Student Life

Toronto spots you may have missed

By Madi Wong

Whether you’re new to the city or are looking to partake on a new adventure, there is always more to discover and try out! 

Here’s my list of hidden gems that you may not have been aware about. 

Chester Hill Lookout 

About a 10-minute walk from Broadview station, Chester Hill Lookout is notorious for its view and intimate observation point. Whether you go during the day where you can enjoy the clear skies or at night when you can see the cars and buildings light up the city—it is worth the trip. Bring your friends, partner or pet on this venture before it gets too cold to leave your home. 

Toronto Music Garden

Walking along Queen’s Quay, you may not notice this majestical place right away. This gorgeous garden is where the Toronto Symphony hosts musical events during the summer and is a perfect, quaint spot to relax, have a picnic and take some gorgeous photos. If you take the subway from Ryerson campus down to Union, you can take a streetcar that will drop you off right near the garden. 

StickerYOU

If you are a fan of laptop stickers and dope patches to sew onto your bags, this store is your wonderland. Despite being small and lowkey on Queen Street West, StickerYOU is an eye-catching shop that will be sure to boost your mood. You can grab some sick pop culture stickers and take photos against their 3000+ sticker wall indoors. 

Blue Banana 

Incase you haven’t roamed Kensington Market enough, Blue Banana is THE store for all of your needs. From fun socks to exotic hot sauces to everyday kitchen utensil, there is something in this store that you will love and want to buy—no matter how broke you are. 

Rosetta McClain Garden

If you’re down for a longer adventure, this hidden gem is about an hour away from Ryerson campus in Scarborough. For my fellow Scarborough peeps, this is a nice break away from The Bluffs—trust me. 

This garden is mesmerizing during the summer but is always a perfect place to walk through during any time of the year. If you need a break from Allan’s Gardens, this is the spot to be. 

Underground Garage

Before coming here for the first time, I would walk by this place and not even realize what it was.It looks like a sketchy building from the outside, but if you take a second to look all the way up, you’ll see that it is multiple floors of pure fun, with a rooftop bar to top it off. 

For my fellow broke kids, the drinks on the rooftop are reasonably priced—around $7 for a rail drink, the music bumps and the view is worth the trip up the stairs. 

Underground Garage has something going on EVERY DAY of the week. You and your friends will find a new found liking for this place, whether it’s a lively Saturday night or your typical Tuesday. 

The Docks Driving Range

The Docks used to have an iconic drive-in movie theatre but unfortunately closed it for this season. 

But to our luck, they still have an awesome mini golf and driving range for you to use before the snow comes down. And while you’re in the area, Polson Pier Go Karts is right next door. Practice your golf swing or speed in circles around your friends—the choice is yours!

David Dunlap Observatory

David Dunlap Observatory is a bit of a trekk being in Richmond Hill but it’s a magical place to be if you have ever wanted to experience a planetarium that isn’t the one at the Ontario Science Centre. 

The observatory hosts family nights, astronomy specific events and invites all guests to lie under the stars. 

I’ve personally never been here myself but have heard a lot of people boast about this place—if you have a car, or are up for the commute, go for it. 

Mahjong Bar 

I kid you not, the first time my friend took me here I thought we were lost. On the outside, Mahjong Bar looks like a small, local food spot. 

But, when you enter the doors and the security lets you want through the sweeping curtains, there is a whole bar and fun atmosphere. The bar is quaint but still plays great music and is a chill place to go one night with friends. They also serve some great Chinese appetizers. 

The Power Plant

Have you been skating at Harbourfront Centre? Have you chilled along the boardwalk during the summer? Did you notice this big building and just assume it was a restaurant or something? I know I did.

The Power Plant, is actually a very cool contemporary art gallery that hosts a number of exhibits and events throughout the year. If you have a taste for art and feel like attending one of their unique presentations or walkthroughs, plan the date and head on over. 

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Madi Wong
Madi Wong is a journalism student at Ryerson University and Writer/Blogger for RU Student Life. She is a high-energy and passionate writer who enjoys storytelling and creating multimedia content. She's also a gym and concert enthusiast.