by Sarah Nathanson

 

Hey everyone! Great news: there is so much to do here in Toronto, all the time, that I, for one, have trouble choosing what to do over the weekends. Now, as students, we usually consider certain criteria before we choose an event: venue (How close is it to my house? Will I have to take the TTC?) and price (Is it cheap? Free? Will I get free food or swag?). Based on these requirements, here are some unique activities to keep us busy in the city.

 

Movie Magic

An outdoor movie theatre in the park.

Scene at TOPS

There is no shortage of free outdoor movies in the summer, which seems incredible given the ridiculous expense of a movie at Cineplex (I mean, come on: I could splurge on a meal out for $14). Most notable in this category: Under the Stars: Movies in the Park in Regent Park and TOPS, the Toronto Outdoor Picture Show.

Price: Free!

Distance: TOPS is all over the city, so something will be in your area. Under the Stars is at Regent Park, a 37-minute walk from campus. If a walk over 20 minutes is too much for you, the bike ride is a mere 13 minutes.

Extras: Under the Stars has refreshments for sale and fun, free activities (like yoga and DJ workshops) before every movie!

 

The Great Outdoors Beckons

A scenic forest with purple flowers on the forest floor.

Green, green, green. Photo by Hubert van den Borre

While I’m not the most athletic of students, readers of previous blog posts may have noticed that I’m tentatively optimistic about the outdoors. I might not take my own advice, but do check out the plentiful (and beautiful) hiking trails around Toronto — some in the Don River Valley, others hidden away all around the city. If you want to hit up a farmers’ market before or after your hike, you can go to the Evergreen Brickworks, which holds one every Saturday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Price: Free! (If you don’t count the sunscreen and water bottle that you’ll have acquired before striking out on your adventure.)

Distance: Hopefully, there’s something near you. If you’re ready to leave the city, the Don River Valley is a 50-minute TTC ride away . . . and 10 minutes by car, if you can scare one up. To get to the Evergreen Brickworks, there’s a free shuttle from Broadview station every half hour.

Extras: The beauty of nature! That’s always free.

 

Boogie-Woogie Weekends

Two people dancing the tango against a grey background.

Get your groove on! (I know this isn’t swing! But these people looked so beautiful doing the tango, I had to use this image.) Photo by Isaiah McClean

Hiking may not be me, but I do love a good dance class! Every Saturday night, Swing Toronto holds various beginner swing dance classes (a jazzy style that originated in Harlem in the 1920s) at Dovercourt House. There’s live jazz music, a dance party after classes are finished and a great workout in it for your calves. Even if this isn’t your scene, it’s great fun to gather with your friends to hear the music and watch the more experienced dancers kill it on the dance floor.

Price: $12 for one class and entrance to the party if you’re a full-time student! Remember, there’s a free concert in it for you.

Distance: Dovercourt House is basically on the subway line, 15 minutes from campus.

Extras: Bottles of water for a buck, new friends and, in general, a fabulous time.

 

Foodie Heaven

Two bubble teas in glass bottles on a wooden table against a wooden paneled background.

Want? Want! Photo by Rosalind Chang

For the foodies among us, Toronto boasts a staggering number of food festivals of all kinds. I, in particular, am very interested in the Bubble Tea festival on June 23 (those drinks are delicious, refreshing and there’s a huge variety).

Price: Free to get in, but you will have to buy your bubbles.

Distance: It’s a 40-minute TTC ride to the Canary District (think Front and Cherry Streets), but personally, I’m willing to travel for something so unique!

Extras: Not only is there a huge assortment of teas, but there are also performances, competitions and games at the festival!

Those are my top suggestions for today, folks. Did I miss anything? What are your suggestions?

Also, if you want to keep an eye on things happening in the city, keep BlogTO bookmarked (if they aren’t already). BlogTO covers events, reviews restaurants and basically keeps me in the know about whatever’s going on!

So get out there, everybody! Enjoy the heck out of your summer!

Sarah