make sure to get there early if you want a table!


When it’s warm out, it's hard to find a more beautiful place to study or do readings than right on the water. Living in Kingston, and especially on campus, it should be crime to never visit the waterfront. It is calm and beautiful by the water, and it would be one of my favorite places to visit to do readings! It’s a free place to study, with a view, making it pretty hard to beat in my opinion.

Obviously, these aren’t the only places to study on campus. There are many more, but these were my absolute favorite when I lived on campus first year. I hope this list helps any Queen’s, or future Queen’s, students who are interested in finding cool places to study on campus and around Kingston!

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