A grad's guide to Toronto map.  Illustrated by Marissa Webber.
A grad’s guide to Toronto (map).
Illustrated by Marissa Webber.

Free Movies at Harbourfront Centre
(235 Queens Quay W)
Starting in July, a free movie is played at Harbourfront Centre every Wednesday night. Movies span many genres and appeal to a variety of audiences. For more info:

Toronto Reference Library
(789 Yonge St.)
The Toronto Reference Library is the heart of the library system and is one of the largest in Toronto. During the summer, they also offer some free movie viewings.

Art Gallery of Ontario
(317 Dundas St. W)
Want a free sneak peak of the AGO’s permanent collections? Visit on Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Special exhibits extra.

Bata Shoe Museum
(327 Bloor St. W)
Don’t judge this museum solely by its name! The Bata Shoe Museum delves into history, culture and style using its central theme of shoes. On Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., you can pay what you want for admission.

Run Clubs
(various locations)
Running clubs are a great way to get some exercise while meeting some new people. Nike offers four free run clubs spread across the city that run on different days of the week, starting at 6:30 p.m. More information can be found on each Nike run club’s Facebook page.

Lululemon stores in Toronto also offer free run clubs on certain nights of the week. More information is available on each store’s Facebook page, or the store listing on

Lululemon stores also offer free yoga classes on Sunday mornings and on certain nights of the week. They will even lend you a mat!

The city of Toronto offers free swim times in the summer at its outdoor pools! Sunnyside (Gus Ryder Pool) 1755 Lake Shore Boulevard W
Dundas and Bathurst (Alexandra Park) 275 Bathurst St.
Christie Pits (Alex Duff Memorial Pool) 779 Crawford St.
Woodbine Beach (D.D. Summerville Pool) 1867 Lake Shore Boulevard E
For a full list, see:

Green spaces to hang out
High Park has cherry blossoms in the spring! Trinity-Bellwoods offers green space with tennis courts and a large off-leash area for dogs. Christie Pits has a baseball diamond, outdoor pool, and lots of green area. Sunnyside Beach has volleyball, an outdoor pool and a paddling club (membership required, see: Ashbridges Bay includes Woodbine beach, lots of area to hang out in the sun and many beach volleyball courts. Arrive early to secure a spot. Garrison Creek walking trail is a very cool way to see a lot of the city. Runs down what used to be a creek from Bloor St. down to historic Fort York. Toronto Islands isn’t completely free ($7 for the ferry ride over; includes return fare) but there’s lots of green space to check out. Many festivals throughout the summer!


Affordable (and not atrocious) Haircuts
The Aveda Hair School (125 King St. W) employs students in their first year (Institute Students, $25 haircut) and students who have had one year of experience (Academy Students, $40 haircut). Since educators are always nearby, no one is going to give you a mullet. Unless you want one, of course!

Royal Ontario Museum
The ROM features discounted tickets on Fridays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. For a few dollars more, the ROM Friday Night Live option with live DJs lets you dance among the dinosaurs to some great music.

Over the years, we have stumbled across many Toronto establishments that we now call our favourite finds. Meandering without a map or using Blogto (, a great online resource, have led us to some of our favourite places below.

Coffee Shops
Rooster Coffee House (479 Broadview Ave) Located just east of Riverdale Park, a great open space in Toronto. Riverdale Farm, the historic Toronto Necropolis Cemetery and the beautiful cottages of Cabbagetown are just a walk away. Snakes and Lattes (600 Bloor St. W) A coffee shop that combines great coffee and food with any board game you can think of.

The Chocolateria (361 Roncesvalles Ave) You no longer have to wonder what garam masala and dark chocolate tastes like. They also feature bacon-flavoured chocolate. We’ve said too much already.

The Red Tea Box (696 Queen St. W) Tasty tea, culinary fusion and eclectic style make this place extremely unique.
Cranberries (601 Parliament St.) In our opinion, they make the best chicken wings in Toronto.
Korean Village Restaurant (628 Bloor St. W) Authentic Korean barbeque.
Banjara (796 Bloor St. W) Indian cuisine at its finest.
Spirits Bar & Grill (642 Church St.) My favourite free open mic comedy on Wednesday nights.
Ema-Tei (30 Saint Patrick St.) A sushi restaurant with matching restaurant décor.
7 West Cafe (7 Charles St. W) A fun place that is open 24/7.
Tokyo Sushi House (33 Saint Joseph St.) A quaint little sushi restaurant.

Beer Bars
Craving something a little different? All of these pubs change their featured beers regularly to keep up with the growing number microbreweries in Ontario.
Bar Volo (587 Yonge St.)
Beerbistro (18 King St. E)
C’est What (67 Front St. E)
Tequila Bookworm (512 Queen St. W)
Wvrst (689 King St. W)
Bellwoods Brewery (124 Ossington Ave)
Mill Street Brew Pub (21 Tank House Lane)

Type Books (883 Queen St. W) An independent book store that feature books you might not come across otherwise.
Women’s College Hospital Book Sales (76 Grenville St.) There are a couple of racks of used books for sale. Due to hospital renovations, the location of the book sale is always changing. Find a volunteer to point you in the right direction. One can often find recent hits or old classics for under $5 here.
BMV Books (471 Bloor St. W) A great used book store.
The Toronto Public Library Great selection of books too and you can even borrow ebooks. Hopefully no one made it this far. We just created a lot of competition for ourselves.

Other Pubs and Bars
Ein-stein (229 College St.) Great wings, cheap house beer.
O’Grady’s (171 College St.) Right across from campus, has happy hour on weekdays, cheap apps and drinks!
Pour Girl (191 College St.) Pretty good beer selection, cheap entrees (nothing AMAZING, but good bang for your buck!) **CASH ONLY. Seriously. There’s an ATM inside.
Toby’s Pub and Eatery (411 College St.) Half price wings from Sunday through Thursday. $5.50 for a plate with fries! Also cheap pitchers!
Pogue Mahone (777 Bay St.) An Irish pub near campus that has great food and a good atmosphere. Good Scotch collection. Not cheap, but definitely good for a nice night out.
The LAB (298 Brunswick Ave) No, not where your experiments are! The Labyrinth, or the LAB for short, is a bar. It’s small inside but there are drink deals every night of the week and the snack food is decent.

-by Leesa Pennell and Amanda Moore

The following two tabs change content below.

Leesa Pennell

Previous post Alumni Feature: Natasha Christie-Holmes
Next post Exercise and the Immune System

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Feed currently unavailable. Check us out on Twitter @immpressmag for more.