Ontario’s Bloor and Yonge is yours to discover
Lily Song ASSOCIATE FEATURES EDITOR
Image: TORONTO CITY GUIDE
In a blink of an eye, it’s already well into October and we all know what that means — midterms are here! The once uncontrollable excitement for September is drowned with a thick blanket of blues — the midterm blues of mutual misery felt across the entire campus. Our immediate instinct is to fear that we will fail if we continue to play around like we did in September, and that we will fail if we stray off from our schedules we made to prepare for our midterms.
Most of us will give into this fear and lock ourselves in our rooms or the library in hope of success. But is this really for the best? After four years as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, I have seen many students crumbling under pressure and guilt-tripping themselves about the procrastination they couldn’t avoid because they were studying for consecutive hours a day. Are there any better ways for success?
How about including both academic and leisure activities in your lifestyle so you can reserve a time for each without trying to get all and end up with none?
Are you convinced, but not sure where to start and what to do? Want to try something new and interesting while exploring the city outside of our campus? Here is where I present to you a spectacular boulevard full of entertainment for all tastes and ages: Toronto’s own intersection of Bloor and Yonge!
Bloor and Yonge is the next intersection east of Bloor and Bay, which is visible on our campus map. Located on the northeast side of our campus near Victoria College and the University of St. Michael’s College, you can also use the Line 1 of the TTC subway line, getting off at Bloor-Yonge Station to arrive at your destination!
What is it about this neighbourhood that makes it so special? This place has everything we need with a creative twist as well as grandeur. Let’s begin with the Gardiner Museum at 111 Queens Park. This has been home to one of Canada’s national ceramics museums since 1987! They showcase ceramics from across the world to celebrate the types of mediums we use in our kitchens to our living rooms. They further inspire and challenge their visitors with their drop-in clay workshops, where you can shape and craft your own clay figurines and plates! Plus: admission is free for all post-secondary students with a valid student ID every Tuesday! What is there to lose?
Are you more interested in buying rather than making? Then I present you the cutest stationery shop on the block — Sarah & Tom at 686 Yonge Street. It is the second shop after the explosive success of the original Sarah & Tom in Koreatown. This boutique has you covered from stationeries to accessories, plush dolls to bento boxes from Korea, China, and Japan. This is a notable location especially if you are an anime otaku or an avid k-pop fan. They have sailor senshi pins and BTS posters to cheer you on during tough times of midterms and assignments.
The last option I have for you is something you can’t ever get enough of … food! If you are tired of the same menu items and the same view of the streets at the restaurant you always go to, then The One Eighty at 55 Bloor Street West will blow your mind. High up on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre, you can experience the clear Toronto skyline while breathing in the fresh air as you wait for your cocktail and risotto to arrive on the patio. It’s the best vacation you can treat yourself to in the span of just an hour.
If you packed your lunch but would like to consume some sugar that isn’t in your coffee, consider this newest addition to the long list of bubble tea brands in Toronto — The Alley. Located at 5 St. Joseph Street, what makes this café stand out from the rest is that they craft their own tapiocas and sugar cane syrup from scratch. Thanks to that, the flavours taste much more original and fresh. That’s not all, because on top of that, they offer a second option for tapiocas that most bubble tea shops do not have — brown sugar tapioca! If you’d like a sweeter tapioca to go along with your drink without worrying too much about your health, give The Alley a try.
This midterm season, challenge yourself with a different environment and a different activity! You might surprise yourself by learning new skills and you might even be able to study better if you take the time for self-care and tap into your creativity.