Today’s Toronto is an intriguing blend of city and country, high tech and low tech, cutting edge developments and bohemian influences, making it one of the best cities in Canada for study abroad. Needless to say, there is an eclectic range of activities to experience, so international students from all disciplines will find something to love while studying in Toronto. If you want to study abroad in Canada and Toronto isn’t already on your study abroad bucket list, make sure you add it now!
1. St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market has been at the heart of Toronto’s community and culinary scene since it first opened in 1803. The colorful market is located in a renovated Victorian city hall, in a community of historic landmarks of the Victorian era. It houses a flea market overflowing with specialty and souvenir shops, and most notably, highly praised dining options.
There are more than 100 vendors, with butchers, bakers, and artisans of all kinds. It’s best to go on an empty belly, so you can indulge yourself and sample all of the edible goodness on display. There is no better place to appreciate the foodie palate of Toronto, or connect with the local community. This humble market is a an essential part the student experience and one of the reasons we consider Toronto one of the best cities in Canada.
2. Architectural & Historical Wonders
If you’re looking for that european feel a little closer to home, study abroad in Canada. Even the architecture of Toronto is a blend of antiquity. The skyline ranges from the Casa Loma Castle and Georgian era buildings, to end of the 19th century Richardsonian Romanesque buildings, to Victorian and brownstone buildings reflecting the turn of the 20th century, to industrial era skyscrapers, as well as the sleek CN pinnacle that points into the future. Take a tour through time and see how history unfolded through the architecture of this historical region. For a rejuvenating thrill, edgewalk the CN tower and get a sky-high view of the whole city.
The museums in Toronto are also outstanding, and hold a little something of interest for everyone studying humanities. The Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Center complex displays intellectual, artistic, and scientific feats that have arisen from the Islamic world. As well as opening your eyes to a whole culture and religion, this museum highlights the diversity and multicultural makeup of Toronto. If museums aren't your thing and you prefer to explore culture with your tastebuds, never fear. Diwan restaurant serves up cuisine from Turkey, Iran, North Africa, and a dozen other places to museum-goers. A treat for anyone looking to study abroad in Toronto!
3. Thompson Memorial Park
Choosing to study abroad in Canada means taking advantage of the spectacular nature, even in a city the size of Toronto. Thompson Memorial Park is a lovely multi-acre park that has all the features of the great outdoors— even if it’s no Banff. There are wading pools, ponds, creeks, walking paths, playgrounds, and a tennis court: all great distractions from studying.
The park is more than just a park, however. It is also home to a small community of historical dwellings that were the first homes in Toronto, dating back 150 years. Several of these early 19th century Georgian style homes and estates were built and owned by Mary and David Thompson, and some of these homes are still privately owned.
One of the homes open for students studying in Toronto to tour is the humble Scarborough Historical Museum. Another is the Campbell House Museum, home of the prestigious barrister Campbell. These fully furnished homes are decorated with authentic items from the homes and era in which they were built, and are quite impressive.
4. Casa Loma Castle
If you didn’t know there were castles in Canada, you definitely need to pay Toronto a visit. The awe-inspiring Casa Loma Castle offers a variety of tours through year-round, and in the five-acre surrounding gardens from May 1st through October 31st. This castle was built 1911-1914 by stockbroker multi-millionaire Henry Pellatt. It is a replica of a true Edwardian Castle set on a Casa Loma hill overlooking the city of Toronto. Students and film buffs studying in Toronto might recognize it. This breathtaking castle has been used in over 20 Hollywood movies, and is truly a sight to behold. The Hollywood tour highlights various locations that Hollywood has utilized.
Lady Pellatt’s Lost Jewels Tour is a guided tour through secret passages, halls, and rooms in search of the misplaced jewels of Lady Mary Pellatt, the original lady of the house. The castle is more than just a tourist destination, though. There are a variety of educational tours offered to classes and international students should jump at the chance to do come extra-mural learning. If architecture or medieval studies are your jam, you will love roaming the halls of this castle.
These reasons, along with the never-ending list of reasons why you should study in Canada, should put studying Toronto right at the top of your bucket list.