I believe there is a big group of cyclists out at U of C that ride every morning. You may want to do a little research in that area.
Welcome to the forums! I live downtown myself, and when they showed me the bike room (outside in the garage second level with no doors), I decided to get hooks and hang all my bikes in my studio apartment. I have 4 bikes, and it's a tight fit, but I'd rather be in a tight fit than have no bike at all! But I have insurance too, so that's always a relief for me. You should seriously consider getting renters insurance!
Welcome to the neighborhood. Sorry to hear about your bike.