Balance, Down time, Places, Student Life

On Exploring Toronto

Having had a (relatively) lax last couple of days, I decided to get out and discover a new part of Toronto. At a photo walk last month, I met a couple of people who work at Fujifilm who recommended I go to the Distillery District if I could find the time.

The walk there had some pretty sweet architecture, too. You never know what you'll find in Toronto!

The walk there had some pretty sweet architecture, too. You never know what you’ll find in Toronto!

Being the university student on a budget that I am, I made the choice to walk out rather than take transit. Vancouverite-in-Toronto mistake #1: checking and seeing single-digit degree weather, but walking out in a hoodie and jeans because you think it’s fine. I took one step out of Chestnut, and immediately turned back to grab my jacket. I accounted for the temperature, but definitely not the wind that seems to love Toronto so much lately. I’ve noticed a lot of first-years going with full-out winter jackets and mittens already, and thought it seemed a bit odd – in retrospect, ‘better safe than sorry’ is probably a better mantra to follow, but I digress.

Within seconds of approaching the district, I knew it was going to be a great spot for photography in the future. While it’d clearly be better for portraiture and the like (I saw at least three or four professional wedding shoots going on), the brickwork and rustic-hipster feel to the area nonetheless made for an enticing time. I can already tell this’ll be a great place to get some artsy shots for an Instagram feed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around when the sun set and the christmas lights streaming the courtyard flicked on, but there was still plenty of eye candy to go around.

"Uh... Uh, yes, the spyiiiiiider. Even the smallest bite from 'arachnis deathicus'..." - MegaMind the movie

“Uh… Uh, yes, the spyiiiiiider. Even the smallest bite from ‘arachnis deathicus’…” – MegaMind the movie

With galleries, fashion boutiques, and some tasteful installations, there was a lot to explore. Afterwards, I had no shortage of choices in the refreshments department, thanks to the fine selection of cafés and snack shops.

This caption would be far more informative if I knew what I was looking at.

This caption would be far more informative if I knew what I was looking at.

Really, it’s kind of difficult to describe the area. I mean, it’s been said to be a “Hip new neighbourhood within the best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial architecture in Canada” by National Geographic. For any fellow Vancouver students, I suppose it’s the East Coast equivalent of Gastown (but we all know which one’s better, right?). I’ve got zero regrets taking the time to step away from my notes and getting to see a new side of Toronto than what I’ve come to know. The Distillery District is a stark contrast to even the older buildings on campus, with its smart blend of industrial and modern. It might have been completely out of the way, but I’d definitely recommend looking into making a trip down there one day.

And to top it all off, I took in the view by the waterfront on my way back to res!

And to top it all off, I took in the view by the waterfront on my way back to res!