Being in Toronto for the first time can be a little overwhelming.
It’s a city not quite as big as New York or Tokyo, but it’s one with a variety of places to explore and find while you are here. It’s also easy to get lost.
Here’s a list of a few places that we’ve felt were helpful to us during our first time in the city, and they might even be helpful for you.
Robarts library is a great place for students looking to concentrate on their studies. Located in the heart of the University of Toronto’s main campus, most of users of the facilities and book lending services are students. There is also a Subway Restaurant and Starbucks in the library. The library is located at 130 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A5.
Robarts library is open 24 hours a day from Sunday nights to Friday evenings for study and research with access and exiting of the building is through the 1st floor St. George Street entrance only. There are no extended hours during the summer months, but if you want to stay there all night, you need T-card. Be sure to visit: http://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/library-info/ROBARTS
Another great place to study is at the Toronto Reference Library located close to the intersection of Yonge and Bloor. With four floors, a number of computer terminals, and a great variety of literature, the Reference Library makes for a great location to study and even to check out a few events.
The Toronto Reference Library hosts events that range from talks with authors to lively debates between critical theorists. In other words, there’s a lot going on inside of this library. Most days the location is open until about 8:30 at night and it has free WiFi for those looking to find quick access to the Internet. It’s also free to sign up for a library card. For more visit: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?R=LIB018
Brand New Way (BNW) has 8 Japanese staffs and, of course, has a lot of information about language schools in Toronto. BNW serves to guide people who are thinking about going to language school or finding an internship within Toronto.
BNW also has information about internship, and they helps people who take working-holiday Visa to get part-time jobs. BNW also holds seminars in Japanese to help their clients find housing, information about internships, and where they can find part-time work. They have space to read many comic books, and many Japanese read comics there. Japanese wanting to go to language school or to participate in an internship through BNW’s counseling can also get a membership. This allows them to take free English lessons and borrow some textbooks to study TOEIC and TOEFL. For more information be sure to visit: http://www.bnwjp.com/toronto/index.html
Maple Education has various counselors who speak multiple languages including English, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Arabic. The agency is located at 778 Yonge street, close to Bloor-Yonge Station. Maple Education is a service that introduces newcomers to Toronto to language schools, universities, and college here in the city. The agency helps with the process of applying to the schools and they also help students apply to Colleges and Universities. They also have original conversation classes which are not so large size so that students can improve their English. If you are interested, be sure to visit: http://www.mapleedu.com
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is a great resource for people who have recently arrived in Toronto from Japan. The centre, which is located at 6 Garamond Court in Don Mills, has a number of events and services available to Japanese including monthly movie nights, resource centres, and even the Nikkei Voice offices. There is a library that has many Japanese publications, and JCCC has some clubs like Jyu-dou club, Aiki-dou Club and so on. Be sure to click the link for more: http://www.jccc.on.ca/en/
J-Town is the largest Japanese town in Toronto and is located at 3160 Steele Ave E, Markham. There are 15 shops, bakery, café, Japanese grocery, book store, Japanese restaurants and so on. All shops treat Japanese production, J town has an image like Showten-Gai. These shops open at 10am to 7pm, and they close on every Monday. Be sure to click the link for more: http://www.jtown.ca/NewStuff/index-j.htm
Japan Foundation has a great resources to help Japanese. The institute is located at 131 Bloor Street West in downtown Toronto. The Japan Foundation has the public library, seminar rooms, and an event hall, which functions as an exhibition space or auditorium. In the library, there are many Japanese novels, magazines, comics and newspapers with a total of almost 21,000 publications. They also have Japanese DVDs.
Visitors can also create a membership card, which allows them to borrow from the collection. Moreover, many events and lectures related Japanese culture like film screenings and art exhibition are presented in the event hall or seminar rooms. Be sure to visit the link for more: http://www.jftor.org/
International TAQBIN is small package delivery service. With their extensive network covering Asian countries, they offer various value added service to support your cross-border business. Their 140,000+ employees are always prepared to treat your packages with care and manage the shipment carefully, from end to end.
If you’re worried about communication with English speaker, don’t worry. Japanese employees respond by phone, explain in Japanese, come to your house, and collect your package, It’s very convenient and reliable. Be sure to visit www.yamatoamerica.com/en/business/index.aspx for more information about how to order.
Lift Salon & Spa’s located on the corner of Queen and Jarvis in Toronto. The salon is easy to access and beautiful. The salon open from Monday to Saturday. The salon provides personalized, professional hair care & spa services by experienced stylists, colourists and aestheticians.
Taca Ozawa is one of Japanese hairdressers working there. Taca had responsible for hair stylist of Kenichi Matsuyama when Matsuyama attended TIFF in 2008. Taca knows how to cut and dye your hair depending on a shape of your head or your hair type.
Be sure to visit www.facebook.com/LIFTsalon for more information about making a reservation and their service.
JAVA, the Japanese Visitors Association, is a Non-Profit Organization that exists to support Japanese speakers visiting the Toronto area by providing the following 4 things:
1. Informational and social support to help make their stay more enriching and enjoyable
2. Opportunities for Japanese speakers to show their talent/art/work in Toronto
3. Opportunities for Japanese speakers to gain volunteer work and leadership experience in both English and Japanese as JAVA staff and volunteers
4. Introducing Canadians to Japanese visitors through useful workshops, social events, and volunteer opportunities.
Also they are looking for JAVA volunteers. Why don’t you join them? Be sure to visit http://javatoronto.com/ for more information about events and JAVA volunteers.
PAT Mart is a Korean supermarket and that has branches in Toronto and Mississauga. They provide not only Korean food but also Japanese ingredients including: soy sauce, mirin, seaweed, drink, and snacks made in Japan. Moreover if you need thinly sliced meat to make Sukiyaki or Okonomiyaki, you can get them at the PAT.
There is also Kevin’s Taiyaki shop inside PAT near the Christie station. Taiyaki is a traditional Japanese snack. It is made up of sweet red-bean paste inside fish-shaped dough. Be sure to visit www.patmart.net/pat/ for more information about their flier.