Things to do on campus and in Toronto

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I have a feeling I’m kind of abnormal. I go to university, which according to pop culture, means I should be in a sorority, streaking across the quad, or competing in an a capella competition. I have yet to do any of the above, but I still feel like my life is an adventure.

For the past few weeks, my life has been a dumping ground for all kinds of awesome. I saw Argo, trekked through a hail-storm, went on a forest walk, had a banana pancake party at 2 am, and watched a lot of goat videos (let’s not talk about that). In other words, my life is pretty great.

I have no explanation.

I have no explanation.

I was thinking about it, and I realized that you (future students) might not really know much about what there is to do in Toronto. Here are some of the adventury-type things I like to do to get you inspired.

See the city lights. 

If you have a friend with a car, drive down to the Sound Academy to see the skyline lit up at night. This is the perfect night expedition.

The Bayview tunnel in front of Glendon... where many adventures begin!

The Bayview tunnel in front of Glendon… where many adventures begin!

Go for a walk in the Sunnybrook Forest.

This place is perfect for aimless contemplation, bird-watching, and creeping other peoples’ dogs (there’s a dog park 20 minutes down the trail).

The Sunnybrook Forest on a melty-warm winter day. Perfectly serene for a solitary moment.

The Sunnybrook Forest on a melty-warm winter day. Perfectly serene for a solitary moment.

birds birds birds

birds birds birds

dogs dogs dogs

dogs dogs dogs

Go to Keele on the shuttle bus for a meal. 

The food at Keele is pretty legit (i.e. Hero Burger, Mac sushi, the Underground Restaurant, Yogen Fruz, Booster Juice). You can pay for all of the above with your meal plan dollars.

A breakfast of coffee, fruit, and a chocolate chip cream cheese bagel at Keele Campus.

A breakfast of coffee, fruit, and a chocolate chip cream cheese bagel at Keele Campus.

Check out a creative event on campus.

Two weeks ago, my friends Max and Brynn, Four Minutes Til Midnight, and Trouble and Daughter played a concert at the Lunik Coop. Glendon Théatre also puts on amazing drama productions like the Fridge Festival (which I’ll be performing in; you’re welcome to come see!).

Four Minutes Til Midnight performing on the Lunik Café stage.

Four Minutes Til Midnight performing on the Lunik Café stage.

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Go adventuring downtown. 

Dundas Square, adorable cafés, and the Eaton Centre. With a $10 TTC Day Pass, there are heaps of things to do and see in a day off.

Tea with my friend Andy at David's Tea, located at Yonge and Eglinton. This place has lots of shops and little stores. The stretch just south of Bayview and Eglinton is also fulllllll of little shops.

A cuppa with my friend Andy at David’s Tea, located at Yonge and Eglinton. If you’re looking for more cute shops, check out the stretch on Bayview south of Eglinton.

Adventuring is a daily pursuit. Fellow Glendonites, what fun things do you do in your spare time?

Downtown in December

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I’m only one assignment away from being off for winter break. All I can think is: I’m almost freeeeeee! A friend decided on my behalf that it was high time for me to take a break.

So, I took the day off on Tuesday to have some adventures downtown.

I started out with a meal at Fresh Restaurants with my friend Kaili.

My verdict: YUM.

Fresh Resto copy

Fresh is a vegetarian restaurant, but I would highly recommend it even for carnivores. I was overwhelmed by the number of good options on the menu.

I ordered a mango-banana-coconut milk smoothie with a creamy soup, slices of cornbread, and thai-seasoned salad. Best of all, the restaurant was located on Bloor, just a short ride from campus.

chai spiced sugar cookies

A photo for the recipe from My Baking Addiction. Click on it to find the recipe!

Afterwards, I baked with my friend Erin at her place. We made Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies and decided to skip dinner for desert instead.

That night, we journeyed to the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District in downtown Toronto. (The Distillery District is a restored Victorian factory area in downtown Toronto with cute cobblestone streets and shoppes – not shops. Haha. Think Charles Dickens.)

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There were lights…

Toronto Christmas Market

…and apple fritters

apple fritters Christmas market fritters

…and lots of whimsy.

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By the end of the night our noses and toes were numb, but we were getting giddy with holiday spirit. Considering the lack of snow in Toronto this winter, I’d say that was quite a feat!

That being said, I haven’t even scratched the surface of fun things to do in Toronto. Often I think that I can only have adventures if I travel far, but at my doorstep lies a city of adventures waiting to happen. I love being intentional about becoming a tourist of my own city.

On that subject, if you know any fun winter activities to do downtown, drop a comment below.

If you’re interested in checking out the Toronto Christmas Market, it’s on ’till Sunday. I guarantee that the fritters and lights will bring joy to your heart.

Happy winter-ing!

Erin and I

A review of Mountain Bean Coffee

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On Friday, my friend Annalise and I went to check out Mountain Bean Coffee. Here’s what we thought.

The deets:

  • a 20 minute walk south on Bayview from Glendon Campus (just north of Eglinton)
  • fair-trade organic coffee, smoothies, juices, sandwiches
  • price range: under $10
  • outlets and free Wifi


Service: 5/5

I forgot to ask for lactose free milk until the barista was already making my drink, but she nicely said “no problem” and frothed a new cup of almond milk. She even said goodbye to us as we were leaving. Needless to say, I was impressed!

Atmosphere: 3.8/5 Mountain Bean Coffee offers a pretty unique vibe. Sort of an “in-a-cabin-by-the-fire” feel. There’s a lot of wood slatting, dim lighting, and even a fireplace (truly). Music is played in the shop, so keep this in mind if you’re thinking about studying there.

Menu: 3/5 MBC offers drinks and some sandwiches/sweets (pastries, croissants). On the downside, the menu is pretty limited. It includes: “Build Your Own” smoothies ($4.99), flavoured lattes ($3.50), and Blend’r smoothies ($7.99). One smoothie was listed as containing banana, spinach, dates, cacao powder, avocado, almond milk, and protein powder. Intense, right?

The Verdict: casually recommended For the friendliness of the service, the warmth of the atmosphere, and the solid offerings, I’d go to Mountain Bean Coffee again.

*Ideal for: after work-out smoothie or pre-lecture charge up

Where do you go to grab coffee off-campus? Recommendations?