back profile of someonee walking down a wooded trail

Three Fun Things to Do on a Student Budget (Summer Edition) ☀️

The sun is shining (sometimes) and you are craving ice cream (all the time). I get it, being on a student budget means one cannot afford a double scoop on a daily basis. And during the pandemic, it is more important than ever to take precautions to social distance when you are out, doing things. Half a summer in, here are four of my favorite commuter-friendly activities for a summer spent in Toronto. Bring a friend or a sibling. Or, just go on a date by yourself.

  1. Picnic on campus

A picnic does not demand any elaborate setup. I don't usually bother with a picnic blanket, saving my elbow grease for toting snacks like charcuterie and crackers or just sushi takeout in a knapsack. There are lots of tables on campus if you prefer the bench and tabletop situation—good for soups. There are even more patches of grass on which you can lie. I enjoy sitting by Old Vic, though Queen's Park Circle is a great place to people watch. I saw a game of frisbee when passing by the other day.

A thumbs up is posed behind three sushi platters on a table by Queen's Park.

2. Get ice cream

Half the fun of getting ice cream is the anticipation leading up to the event. My favorite is Bakerbots on Bloor and Ossington. This popular Tuesday to Sunday establishment is about a 30 minute walk from campus. They have great flavors at affordable price points (about 5 or 6 dollars for a single scoop cone). If you are feeling impatient, Eataly also offers some great gelato for a taste of Italy. This specialty store is only a five minute walk from campus, at just Bay and Bloor. My favorite flavor here is the nocciolata, which is a cocoa and hazlenut flavor.

a student holding an ice cream cone
This ice cream cone is from Nani's Gelato, on Charles and Yonge (about a ten minute walk from campus).

3. Take a walk, watch the birds!

As Grace mentioned in last week's blog post, there are a ton of great trails and paths for you to take a walk. But walking can also entail more than the mere routine of taking steps. When I walk down Philosopher's Walk on campus, I enjoy stopping to watch the birds and the squirrels (my partner. and I found a blonde one last week). The route to Evergreen Brickworks in the Don Valley is a popular place for mushroom scavenging. And while you're at it, get those steps in!

a blonde student in the foreground with a blonde squirrel in the background

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of the spots you can visit and the things you can do on a student budget in Toronto. A great activity accessory, for me, is the film camera. I bought mine off a second-hand site and the film generally costs only about 5-7 dollars per roll. Development and scans is another $12 at Aden Camera on College and Yonge. Being able to go out and take photos that one cannot see right away is often good enough a reason to go out. Enjoy your summer!

the author raises a camera to her eye in a living room

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