By Premila D’Sa
Here’s the deal: It’s really easy to get stuck in the Ryerson bubble. When you’re a Ryerson student, the entire city of Toronto suddenly becomes the stretch of Gould Street from the Rogers Communications Centre to the Student Learning Centre. Maybe Ted Rogers on the days you’re feeling adventurous. Don’t make the mistake of going to a school in the city and not learning anything about the city. Get off of Gould.
The best way to plan a night out in the Toronto is to decide what your vibe is. And so, here’s a definitive listing of all the places you could hit up around, but off campus, based on the vibe for the night.
If the vibe is “sitting down, grabbing a beer and drunk rambling with your friends,” the place is The Imperial. It’s a cosy pub that’s barely off campus (right down Bond Street). If you’re way too zoinked to navigate anywhere with your friends this is the spot. Almost everyone that heads to The Imperial goes right upstairs to a floor called the library. Imagine that you had a rich grandfather, who had a fancy study with bookshelves and old leather couches. But then add decently priced beer and popcorn to munch on, sprinkle in some buzzed Ryerson students and that’s the Imperial.
The Imperial is at 54 Dundas St. E.
If the vibe is “sweaty dancing to all the emo pop jams from middle school,” the place is The Dance Cave. The Cave is a fun little dance club above Lee’s Palace, a historic Toronto concert venue. There’s usually a line to get in, so get there early or dress for the weather and get ready to wait. The Cave plays a mix of radio hits and old school jams and you will definitely have the chance to drunkenly sing along to “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers at least once during the night. The best part about The Cave is that you can get in for free with student ID, so remember to include your OneCard in your clubbing essentials from now on.
The Dance Cave is at 529 Bloor St. W.
If the vibe is “I’m already failing school so I might as well get dumb, drunk and rowdy,” the place is the Madison Ave. Pub. Affectionately known as “the Maddy,” this place is your classic, grimy but well-loved university pub. Everyone at the Maddy knows exactly what they are there for, which is pretty much to get plastered.
The Maddy is at 14 Madison Ave.
If the vibe is “I’m a broke student and I want to be surrounded by other broke students so I don’t feel as broke,” the place is Warehouse. You’ll hear about Warehouse in your first 10 minutes at Ryerson, and for good reason. It’s really close (lucky for you froshies we’ve got a location right on Yonge this year. Back in the day Ryerson students had to make the dreaded trek to Queen Street) The main perk of Warehouse is that everything on the menu is $6 which means you have more money left for drinks. The Warehouse is where you’re allowed to be an embarrassing university student because everyone around you will be one too, so go for it.
Warehouse has three locations: The Yonge St. Warehouse at 336 Yonge St., the Queen St. Warehouse at 232 Queen St. W., and the El Furniture Warehouse at 410 Bloor St. W.
If the vibe is “I’m here, I’m queer, I’m going off tonight” the place is Crews & Tangos. Crews is a drag bar and a great introduction to nightlife in Toronto’s bustling gay village. The place is in an old house with sweet DJs holding up solid dance jams in different rooms. The best part about Crews are the queens that take the mainstage each night and light up the house with their lip syncs. The line for the place can be a little long sometimes, but it’s worth the wait. Even if you’re not feeling yourself, Crews is a good place to drag yourself to for a little pick me up dancing.
Crews & Tangos is at 508 Church St.
If the vibe is “I’m sick of grimy student clubs, need to take part in hip Toronto culture and need something that looks good on the ‘gram” the place is The Drake Hotel. Not related to Toronto rapper and unofficial Ryerson mascot Drake, this affordable but bougie feeling hotel is always guaranteed to be bumping. The place serves great cocktails if you’ve moved past the cheap student beer phase. It’s got a sweet rooftop perfect for some “candid” Instagram moments. The line for the place is long, especially on the weekends so head there a little early. The Drake also hosts sweet live music events in its basement floor, the Drake Underground.
The Drake Hotel is at 1150 Queen St. W.