Best first date spots in Toronto

Let’s be real, Toronto is a great city for romantic time with that someone special. But on a first date, don’t settle for the cliché wine and dine. Open your mind to some unique possibilities you didn’t know existed.

To get started, I have compiled a list of exclusive dating categories to choose from based on your taste. Make the first date one you truly won’t forget.

Are you the adventurous type?

If you are, you should check out Scarborough Bluffs Park.

Located east of Toronto’s downtown core, this beautiful park will offers a spectacular glimpse of Lake Ontario. At the same time, you can enjoy a hike or walk along its many trails. The view is definitely Instagram-worthy!

If physical activity is not ideal, why not try one of Toronto’s Escape Rooms. Lock yourself in a room with hidden clues to achieve answers and escape the room you’re in! It’s the perfect get-to-know-you activity.

Try one out at: Escape Casa Loma, The Great Escape, or Riddle Room.

Do you love the great outdoors?

Why not stroll across Toronto’s Harbourfront? I assure you it is budget friendly!

In an instant, you’ll be on the docks, surrounded by yachts on Lake Ontario. There are also beautiful lights at night.

Do you have expensive taste?

Think big. Now think extravagant! Toronto has you covered. Why not make a romantic first impression up the CN Tower?

Not only can you grab spectacular views of the city, but also grab a bite at the 360 Restaurant.

Better yet, how about being whisked away on a helicopter provided by Toronto Heli Tours over our beautiful city? It’s sure to wow your date.

Whatever you fancy, this list should make your first date memorable and unique — you might even get asked on a second date!

Five dead giveaways someone is not from Toronto


1. They don’t complain about the weather

There are two variations for these anomalies. One is the sweet, sweet summer child hailing from some nicer, warmer place. They’re wearing board shorts or leggings in December, adamantly insisting they are completely fine surviving the five-minute walk to class, and really, who needs a hat anyways? All while you can physically see their fingers turning a dangerous shade of purple.

The other group is the overprepared, hardened northerners. Spot them rocking two pairs of socks, fleece pants, and a jacket that is probably better suited for alpine mountain-climbing than for a walk over to Con Hall. Don’t even think about mentioning that the -30ºC is a bit chilly – you will be in for a lecture about how ‘there is no such thing as too cold, only underdressed!’, and that your shivering, your midterm marks, and probably world hunger can all be solved by adding an insulation layer.

2. They make eye contact

Hold on, did that stranger you just passed on your way to Robarts — did they look you in the eye? Did they actually turn up their lips — into a smile? You haven’t seen one of those in years. Sure, we Torontonians pride ourselves in being polite — we’ll give you streetcar directions or chat about the best places to eat without a hitch, but actually acknowledging other people we don’t know? That would be a very different question.

3. They like the TTC

A genuine TTC compliment is the closest thing you can get to a cardinal sin in Toronto. If the subway gets to your station on time every day of the semester, you wouldn’t hear a peep. But god forbid if repairs (that coincidentally keep the same trains that we are riding from crashing into each other) close the subway for the weekend. You won’t hear the end of it.

Yes, we know that it’s technically one of the best transit systems in North America, but you don’t get your Toronto licence unless you bash the TTC at any given opportunity.

4. They suggest swimming in the lake

Ah, Lake Ontario. Every Torontonian knows that the mix of sewage, bacteria, weird plastic bits, and, more likely than not, a wide assortment of eldritch horrors is a swim you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

So, when you hear your new friend ask if they should bring a swimsuit to your trip to Scarborough Bluffs, be sure to chastise them.

5. They don’t drop the ‘T’

Do you remember that scene from Argo, where Ben Affleck corrects the Americans’ perfectly pronounced ‘To-ro-n-to’ into Toronto’s real name? That scene is 100% accurate.

Taranah is the one and only way to say our city’s name, preferably accompanied with a Tim Horton’s double-double in one hand and a Blue Jays shirt. If your friend actually pronounces Toronto how it should ‘technically’ be pronounced, you can bet that they also call the Skydome the Rogers Centre.

Top five Insta-worthy Toronto bars

Do you ever scroll through your Instagram feed and see people posing in front of signs at bars or clubs and say to yourself: ‘how basic! I’ve seen that background like 100 times!’

But secretly you are dying inside because you totally want a picture there, you just have too much pride to ask that person where the picture was taken?

Don’t worry. Below is a list of the top five bars to snap a great Instagram picture.

Sooner or later, everyone will think you are really cool and are down to totally go out clubbing all the time. Even though, let’s be real, it’s obvious you do not because otherwise you would just know about these places.

1. Convenience: This bar has an area with a pink background and rotary phones under an illuminated sign that reads “Party Line.” If that does not scream – I need attention, I don’t know what will.

2. REBEL Nightclub: A wall painted with bushels of flowers and a red illuminated sign that reads, “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” This is a great place to snap a pic and or pretend you are a jungle animal. Either or works.

3. Wallen: This place just has great wall designs. Not much else has to be said. The club isn’t that great but remember this list is purely to take a picture and impress others.

4. Pravda Vodka Bar:  A bunch of red drapes and soviet flags. Big gold heads of Vladimir Lenin. This place is amazing.

5. Mahjong Bar: This place is rather hidden behind the guise of a small storefront but with its brightly illuminated red interior, anywhere in the bar will make for a great picture.

Dishes are for nerds

You’ve got a pile of dishes in the sink. Three plates on your desk, two cups on the dresser, and a pan on the nightstand. Cutlery litters your living space. All of it’s dirty, unusable, and you’re damn hungry. Not to mention, your roommate’s hookup is eating breakfast in the kitchen, and you’ve been really great so far about not making eye-contact, so let’s try to minimize our time in the kitchen as much as possible, alright?

Now all of this could have been prevented you know how?

One plate. One cup. One bowl. One fork, one knife, one spoon, and BOOM.

No dishes.

No cleaning, scrubbing, brushing, soaking, crying, none of it. Just rinse and reuse. Use hot water. Use your hands as the damn sponge if you need to. And, no kitchen necessary use the bathroom! Revolutionary.

You’re never gonna need more than two bowls at once. What are you, the Queen of England, eating a soup and salad before the meal? Yah alright, bud. Put the salad in a cup. Or eat the soup first, rinse it, then eat the salad after. Use the same fork for your pasta and your salad. The universe gave us lips and a tongue simply for this purpose.

Your dishes start to look kind of stained after a while, but if water alone doesn’t rinse it off, then it’s not contaminating your food, either. That’s science. I’ve done my research.

Hot date comes over? Okay, yeah, maybe you clean them. Or, or, or… you just hide them somewhere.

Nobody’s looking at you. Nobody cares. It’s cheaper. It’s better for the environment. Saves time. It’s brave, it’s bold. Do it.

Doing your dishes is for chumps; you’re not a chump, are you?

Five best places to travel destinations from YYZ for under $700 — once school ends

We all want to travel, especially in May when school’s over and we just want to leave the city and its horrible memories of class.

Travelling is the best. One, it’s super exciting, and two, it makes for a great hobby to brag. This is especially helpful when your actual personality is super boring and dull.

Unfortunately, travelling can also be very expensive at times. Luckily, here are five places you can go to for under $700 from Toronto Pearson Airport this upcoming May.

1. Barcelona, Spain approximately $600

2. New York City, USA approximately $200

3. Cancun, Mexico approximately $450

4. Lisbon, Portugal approximately $700

5. San Juan, Puerto Rico approximately $400


Seven songs by lesser-known Toronto rappers

I’m not from Toronto. But I love talking like a Toronto mans. I routinely end conversations by saying things such as “safe broski” or “bless up fam.”

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of telling people I grew up in suburban Ottawa when I moved to Toronto for school a couple of months ago, so people were able to see through my otherwise perfect Toronto facade.

But for those of you who just moved here and are looking to have a (potentially harmful) identity crisis, I highly recommend listening to these seven rap songs by lesser known Toronto artists, so you can brush up on your Toronto slang. Dun kno.

Content warning: Music contains explicit language

1. T.B.H. by Pressa
2. Twin Turbo by 88GLAM
3. Up Next by Robin Banks
4. Brown Money by Jay Whiss
5. Snow by Smoke Dawg
6. Drop Out by Jimmy Prime
7. Red Alert by Jazz Cartier