I'm a first year student at the University of Toronto…
It’s your day off and you’re considering your options by scrolling through Netflix. It’s hard to imagine being bored in a city like Toronto but it happens. There is no need to sulk to the same coffee shop you always go to or fight off tourists at the Eaton Center. There are so many options out there, and luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of 15 things to do near campus when you’re utterly bored to death. Here are some things to do when bored at the University of Toronto.
1. Bring out your inner child at an indoor obstacle course.
Pursuit OCR is an extensive obstacle course with 19 obstacles, which include scaling walls, crawling through tunnels, crossing monkey bars, and best of all, jumping into a ball pit. They believe that your workout shouldn’t be work, which I for one, am totally on board with. So grab some friends and go play on playground, all while working up a sweat.
2. Get cultured at the AGO.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is the place to go if you want to spend some time roaming around, whether on your own or with friends. The gallery features over 90 000 works of art so you are bound to be amazed, even if the only painting you know by name is the Mona Lisa (which, sadly, is not there). Students get a discount upon entry daily and the entire gallery is free every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m.
3. Eat ice cream as dark as your soul.
We all know that Toronto takes it’s ice cream seriously. It started with Sweet Jesus and then Eva’s Original Chimney’s. Now, iHalo Crunch on Queen St West is serving up ice cream infused with activated charcoal in house-made charcoal waffle cones. Grab yourself a scoop and see what the Instagram craze is about. If anything, do it for the feed.
4. Get competitive and caffeinated at Snakes and Lattes.
There’s something about playing a board game with friends, especially when you can get full and tipsy at the same time. At Snakes and Lattes, it’s all about keeping it simple. A $6 admission gives you access to more games than you could ever imagine. Order a coffee, beer, or cocktail and play a friendly game of your choosing.
5. Embrace your inner emo kid.
Get ready for a flashback at Sneaky Dee’s Emo Night every Friday. From 10pm to 2am, channel your inner pop-punk kid to music from Paramore, My Chemical Romance, and Fall Out Boy. It doesn’t get more nostalgic than that.
6. Kick back on the quad.
If you aren’t feeling like braving the streets or the messy TTC that Toronto marks itself with, you don’t even have to leave campus to make quality use of your time. U of T has plenty of quads for whatever fits your taste, although you probably only pass through them when you’re running to your 9 am lecture. Set up a picnic on Trinity’s quad and pass the day while getting some well-needed Vitamin C before you start hibernating in Robarts again.
7. Get your vegan on in Kensington Market around University of Toronto
Kensington Market is a trifecta of vegan restaurants, vintage shops, and quaint coffee shops. Take a stroll through and it feels like you entered a different world away from the glass buildings of Bay Street. My personal favorite is Hibiscus Cafe, a small restaurant serving buckwheat batter crepes that can be made vegan. Then, spot by Cosmic treats for a decadent ice cream sundae and blame it on Freshman 15, even if you’re not a freshman anymore.
8. Bond with the Believe guy.
If you have yet to encounter Sarko, or better known as the Believe Guy, go visit Toronto’s local celebrity at his corner of Yonge and Dundas, the busiest intersection in the city. He may be a passionate Christian preacher but he’s been startling innocent passerby’s for years. Yet, Toronto wouldn’t be quite the same without him.
9. See if your tuition is paying off at Trivia Night.
Remember Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Now’s your chance to set up to the plate. You better fine tune your knowledge on everything from celebrity scandals to geographic discoveries because every Wednesday, the Drake Hotel hosts Drake Trivia. The winning table gets a $80 Drake gift card… not too bad for a broke university student.
10. Take in the #Views from the 6ix.
By now, the views of the CN tower have become your normal and you no longer feel the need to take a picture every evening. Yet, Toronto’s skyline is part of what brought you here. Hit up Riverdale park and feel like a celebrity. Even Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan’s admired the view of skyscrapers in the background in the rom-com The F-Word.
11. Make friends with a llama.
If the stress that is U of Tears is getting you down, instead of crying on the steps of Con Hall, head to the High Park Zoo. I know it’s hard to make friends with real people so this one’s for you. Spend your day procrastinating with the cute animals including bison, deer, llamas, and peacocks. Best of all, it’s completely free for University of Toronto students.
12. Go on a beach stay-cation.
Obviously don’t do this during the winter, unless you’re a really hardcore Canadian but Toronto has plenty of beaches right here. It’s up to you if want to brave the Lake Ontario water, but the sand is perfect for wasting the day away among a bustling crowd. Play volleyball at Woodbine beach, lounge below pink umbrellas at Cherry Beach, or even go clothing-optional at Hanlan’s Point. Get away from University of Toronto.
13. Eat your stress away for cheap.
Let’s face it, all of us students spend way too much on food, especially with so many options in Toronto. At El Furniture Warehouse in the Annex and Queen Street Warehouse, all the food is priced at $4.95 and drinks are also reasonably priced. Come for the atmosphere and the cheap eats, although you’ll probably order so much, you’ll be broke anyway.
14. Get classy and party with dinosaurs.
Even if you’ve been to the Royal Ontario Museum on countless school trips, this time it’s going to be different. Every friday night starting September 29th, the ROM hosts Friday Night Live, with a dance floor, DJs, and live indie artists. If you get tired of dancing, wander through the museum’s exhibits with drinks and food in hand. Your teacher won’t yell at you this time.
15. Take a nap.
Sometimes you just have to nap. There’s plenty of places around campus for a snooze when you don’t have anywhere else to be. Whether this be in your dorm or apartment, in the stacks at Robarts, the couches at Pratt or Hart House, or a comfy chair in the Bader while a lecture lulls you to sleep, you deserve a well needed break from University of Toronto.
So go on, grab some friends, and see what Toronto has to offer. You have four years of university with all the freedom to go out and explore. There is something that will most definitely suit you, whether this be a park, a museum, a bar, or even the perfect napping spot. What do you think about University of Toronto?!
Featured Image Source: weheartit.com
I'm a first year student at the University of Toronto majoring in English and Philosophy. In my free time, I like to write, buy more books than I can afford, and explore the city. I can be found hiding out at coffee shops around campus.