By Kinza Yaqoob and Joshua Chang
As autumn leaves begin to fall and the air gets crisper, there’s one thing on the minds of many Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) students: pumpkin spice everything! The pumpkin spice latte (PSL) fever has hit campus and we’re here to guide you through the best spots to indulge in this seasonal delight.
While we navigate through the ups and downs of academic life, our love for pumpkin spice remains steadfast. So grab your coziest sweater and join us on the journey to discovering the most delicious spots to feed into your pumpkin spice addiction.
1. Starbucks: The Iconic Pumpkin Spice Fix
Let’s start with the undisputed heavyweight champion of pumpkin spice: Starbucks. What makes the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks different from the rest? Beyond its scrumptious flavour, the embodiment of the autumn experience in a cup is classically executed by Starbucks’ popular name brand. There is no shortage of students who have the Starbucks app open on their phones, waiting for that notification that tells them their drink is ready for pick-up. As predictable as the changing seasons, Starbucks brings back its PSL and Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew to the city earlier than your alarm clock on a Monday morning. You’ll find these popular (yet pricey) comeback drinks on the menu earlier than most others.
2. Balzac’s: The Late Bloomer
Balzac’s may not be in a rush to join the fall festivities, but when they do, it’s worth the wait. Located right by the TMU Image Arts Centre, Balzac’s is like that one friend who arrives fashionably late to the fall fiesta. With real pumpkin purée, maple syrup and a pinch of fall spices, Balzac’s Café Harvest makes sure to keep your seasonal taste buds alert for the festivities. Get your delicious drink piping hot at this campus-favourite spot. When the time comes, you know you’ll be holding your fancy cup like it’s the most fashionable accessory of the season.
3. Tim Hortons: The Classic Canadian Comfort
Tim Hortons may not exactly shout “pumpkin spice” from the rooftops but that doesn’t mean it’s not in on all the action! Tim Horton’s classic fall menu features the Pumpkin Spice Iced Capp, a twist on one of Canada’s most beloved drinks: the Iced Capp. It’s basically the hidden treasure of the fall season. Next time you go for your daily Tims run, just ask for this delicacy and watch as they work their magic to create a refreshing blend of Canadian comfort and autumn charm. The Pumpkin Spice Iced Capp is the mysterious superhero of the pumpkin spice world.
There will be no shortages of spice in your life this fall, especially when TMU campus has two Tim Hortons locations nearby. Just take a short walk from the Dundas subway station to the corner of Victoria Street or head to the basement of the Yonge-Dundas Square Cineplex building to get your fix. Rest assured, knowing that you can easily satisfy your pumpkin spice cravings while enjoying the bustling atmosphere of campus life.
4. Second Cup: Sip in Style
Second Cup might not be as big a player in the pumpkin spice game as the others but they have their loyal following. Their take on the classic PSL is like a fashion statement in a cup–sophisticated, elegant and absolutely delicious. Second Cup’s PSL is the accomplice that takes your coffee game from casual to runway-ready. But wait! That’s not all for you crazed PSL lovers. There’s a Second Cup Café conveniently located at the Eaton Centre, just a stone’s throw away from TMU campus, ensuring you can enjoy this delightful treat right at your academic doorstep.
And I mean, hey, if you’re ‘built different’ and not in the mood for pumpkin spice this morning, try Second Cup’s other fall flavour: the Kettle Corn Cold Foam Caramel Flash Brew. As @secondcupcanada says on their Instagram—it’s not just a coffee; it’s an experience.
5. Aroma Espresso Bar: The Hidden Gem
Aroma Espresso Bar often flies under the radar but their pumpkin spice latte deserves recognition too! There’s a unique twist that lies in the harmonious blend of aromatic spices and a slight caramel undertone that elevates this familiar taste to new heights. It’s like finding a five-dollar bill in your jacket pocket–unexpected but oh-so-satisfying. Make sure you take advantage of the next time you spot an Aroma Espresso Bar and grab this exceptional treat. It’s a sip of autumn magic that’s not to be missed.
Now that you know where to go, it’s time to don your flannel shirts, fluffy scarves and Doc Martens. So, head down to your favourite coffee spot today and raise your PSL to the sky for the season of pumpkin spice madness. These expensive and popular cafes are more than caffeine suppliers—they’re our sanctuaries of warmth, community and pumpkin-spiced joy.
Remember, it’s all in good fun, and a pinch of pumpkin spice is just what we need to spice up our academic adventures!