Written by: Emily De Sousa
Photo Credit: unsplash.com
1. Get a Toronto library card
It gets you access to a lot of cool things, including online resources and databases, archives, e-books, magazines, movies and more. You can also use it to get into various Toronto venues, like the AGO or the ROM.
2. Drop the second “t”
It’s pronounced “Ter-ono” not, “Toronto”. The sooner you get the pronunciation down; the sooner people will believe you’re a local.
3. Get a bike
Commuting sucks, but commuting in downtown Toronto is way worse. Get yourself a bike to save time getting from a place to place and avoid spending hours looking for street parking or forking over $25 to park in a lot. Plus, it doubles as a great workout!
4. Use The Path when it’s cold outside
You can travel between six subway stations, 20 parking garages, and more than 50 downtown office buildings without ever feeling the sting of winter on your face and avoiding all the busyness happening above ground.
5. Avoid the tourist traps
Restaurants like the 360 restaurant, the Old Spaghetti Factory, and attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium are all things you can skip in Toronto. You’ll save a ton of money and not miss a bit of the city’s charm.
6. Try a workout for free
Most gyms and yoga studios in the city offer some sort of trial membership or a free first class for new members. Make your way around all of the city’s gyms and studios to see how long you can go without paying for a workout.
7. There are streets with the same name
Because Toronto wasn’t already confusing enough, we have several streets that have the same name. Be sure to double check the address before heading out. Spadina Road and Spadina Avenue are NOT the same thing. Same goes for Danforth Road and Danforth Avenue and Kennedy Road and Kennedy Avenue.
8. Avoid people with clipboards
Particularly in busy areas like Young & Dundas Square and Nathan Philips Square. They seem friendly, but really they just want your money and you won’t be able to shake them off as easily as you think.
9. Go to No Frills
I know Loblaws looks so much fancier, but Loblaws and No Frills are owned by the same company, meaning they get their stuff from the same place. So while the prices are much higher at Loblaw’s, the quality is not. Do your grocery shopping at No Frills instead to save a ton of money.
10. Linger around Young & Dundas Square
If you want to save even more money on food and other items, hangout in Young & Dundas square for a few hours. The square has allowed brands and vendors to hand out a variety of freebies including granola bars, drinks, water bottles, pizza vouchers, and other coupons. These are mostly aimed at tourists, but I won’t tell if you won’t.
11.Download the Transit App
You can never be too sure when it comes to public transit, especially in Toronto. In bad weather or construction, it’s nearly impossible to get anywhere on time without referring to the app for up to the minute schedules and updates.
12. Take advantage of free shuttles
There are free shuttles to Vaughan Mills, Toronto Outlets, IKEA, and Brick Works. This will not only save you money on an Uber, but save you the struggle of trying to cram your new dresser into said Uber.
13. Figure out north from south
This will save you a ton of time and confusion if you ever get disorientated coming out of the subway. Generally downhill is south, uphill is north. Left of the CN tower is east, right is west. You’ll never get lost again.
14. The lights on the Canada Life building mean something
Was I the only one who lived here my whole life without knowing this?
Steady green = clear
Steady red = cloudy
Flashing red = rain
Flashing white = snow
15. Get a free hairdo on your birthday
The Prive Hair Gallery offers a free blowout with a junior stylist as long as you show I.D.