It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for university and college students, this commercial actually rings true. I mean c’mon, sure there are the exams, essays and the all-nighters spent studying and sucking down bad coffee. But before we get to that, there’s the standard two weeks of partying that accompanies every return to school. So to help you get out and have some guilt-free fun, the Ourfaves blog has compiled a few places to hit up in Toronto to get yourself ready for the semester, because we want you to be prepared both to hit the clubs in style and hit the books as soon as the hangover’s gone.
For the Techies
School’s finally back and, as always, you absolutely need to have the latest software or the thinnest Mac on campus. Thankfully, Ourfaves.com has you covered with a few locations that will satisfy all your nerdly desires. Ourfaves.com resident expert Mark Moyes has become a recently converted fan of Future Shop, largely based on their 30-day return policy, which can be shamelessly abused.
If a new computer’s what you’re looking for, a good bet is the Computer Systems Centre located in Chinatown. This store carries a selection of both Mac and PC computers, but don’t worry about stepping into one of those Mac vs. PC ads, since the staff is unbiased and happy to help find the right machine for you. Got bugs? Hey, it happens. Just head over to PC Mechanix to get your computer cleaned up and running smooth. Married to Mac? Then go to the official church of Apple for everything you could possible need for your electronic love.
DJ’s: If you’re seeking a new set of turntables to get the party going this semester, then Toronto’s countless music and audio shops are at your service. The best bet for a fresh deck is MOOG Audio, while those looking for bone-rattling subwoofers or speakers that set off car alarms would be wise to head to Long & McQuade.
Looking for a new set of headphones? Want to make your apartment the ultimate pre-party destination? You can sample the best audio equipment over at Bay Bloor Radio, which beats out all big box stores when it comes to selecting a top quality audio system.
Returning to university with a fresh wardrobe is always a good feeling, even though we both know half these clothes will be destroyed during frosh week. To help you get started on your September style, head over to French Connection, H&M or ZARA for some great selections that are also on the thriftier side of the Toronto clothing market. Urban Outfitters is also a good call – it has something for everyone at prices that are never unreasonable. For men, Gotstyle on King West has a great selection of club gear and features end of summer bargains .
For higher end clothing, the standard would have to be Holt Renfrew, with smaller but no less classy Augustina Boutiques a close second. Mendocino is also a popular choice among the Ourfaves team, as it features the trendiest and sexiest clothing you can find outside of New York or LA. Too pricey? Mid-to-high-range clothing can be found over at Aritzia on Queen West, which also has eleven other locations around the GTA. Ladies will also find accessories galore at Michael Kors in Yorkdale Mall.
Enrolled in an arts program? Don’t settle for those second-rate classroom materials. Get the good stuff that’ll last you through the semester by heading to Gwartzman’s Canvas & Art Supplies, which has everything you need and also offers a student discount on their supplies.
If you want to find a few pieces of inspiration to put on your wall, Toronto is chock-full of great art galleries with pieces that look like fine art but without the hefty price tag. One such place is The Cryptic Canvas, located near King and Bathurst. Right across the Art Gallery of Ontario you’ll find the Bau-Xi Gallery, which showcases the latest works by popular Canadian artists sold at prices that won’t turn your stomach.
At C1 Art Space, you can find original Canadian pieces or even create your own art to display at home. If crafts are more your thing, head to Arton Crafts Inc. or even Dollarama for all you could ever need for your next project.
Students taking advertising or design would be wise to check out Swipe Books, which holds numerous titles on these subjects. Aspiring scientists ought to check out Science City at the corner of Bay and Bloor. Telescopes, microscopes, essentially anything with ‘scope,’ or ‘meter,’ at the end of it can be found here.
For casual reading, Ossington Street’s Babel Books & Music and Frantic City are both great places to stop by if you’re also in the market for a few pieces of vinyl to go with your literature. If you are going to be taking over the cooking duties from your friends at the apartment this year (Kraft dinner three nights in a row is rough, I know), grab some help from The CookBook Store near Yonge and Bloor.
If you happen to know your booklist for the fall, check out the World’s Biggest Book Store for titles that’ll sell way cheaper than anything you’ll find at the campus bookstore. As well, Discount Textbooks is a great place for…well…discounted textbooks…*cough.
Not gonna see your friends for a while when you’re at school? Then enter into the My Fave Restaurant contest and get the chance win $250 towards treating them to dinner at the restaurant of your choice.