When I moved into student housing during my first week of University back in 2013, it was the first time I had set foot in Toronto. Over the years, I had flown through Pearson International Airport, staring off into what I now know is Mississauga. As a full-time student with a perpetual need to explore, I have forever been a tourist in my new home.
Toronto is a fairly easy city to explore, with easily accessible public transit (TTC) and its reputation as a “walking city.” During my three years living here, I have walked virtually everywhere I needed to go- even during the cold winter months. If you’re planning on visiting Toronto with a group, try to have your trip over a weekend- a $12 day-pass for TTC is valid for two adults and up to 4 youth on Saturdays and Sundays.
Must-See Places in Toronto
In recent years, Toronto has garnered international status, with major media outlets like Vogue Magazine naming West Queen Street West neighbourhood as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world and The New York Times naming Toronto as the seventh-best city to visit in the world earlier this year.
West Queen Street West neighbourhood is definitely one of the most unique in Toronto. Located west of Yonge Street, the fashion centre of the city is a mix of locally owned clothing and accessory shops with international retailers, local restaurants like Burger Priest and Rose City, Trinity Bellwoods Park (the only park in the city to allow open alcohol), and the well-known Graffiti Alley, hidden just south of Spadina Avenue. It’s also home to some of Canada’s most famous music venues like the Horseshoe Tavern and The Cameron House, famous for its punk music scene.
Another unique neighbourhood in Toronto is just off on West Queen Street West, on Ossington Avenue. With some of the best bars and breweries in the city, Trinity Bellwoods Park and yummy ice cream sandwiches from Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery, it’s a fun spot to visit with friends.
But my personal favourite neighbourhood is my own- Kensington Market. The Market is one of the most culturally diverse neighbourhoods, with the highest influx of immigrants from the First World War onward. I love the fusion food scene (hello Jamaican-Italian at Rasta Pasta), the infinite amount of gluten-free and vegan options, local clothing and vintage stores, secret bars, stunning graffiti and insanely cheap groceries.
For more in-depth Toronto neighbourhood guides, click here.
Have you ever been to Toronto before? Let me know through my social media channels below!