Get to know Toronto like a local when you’re studying abroad in the city
The capital of Ontario, Toronto is not short of cultural big hitters, from famous galleries, film festivals, restaurants, and museums. Plus, this is a diverse city where many residents speak two or three languages, and everyone comes together to support the Toronto Maple Leafs at hockey and Blue Jays at baseball. So, when you’re a student at the University of Toronto, get to know the local culture in a city that’s famous for being friendly.
Canadians love ice hockey, and it’s the official national winter sport. Through hockey, communities from small children to adults play together. The national team to follow is the Toronto Maple Leafs, and you can watch them play at their home arena in the city, the Maple Leaf Gardens (now also called the Mattamy Athletic Centre). Winter festivals often include a game or two, and you can find out all you need to know about the game and its sporting heroes by visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Toronto has a thriving film industry, and it’s also home to the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, earning the city the nickname Hollywood North. The city’s financial district is often a stand-in for New York’s Wall Street, and plenty of Hollywood blockbusters and popular TV shows are filmed here. So, when you’re wandering around the city, you may stumble across a film crew or spot a location you’ve seen on the silver screen. Watch Suicide Squad and The Shape of Water to spot local landmarks. If you catch Resident Evil: Apocalypse, you can watch Toronto City Hall get blown to pieces!
The city’s most famous landmark, which has dominated the skyline since 1976, is the CN Tower. At 1,815 feet tall, it towers over other downtown buildings and ensures Canadians in the city get excellent TV and radio signals. Thousands of colorful LED lights illuminate the CN Tower at night, so when you’re a student in the city, you can’t miss it. You can dine and take in the 360° views in the rotating restaurant and on a clear day you can see Niagara Falls.
Twice a year, the tower stairs open for those who dare to take on the CN Tower Climb challenge. You can register and have a go climbing 144 flights of stairs of 1,776 steps to the top. Or just take the lift!
Food and Drink
As a welcoming city for immigrants, Toronto has a thriving food scene, with cuisines from all corners of the globe. While you’re living and studying in the city, you will probably be able to find your favorite dishes from home. But you should also experiment with new flavors and try local dishes like poutine.
When you’re shopping for food, there’s no shortage of ingredients, and there are food and drink festivals year round. Rather than visiting Toronto’s high-end restaurants, keep within your student budget and visit cool local food markets close to campus, like the indoor St Lawrence Market and the shipping containers at Market 707 downtown.