By Izabella Balcerzak
Want to explore some artsy places that are walking distance from campus? Check out our list of the top places to take a cute pic or hang out with friends:
1. Allan Gardens (10 mins)
If your succulent collection is not satisfying your inner botanist, stroll over to Allan Gardens and enjoy all the greenery it has to offer. Just a short walk east along Gerrard Street, Allan Gardens is one of the oldest parks in Toronto and has a conservatory that is over 100 years old. It stays open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all week long and is free to enter.
This park is also home to a dog park with plenty of benches and your friendly neighbourhood canines. Don’t have a dog? No problem. Just sit back and pretend Bruno is around the corner. No one will judge you.
2. Cabbagetown (20 mins)
Located just northeast of Ryerson along Parliament Street, Cabbagetown is one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods offering coffee shops, patios, karaoke and a No Frills (for when the Loblaws at the Mattamy Athletic Centre breaks your bank). Coming up on September 9 and 10, check out the Cabbagetown Festival for local music, art and food vendors. Admission is free.
3. Kensington Market (30 mins)
This eclectic and multi-cultural neighbourhood is the perfect day adventure for you and your new found social group. By either walking on Dundas or Elm Street streets until you reach Spadina Avenue, Kensington Market is home to plenty of patios, restaurants, speakeasies, craft and vintage shops. Decorate your dorm room with tapestries, handmade artwork, sugar canes and trinkets. Don’t forget to check out Chinatown and satisfy your pho cravings at various 24-hour pho restaurants.
4. The Distillery District (30 mins)
A brisk walk towards Parliament and Front streets will bring you to restaurants and cafes to fill either your beer or coffee cravings. Walk around the heritage sites, check out an exhibit and get free food samples at local shops. The Market is great all seasons, especially when temperatures start to drop! Get out and enjoy the magic of Distillery’s annual Christmas Market running from November 16 to December 23.
5. Riverdale Farm (25 mins)
As surprising as it sounds, Toronto does have a farm and yes, they have horses. The 7.5 acres of land is just a short walk east along Gerrard Street through the nice-to-look-at but-expensive-homes until you reach Riverdale Farm. Make sure to get a good whiff of pigs, cows, ducks, goats, chickens and horses and then promptly air yourself off with a scenic stroll through the nearby trail. The farm is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day and admission is free.
A baseball field sits right next to the farm, just down the steps. Roll around the grass and look out for your canine friends! (The field doubles as a dog park).
6. Toronto Island/ Waterfront (30 mins)
With plenty of hiking, cycling and swimming spots, the Toronto Island and the Waterfront are places to be when you need an escape from the city. Walk south along Yonge Street until you reach the water and turn right. You’ll be walking towards quaint cafes, free art museums and street vendors. The Toronto Island is a 15-minute ferry ride across Lake Ontario that can either take you to Centre Island, Ward’s Island, or Hanlan’s Point. Regular ferry tickets are $7 and $5 for students (up to 19 years). You can also take a Tiki Taxi for $10.
7. The Village on Church Street (5 mins)
Show your pride and flaunt it along one of Canada’s most proud LGBTQ communities. Located on Church Street, north of Ryerson’s campus, the Village is an awesome place to hang out all year long, especially near Halloween (where the street shuts down for a giant costume party). Stay for the nightlife and check out local clubs and amazing drag shows (like Crews and Tangos).
8. Mount Pleasant Cemetery (1 hour)
Press play on your My Chemical Romance album and start your walk towards one of Canada’s most historic cemeteries. Explore the grounds with gravestones and headstones dating as far back as 1876. Designated as a World Heritage Site almost 20 years ago, start planning your funeral (they get quite pricey).
For more spots to visit both on and off campus, take a look at our map below: