Ultra Vires


Embrace TO: Even in the Winter

By Samuel Levy (1L)

Path Photos








Like it or not, we’re stuck with the Canadian winter for another 50-odd days. Sure, we get through winter every year, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant; not even any good packing snow this time around. Indeed, we all get grouped as a winter-loving people, but often is when the desire to stay indoors wins the day. But whatever your take on winter, Toronto has you covered.

First, for the indoor folk. If you want to see great attractions, go shopping, eat, work out or just get from A to B without stepping outside, don’t forget about the ‘PATH.’ The PATH is the largest underground shopping complex in the world (yes, you read that correctly), linking 30 kilometres of pathways and covering four million square feet of retail space.

The PATH started in 1900, when the Eaton Company made the first tunnel linking two of its properties; it has been expanding ever since. The figures are staggering: 35 corporations own parts of the property, which includes 50 linked office towers, 5 accessible subways and over 1000 shops and restaurants. The PATH also connects to some of Toronto’s best-known venues, such as the ACC, Rogers Centre and CN Tower. All of this without seeing the light of day and, more importantly, being outside in weather that would make a Martian bundle up.

Lastly, for a ‘PATH’ closer to campus, there is a second underground network underneath Bloor Street. This pathway connects the Holt Renfrew Centre, Cumberland Terrace, the Manulife Centre and two subways. This offers complete access to one of the best shopping districts in North America. Tip: note the PATH’s colour coded ceiling signs to avoid getting lost.

Second, for those who would gladly trade a quick stint outside for an entire evening’s entertainment, try Snakes and Lattes – North America’s first board game café. Located right next to Bathurst subway station, S&L has thousands of playable games, and employs ‘game gurus’ to help you find the perfect game for your group. A $5 cover fee lets you stay until early the next morning, with lots of food and drinks to keep you going. The catch: seating fills up quickly and tend to stay filled – we know how long those games of Monopoly™ take – so be sure to reserve your spots.

And if you’d like the coffee to be a bit more ‘Irish,’ Snakes and Lagers is this café’s newer, alcoholic counterpart. It is located at College and Bathurst and features 19 craft beer taps, along with the same staggering collection of games.

For those who don’t mind the longer trek in the cold, two suggestions. If you and a group of 8-11 others feel like testing your wits against the clock, head to Bathurst and Dundas to play the ‘Real Escape Game TO.’ You are trapped in a room, with an hour to decipher the embedded clues and find the hidden key. With a bit of luck, you could be part of the select group (3% of participants) who actually make it out.

Even further away, but a guaranteed great time, is Skyzone, self-hailed as the world’s first indoor trampoline park. Located North-East (Bayview and Eglinton), the park has offerings such as trampoline dodgeball, fitness classes, and dunkable basketball nets. I could go on, but I probably convinced you at “trampoline dodgeball.”

Lastly, for the winter lovers looking to stay outside, what could be better than skating? Although Nathan Phillips Square (next to city hall) and Harbourfront’s Natrel Rink are the two most popular rinks in the city, a simple search can tell you the nearest ice to you. Other rinks near campus can be found at Ryerson Community Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park and Christie Pits.

In the quest to make the most out of winter, Toronto has developed some truly original solutions. It is worth coming out of hibernation to experience these ‘winter-hacks,’ and in the process see how Toronto has something for everyone, in every season.

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