Kensington Market + Chinatown

“This neighborhood is super vibrant, full of culture, sounds, and a ton of food options with varying cuisines. It’s a 10-15 minute walk to Sidney Smith Hall, Toronto Rehab Institute, and Toronto Western Hospital” – Ariana Youm, Ph.D. 2

“Kensington Market has a great range of stores to browse for fresh groceries, vintage clothing, and products from local vendors – in the summer, there is a monthly event called Pedestrian Sundays where the streets are closed off to cars in favour of music, dancing, food, and art. Chinatown has a whole host of exciting places to visit and things to do, including Play De Record, a long-standing Toronto record store, the Art Gallery of Ontario, which regularly has interesting exhibitions, and Mahjong Monday, a weekly Mahjong event held by a local community group called Tea Base. There are too many amazing restaurants in these neighbourhoods to list here, but some of my favourite restaurants are Rol San (for dim sum), Pho Hung (for Vietnamese food), Kings Noodle (for Chinese food), Golden Patty (for Jamaican food), and Seven Lives (for tacos). The neighbourhoods are also situated centrally in Toronto, so it’s a quick commute to the St George Campus and most other downtown neighbourhoods are a short walk away!” – Bryan Hong, Ph.D. 4

Little Italy

“I love that the area is nearby two major parks, Trinity Bellwoods and Christie Pits, but also has tons of smaller parks and greenspace all throughout. There’s also a lot of quiet residential streets, so it’s a great place to go for long walks, and I always find new fun things to look at and areas to explore. However, if you walk a short distance in any direction, you’ll hit a major street with shops, restaurants, transit stops, etc., so there’s still lots to do nearby! It’s also only around a 20-min walk or a 10-min bike ride from Sid Smith, which is perfect for getting to the lab easily.” – Rebekah Reuben, Ph.D. 3

“The neighbourhood is fantastic for me because on the one hand it is easy to get to campus (just hop on the College streetcar and get to campus in 10-15 minutes) but hit is far enough to have a separate experience of the city. The Ossington area is full of great, small stores, coffeeshops, and bars (which will hopefully open soon again). My favourite spot has been The Communist Daughter, where I frequented their weekly Saturday matinee jazz concert (even during quarantine, when its not too cold, they maintained the concert in the alley behind the bar). Its a friendly, quiet and yet full of life, and I would highly recommend newcomers to move here!” – Youval Aberman, Ph.D. 4