As you read this title, you might be thinking; What? A world exists beyond U of T? I know, shocking! Seriously though, with engaging classes and university events, sometimes it can feel like we’re all in a campus bubble. While there’s four weeks before courses begin and the ‘dog days of summer’ are in full form, it’s time to take advantage of this expansive (though, often expensive, so let’s do this on a budget) metropolis. Whether you’re finishing up summer school, just arriving back to the 416, or perhaps have lived here your whole life, hopefully you can take away a few tips (and give me some of your own). Here are four of my favourite Toronto spots to hangout with friends, study, and simply to get outside this month
1) For the Adventure Junkie and Nautical Nut: The Toronto Islands
The islands are strategically placed at #1 on this list, due to my mere admiration for these day trips. I started these visits when I came to Toronto in high school and subsequently in university, I enlisted my friends into crossing Lake Ontario with me for picnics and bike rides. In my opinion there’s something so special and genuine about the landscape of the islands—the rocky shores, along with the individuals that call the bungalow-lined streets home. The views of the Toronto skyline are unbeatable and if you’re under 19 the round-trip ferry is only $7.50.
2) For the Wholesome, Sustainable Explorer: The Evergreen Brickworks
Located in the Don Valley, the Brickworks operated as a quarry and an industrial site for almost a hundread years, before it was converted into a city park and event space. Last summer I went on a Saturday when one of my best friends was visiting the city. I realized it’s a great way to show people Toronto, without having to be immersed in the downtown core. We had a ball strolling through the farmer’s market, trying local delicacies and hiking up through the park. The walk to the top is only about 15-minutes and the reward is incredible- we could see the whole city!
3) For the Old school View-Seeker: Riverdale Park
Yes you read that right. there is a neighboorhood called Riverdale in Toronto. I know it seems like we’re living in an Archie comic, but this area is actually quite unique and has grown to be my second home. Riverdale—or often known as “Greek Town”— runs along The Danforth. Only a few subway stops from St. George, Riverdale Park is one of my favourite places to relax and enjoy with company. Again, the skyline views are unbeatable.
4) For the Nature Enthusiast Hipster: Trinity Bellwoods Park
If you’ve lived in the city for a few years, you’ve definitely heard of this 36-acre park, bordered by Queen Street West on the south and Dundas Street on the north. Strolling through Trinity Belwoods one day with my parents as they told old stories, made me realize how much the area has changed in the past 20 years. This summer I’ve fallen in love with the grassy hills that makeup this tranquil oasis and especially the gentrified streets surrounding the park. I usually take the streetcar down Spadina with friends and we walk along Queen West, of course stopping into local business to pick up snacks and reading material for the day’s entertainment.
Those are a few of my beloved summer spots around the city. Enjoy and feel free to share yours!
Until next week- R