During university you will be spending a lot of time studying, but it’s important to take some time off and bond with your new friends. Being in the downtown core, there is so many different and interesting ways you can spend your nights off, so I’m going to share with you eight of the best.
Ryerson is literally right next to Yonge-Dundas Square, and it offers a variety of different free events throughout the school year, which makes this option convenient and affordable. Some of the highlights include live concerts, movie screenings, and cultural festivals.
Snakes & Lattes is a board game cafe with three different locations in Toronto. This board game cafe is like no other; they have a selection of 1000+ board games including Breaking Bad : The Board Game, Deal or No Deal, Adventure Time: Card Wars – Finn vs. Jake and more. Make sure you don’t come to play games on a full stomach as their menu is quite tempting to try. Grab a Miami grilled cheese, vegan chili, coconut macaroon cup, or a Nutella latte here.
3. Sugar Beach
Looking for something to do on a warm night in downtown Toronto? Head to the waterfront and watch the sunrise with some friends at Sugar Beach. If you’re hoping for a snack to go along with your view, grab a slice of their three layer chocolate cake or key lime pie right next to the beach at Against The Grain Urban Tavern. If you would prefer to stay active while taking in the view, rent a bike from a Bike Share Toronto station along the water.
If you’re into vintage arcade games on a budget, Tilt is the place for you. There are over 50 vintage arcade and pinball machines set up for free play and the cover fee is only $5. On Mondays they offer 2-for-1 entry, and on Tuesdays they offer $2 cover. Some of my favourite games at this place include Skeeball, Hoop Fever Basketball and Pacman. This place also serves up a great menu of food including deep fried Mars bars, dill pickle fries and poutine. Tilt is open to everyone, but only those who are 19+ can stay after 8 p.m..
If you’re looking for something a little more special to do, check out Ripleys’ Sharks After Dark. This experience is $5 cheaper than the daytime aquarium price, and it allows you to see the aquarium in a whole new light.
Kensington Market is a short walk from campus and offers an aesthetic environment with vintage shops, tasty food and events including Pedestrian Sundays. If you’re looking for some vegan baked goods try: Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, or for fresh coffee on a patio try Fika Cafe, and for vintage and new clothing try Urban Catwalk.
7. Rec Room
The Rec Room has everything you need for a fun night in downtown Toronto. Play some ping pong, pool, shuffleboard, a ghostbuster’s simulation game called The Void, car simulators, and of course video arcade games. This spot hosts events like trivia nights, DJ nights, and karaoke. If games tend to make you hungry, you’re in luck as the Rec Room has two restaurants including the Shed and Three10. Grab yourself a caramelized banana creme, Margherita pizza, smoked cheddar mac + cheese or a skillet bumbleberry cobbler.
If you’re looking to take in some art, but are hoping to save your money, check out the AGO on Wednesdays between 6 p.m.-9 p.m. for free entry. Some of the collections at the AGO include Canadian Art, Modern, Contemporary, photography and The Thomson Collection. The AGO hosts events year round which you can find on the AGO’s calendar.