Weekend Getaway: Toronto

Fall semester is in full swing and it’s starting to feel like you’re doing the same thing every week. Class. Study. Drink. Hangover. Poor Theme Party Costume Choice. Homework. Switch things up by taking advantage of a long weekend or your fall break (if you’re that lucky) by checking out our Weekend Getaway guides. You’ve already got a guide to Boston.  Today we’re celebrating Toronto.

For our readers in Eastern Canada, or even in the Northeastern states, Toronto is definitely a city you should consider checking out for a long weekend.  There is a lot to do in the city, and with everything in the downtown close together, you can see a lot in just a few days!  Plus, if you’re coming up across the border, the drinking age is only 19 so you, too, can get a taste of the stellar nightlife.

But beyond that, Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world – you could easily eat or shop your way around the world in only a few hours. It’s also a hub for art, shows, and fashion so there’s something here for everyone. And your money goes a wee bit further than it would in the U.S.A.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your passport and come to Canada!

What to Do

When operational, the Distillery District in Toronto used to be home to the largest distillery in the British Empire.  Now the district is home to 40 historic buildings, making up the most preserved collection of Victorian industrial architecture in North America.  Yeah, I know you might be rolling your eyes at visiting a historic area, but there are lots of restaurants and shops, too!  Like SOMA chocolate – where they sell delicious artisan chocolate. Next I’d recommend checking out the Royal Ontario Museum (commonly known as the ROM). If you’re a shopper, our Rodeo Drive/5th Avenue equivalent is in this area.

Lastly, check out Kensington Market;  there are lots of cool little shops, cafes and bars, making it the perfect stop for an afternoon stroll. If you’re into vintage clothing there also happen to be a TON of shops around there full of fun and funky threads.  Chinatown borders on Kensington so go check it out as well – I highly recommend going to a Chinese bakery while you’re there.

Three places you must eat

1. Smokes Poutinerie
Poutine is a Canadian delicacy, and Smoke’s has quite the variety of specialty poutine dishes

2. Terroni
You have to try pizza at Terroni; it’s delicious.  If you go to the location on Adelaide, it’s in the old Courthouse – a seriously cool atmosphere.

3. Fresh
Want something healthy? Check out one of their three locations.  This vegetarian juice-bar is sure to have you feeling pumped to hit the streets since you’ll be full of nutritional goodness.  And, just an FYI, Toronto is brimming with vegetarian/vegan restaurants for all of you meat-free ladies.

Nightlife

There are lots of places to go out in Toronto.  My recommendations would be to stick these areas, especially if you want to do a little bar hopping: Annex, Queen West, the Entertainment District and Kensington Market.  These neighborhoods tend to skew younger, so you won’t have to worry so much about being hit on by creepy older men. And the Annex & Kensington Market are super close to University of Toronto, so you’ll find lots of students getting their drink on.

Lodging
If you’re looking to save some money, I’d definitely opt for a hostel. Some highly rated hostels in Toronto are the Canadiana Backpackers Inn, Backpackers on Dundas and Global Village Backpackers. If you’re coming up on a weekend or holiday and want more luxurious accommodations, check out the hotels in the financial district – they usually offer reduced rates when it’s not a standard business day.

8 Under $20: Yummy Accessories
8 Under $20: Yummy Accessories
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