Photo Credit: Sandro Schuh via Unsplash
Hidden gems in the city
Darian Trabold, Associate Lifestyle Editor
Exploring Toronto is one of the best parts of living in the city. With over five million people in the Greater Toronto Area, there is much to explore. Being located in the heart of downtown, the University of St. Michael’s College offers a great starting point to explore the city. Here are some of my top spots.
One of the most beautiful and scenic places in Toronto, the islands provide an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located right next to the Harbourfront, the ferry ride to the islands only costs $8.70 for a round trip. The ride offers spectacular views of Lake Ontario and the CN Tower. I love to sit at the beach or in one of the Muskoka chairs they have around the island to read and relax. The walk around the island is easy and a great way to enjoy nature while living in a big city.
Queen Street West
With a plethora of shops and restaurants, walking along Queen Street West (a 10-minute walk from St. Mike’s) is always fun for me. I love discovering new shops and thrifting hidden gems. There are also great restaurants and local coffee shops, like Jimmy’s Coffee, that offer a nice break from exploring. One of my favourite spots is The Rex, a jazz club where U of T Jazz students perform every Monday during the school year.
On days when I don’t feel like taking the ferry, I always take a walk along the Harbourfront. I enjoy sitting on one of the benches to read, listen to music, and look out on Lake Ontario. Walking along the Harbourfront is peaceful, and the path ends right across the street from the CN Tower. Along the way, there is a place to get Beaver Tails, a must-try for anyone new to Canada.
St. Lawrence Market
Almost every Saturday morning in the fall, I would walk to St. Lawrence Market. The market offers different shops that sell a variety of items, including fresh produce and quirky Canadian-themed knick-knacks. As a plant lover, I always buy some flowers to liven up my room. The market is a quick walk from Union Station. When you’re there, don’t forget to bring cash, as most places don’t take cards!
The Distillery District
Located at a short walk from St. Lawrence Market, the Distillery District is full of unique shops and cafes. The Distillery District shines during the winter when they host their annual Christmas Market. From around the end of November to the weekend before Christmas, there are small tents selling a variety of handmade goods. It is a great time to shop for the holiday season. I recommend going at night when they light up the district with Christmas decorations.It is also a great time to take festive photos.