Re:New is the alumni and friends magazine of New College at the University of Toronto, published annually by the Office of Advancement at NEW.

What Is home?

“I do not think of home as a place, only. Nor do I think belonging is the most important of our possibilities, long for it though we might. I believe home is a way of thinking, an idea of belonging, which matters more to us than the thing itself. Where we are, who we are, who we are with: these are so intertwined as to be inseparable. What we owe to ourselves we owe to others.”
—Esi Edugyan

Home as an idea, a guide, an abstraction beyond place, 
though without excluding geography—that is where the Canadian writer Esi Edugyan arrives toward the end of Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home (2014), her beautiful meditation on that seemingly familiar yet elusive concept. In the pages that follow in this latest edition of New College’s alumni and friends magazine, we too, in true NEW fashion, have attempted to shine a light on the term home from various angles. And like Edugyan, we perhaps arrive at more questions than answers, at possibilities rather than firm convictions. But that will be up to you to decide.

We invite you to come along on the journey that winds its way through the stories and images we have gathered here. You will hear about alumni recent and slightly less recent, about teachers, current students, a former principal and our beekeeper. All of them, we hope, will make you think and rethink the concept of home, both as reassurance and as contention. You will find home discussed in terms of place (and its history), but also in terms of the body, contemporary technology, citizenship, belonging, the environment, personal objects and more.

Our college prides itself on a diverse community—at this moment, our students hail from 72 different countries, while NEW alumni reside in 35 distinct nations around the globe. But as one of the articles in this issue will remind you, these numbers tell you very little about the actual richness that exists among the people of New College.

Thank you for being one of them, and thank you for reading. We would love to hear from you, so if you would like to share your thoughts with us, please email

Re:New Magazine Cover Image (Close-up of beehive with a number of bees, one of them hatching.)
What Is Home?
In the sixth issue of Re:New, you will find the concept of home discussed in terms of place (and its history), but also in terms of the body, contemporary technology, citizenship, belonging, the environment, personal objects and more.
Read the current issue online

In this issue:

Indigenous Grounds
A conversation with Métis advocate and teacher Doug Anderson about Indigenous placemaking, cultural resurgence and hope.
Read Indigenous Grounds

Portrait of a seated, smiling woman with box braids and folded hands [Lydia Gill in U of T’s Convocation Hall]; rows of seats visible behind her.
Direct Entry
Lydia Gill, the University of Toronto’s first student recruitment officer for equity outreach and support, helps demystify undergraduate life for under-represented groups.
Read Direct Entry

Instagram-style close-up of a set of petri dishes held by a gloved scientist wearing jeans and open toed shoes, from above.
Scroll, Swipe, Tap: Science Goes Social
Alumna, stem cell researcher and science communicator Samantha Yammine talks brains, equity and social media.
Read Scroll, Swipe, Tap

Close-up of a hand holding the corner of a sliding frame covered in bees.
Plan Bee
A glimpse into the intricate lives of the tiny but mighty pollinators with New College beekeeper Tom Nolan.
Read Plan Bee

Portrait of a woman with long, dark hair and glasses, smiling at the camera [Anne McGuire].
Dwelling in Disability
Anne McGuire from the Disability Studies stream proffers an expansive view of ability and access.
Read Dwelling in Disability

Portrait of the New College mascot Goliath Gnu (a wildebeest dressed in a green New College jersey) sitting and reading a letter, with a large bag of letters by his feet and a wall of mail slots behind him.
Postcards from Afar
The world comes together at New College, so we asked you, our alumni, to say a few words about what home means to you. Here are a few selections. Home is…
Read Postcards from Afar