There are countless art galleries and institutions in this city: some are properties of design companies, charities and co-working spaces, but did you know that there is actually a building that houses all of these incredibly varied organizations under one roof? Let me introduce you to 401 Richmond. This unique Toronto locale is a restored (not renovated) industrial building located in the heart of the Fashion District. Personally, I am lucky enough to not only have worked in the space, but also attended writing workshops and art classes, as well as having spent many an afternoon browsing its many galleries dedicated to visual arts, 3D installations, music and so much more!
A new innovation has taken the gaming community by storm and this new technology is called VR (Virtual Reality). It gives all those avid gamers an added dimension to their favourite pastime (so basically, good luck getting them out of the house now). Suffice it to say, the introduction of virtual reality in gaming has become extremely popular, for obvious reasons. The appeal comes from the hyper-realistic feeling it provides for its players and, more often than not, it’s a full body experience that encapsulates the user’s complete attention.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but right now, the only thing keeping this “strikecation” from feeling like early summer is its total lack of good weather! I know we’re all pulling our hair out by the handful as we wait impatiently for actual summer to start; the only things keeping us from kicking our feet up and enjoying a cold one in the sun are the icy wind, the annoying mini-blizzards, the torrential downpour of rain just when it was warming up, and, oh yeah, the imminent, imposing deadlines of assignments we’ve been putting off until now.
I’m sure we’ve all been exhausting our lists of places to check out looking for things to do over the last (several) weeks of strike time, so much so that our lists may need some replenishing for the spring and summer months ahead. So, whether you’re in Toronto for summer school or an internship or if you live here all year round, here are some ideas to help you pass the time. After all, summer is the best time to get outside and explore all that Toronto has to offer!
I am always on the prowl for a comfy and, more importantly, cozy restaurant. Last week, a friend invited me to eat at a bar/restaurant labelled online as an “unpretentious two storey hangout,” so I decided to check it out. At first glance, the Green Room appeared to be a hidden, run down spot with no originality. However, when I entered this establishment, all assumptions and reservations I had walked in with were discarded. It had a laid-back atmosphere, filled with 20-somethings and a vibrant, soulful green-themed surroundings. The Green Room is definitely a place designed for university students, hipsters and music lovers.
Speaking of picks (or pickets), it’s strike time! That means you have time to catch up on assignments during the day and time to have fun at night! If you’re like me, you like a solid venue for unwinding with friends, enjoying some tunes and testing out several of Toronto’s wide range of yummy drink creations. I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite spots for doing just that. So why not grab a TTC day pass and do a little bar hopping for a fun (strike) evening!
After attending the amazing Thailand Symposium organized by Glendon’s International Studies students earlier this month, I was inspired to look further into global Asian affairs in order to learn more about this continent that is so close to my heart. With a couple quick searches, I stumbled upon, signed up and attended a free event discussing urban development in the context of Asia. Students from the Munk School of Global Affairs organize an annual conference called INDePth (Interrogation Notions of Development and Progress) with this year’s theme focusing on Asian cities. This conference delved into the complexities surrounding the concept of a “city” by touching on themes of modernity, urbanization and migration through a multidisciplinary lens.
Going vegan has turned into a trendy-but-healthy lifestyle choice, one which many millennials (and others, although it’s undoubtedly a millennial-dominated affair) are making in hopes of a sustainable, animal-friendly new world. So whether you’re starting with meatless Monday, are just going vegetarian or a full-on planet-saving granola-and-20k-run-every-morning vegan, these restaurants are sure to please the appetite and the soul!
Ce semestre, nous faisons un stage avec Florian et Cyril, les fondateurs de Franc’Open Mic. Ce stage nous offre une variété de possibilités pour améliorer notre français parlé, par exemple en assistant à des soirées open mic. Le 15 février, nous avons eu la chance d'assister pour la première fois à une des soirées.
“I know some in this audience may be skeptical of my positivity as live music venues are closing, but venues are opening too!” proclaimed Mayor John Tory at the opening ceremony of the Canadian Music Week's Music Cities Summit last year. Unfortunately for Tory, his remarks are often drowned out by the sound of bulldozers destroying many of this city’s cultural landmarks. It might surprise some newer Torontonians, but this city was once a hub of grunge, rock, counterculture and musical innovation. Long lost venues — such as the Rockit, Bigbop, Silver Dollar Lounge, Funhaus, Wrongbar and El Mocambo — have hosted (and birthed) many famous musicians. Despite this rich history, it seems every week a new development proposal is tacked on another venue door. Despite Tory’s reassurance, the never-ending conversion of culture into condominiums and Rexalls will continue unabated. Nevertheless, a shift is happening — a retooling, and maybe one that signals a revolution in live music in a city built on NIMBYism and chain pubs.
After a while, Toronto’s grungy music venues all start to feel similar. For those looking to shake it up and experience something new, Cherry Cola’s is the place for you! If you find yourself frequently in the Queen and Bathurst area, you may have actually walked by it several times without having a clue of the wondrous world that exists beyond its extremely non-descript exterior. Here’s a list of all the best things about this extravagant bar:
Valentine’s Day normally goes one of three ways: 1. You have everything thoroughly planned and reserved to perfection (hurrah for you) 2. You procrastinate figuring things out until the day of and now your options are limited or non-existent and you fear the reaction from your friend/partner/beau-for-the-night 3. You’re a broke student, so you settle for a Netflix and pizza night
Le 16 novembre 2017, deux employés du Centre Francophone de Toronto ont donné une présentation à Glendon dans le cadre du cours de Francis Garon intitulé Politique et gestion de la diversité. Ngalula Kalunda, directrice des services aux nouveaux arrivants, et Oureye Seck, coordonnatrice du programme Connexions communautaires, ont discuté de l’intégration des immigrants francophones à Toronto, une population qui a connu une augmentation significative à Toronto au cours des derniers 20 ans.
Growing up in Toronto, The Cameron House was one of the first bars I wanted to visit when I turned 19. The spray painted storefront was regularly redone, often displaying vibrant portraits of women that covered the entire exterior wall. When I finally walked in for the first time, I was a little overwhelmed by the excessive decor in such a small area.
I’m back! Now that we’ve all (hopefully) begun our new year’s resolutions, I’m assuming that waking up early, going to the gym, and increasing our productivity are all goals we have! And I don’t think there’s a better way to motivate yourself to get going than to wake up early and get your socializing crossed off the list over a delicious brunch! And if you’re anything like me, instagram crafting, mimosa sipping, avocado-eating types of brunches are the kind you’ll need to try! Now there are definitely some special places in this big city, and after having tried quite a few, here are the top three on my revisit-to-stuff-my-face list.
Perhaps Glendon isn’t such a special place after all? At least by 2020 it won’t be – 2020 will mark the start of the inaugural academic year for l’Université de l’Ontario Français (UOF), breaking into the market of post-secondary institutions in Ontario whose programs are taught in French. How will it be different from other bilingual universities, like Laurentian or Glendon? Firstly, it will be the only university to offer all their courses, and subsequently their degrees, exclusively in French. Secondly, it could potentially be an institution governed by and for Francophones – though the details of this second distinction are still being sorted out. At the time of writing, a planning committee is in charge of seeing through the development of curriculum, governance structure, and other logistics, with pressure from the francophone community to have a say in the matter – a letter published by l’Assemblé de la Francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) highlights the need for francophone representation on the committee.
I always find myself desperately trying to stay awake between classes, whether it is early morning online English lessons or extracurriculars. If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that listening to people who tell you to go to bed earlier is an absolute waste of time. At this point that’s not an option, so like any student, I turn to calorie-dense caffeinated beverages to keep myself afloat. It’s to be mentioned though that not all of these café’s are similar, and the environment from coffee house to coffee house can differ significantly.
November is here, and mostly all of us are suffering. This month has been known to brutally extinguish any remaining flame that might have been resonating in us from the beginning of the school year. We are all tired, sick, sad, sleepy, and, most of all, hungry. The combination of several exams and papers will make even the most powerful of stomachs a fragile and shattered remnant of its former self. Don’t let your stomach die. Give your stomach that much needed break from $0.25 tuna cans, monster energy drinks, one slice of leftover bread in your fridge (God knows how long it's been there), and trips to McDonald’s (even though you told yourself last friday would be the last time you got drunk and had 5 McDoubles). It is time to scrape up whatever is left of your dignity and treat yourself.
Everyone has had those nights where you decide to “go out” and you don’t really have a plan on where you’re going. I found Poetry Jazz Café in — quite literally — a hole in the wall in Kensington Market about a year ago. On one of those nights, I, like many Torontonians, have walked down Augusta probably a million times in my lifetime, and in all those times, I had totally walked past one of the most underrated spots in Toronto. To a layman's eye, Poetry Jazz Café looks like any other boarded-up shop clad with a garage door that has lain uninhabited for years — and this is totally on purpose! In true speakeasy fashion, Poetry is only found by people who are looking for it.
I think it’s safe to say that after your first few years of undergrad, you end up looking for something slightly more relaxing to do after classes and after work to catch up with friends. After spending a summer on the Explore program, and the majority of my “outside-of-Toronto-time” in Northern Ontario, I’ve developed a keen liking for a solid brew with even better company. I think it’s important, though, to choose your spot wisely as every brew house has its specialties. Of course, we all know that in Toronto, a vibe can make or break your evening, so here are some of my favourite spots to grab a cold one with the boys.
Le Imperial Pub se trouve au en plein milieu de Toronto en face de l’Université Ryerson. Il se trouve à quelques pas à l’Est de Yonge et Dundas. Ce bar offre deux étages à explorer, mais le deuxième étage est celui qui mérite d’être visité. Lorsque vous montez les escaliers de l’Imperial, votre réaction sera inattendue. L'ambiance est un peu miteuse mais néanmoins très aimable. La décoration du bar donne l’impression qu’elle fait partie du set d’une épisode de Cheers; elle est composée d’une table de billard, quelques jukebox, plusieurs tables qui offrent la possibilité d’accueillir des groupes de personnes, deux paires de canapés. Enfin, la salle entière est entourée d’une bibliothèque de livres de genres variés. En général, il faut être bien bourré pour les comprendre.
Formerly—maybe even infamously—known as the Sound Academy, Rebel underwent a massive renovation in early 2016, to the tune of 10 million dollars. This transformed the space notorious for its awful sightlines and horrible sound system into a 7500 sq. ft. high-tech sound oasis. Now if only they could have used some of that cash flow to relocate this venue somewhere a little less sketchy and out of the way, and maybe hire someone to come up with a better, more descriptive name than ‘Rebel’.
Located along Queen West's entertainment avenue, Velvet is a dingy shell of a venue whose only accessories include a lone disco ball and a handrail bar that runs along the edges of the single, long room that faces the raised stage at the back. The box office is located right inside the door, and is typically heavily manned with at least two of the half dozen or so beefy security guards the Velv employs to keep the peace (overkill, I should think, for such a low-key, intimate venue but, hey,-—it’s their money, and it does keep out the cheap bastards that try to skirt a $5-10 cover).
Anyone who has had a conversation with me about food has undoubtedly come across my ever-expanding list of places to visit in Toronto for nourishment (in the most bourgeoise kinds of places). I am not a man of simple tastes, nor do I condemn people who are. I simply happen to enjoy abstract and exciting alternatives to old concepts. I also happen to be extremely broke because of this habit. It is a habit that favours non-traditional foods and, generally speaking, any cuisine that creates a mischieviously unorthodox mashup of styles or flavours.
Working part-time during the school year or between summer breaks is a reality for many students, as is the ever-present anxiety and uncertainty of job hunting after graduation. With living costs in Toronto being some of the highest in the country, it is no surprise that one of the main stressors on both current students and post graduates are their job prospects. We know that stable, “grown-up” office jobs are becoming harder to come by. Unlike our parents, we are less likely to start out and retire with the same company or organization.
Last week, the city was full of visitors from near and far. The beautiful and hot weather brought out all the people wishing to seek out the last of summer, but with many exciting events in town, the weather was only extra motivation. Some more high profile visitors who came to Toronto for events included the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the former President of the United States, Barack Obama. Many people may have also noticed that the news and their Facebook feeds had been taken over by news of a particular special guest in town — the notorious Prince Harry of Wales. From stalking him and his famous girlfriend, Meghan Markle (star of hit TV show, Suits), to cute videos of him giving popcorn to little children, it seems that everyone had been smitten with news of the VIP. While his day-to-day activities are fascinating, the real reason the Prince was in Toronto was for the 3rd Annual Invictus Games.
The Hideout closed its Queen West doors a little less than a year ago, but it didn’t take them long to relocate. Sadly, they gave up their well-loved sidestreet patio for the noisy, dusty corner of College and Bathurst — a corner which is eternally clustered with turnaways from neighbouring Sneaky Dee's. It hardly seems a fair trade, but that is the Toronto real estate game these days. And while the new location is aesthetically pleasing, with its edgy murals and velveteen curtains, Hideout 2.0 looks like it needs a good breaking-in. It’s still clean and a touch too classy for its traditional clientele, with the trademark antlers shoved in a corner over the kitchen’s open window.
Toronto is a city where emotions are constantly colliding. It is a city where one can find refuge, while also feeling alienated and alone. This city will bring out feelings you never thought you had. You will experience falling in love in the most unusual places. Cultivating an unbreakable bond with particular neighbourhoods where you and your significant other spent memorable times. Places where the end of the night isn’t until five in the morning. You will also experience meeting new people whose value will rise above all else - people who will teach you a lot about life and contribute to your growth.
The Rivoli is one of the go-to hangouts for those who frequent Queen West, and for good reason. With its classy, yet reasonably priced restaurant in the front (featuring great burgers and a good overall selection), its sleazy looking entrance to a solid music venue in the back, and its little-known swanky pool hall and bar upstairs, the Rivoli is undoubtedly one of Toronto’s hidden gems.
Whether it be for the practical sake of saving a dollar, the nostalgic thrill of hunting down a hidden treasure from decades past, or a simple desire to avoid the ethical controversy of “fast fashion”, buying second-hand has become more than just a fad popularized in a song. No longer solely for those tight on cash, thrifting has evolved past its former stigmas and stereotypes to secure itself a place in the mainstream culture of our generation. Personally, my own love of thrifting was born when I became obsessed with the style of eras long past, and when I realized I could get my hands on authentic one-of-a-kind pieces for $1.99. For those of us who have developed our own strategic rituals of scouring the racks for the perfect find, thrifting goes way beyond “picking up the necessities” — it’s a full-blown hobby.