What to do in the Toronto area?
June 8, 2008 3:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm a 19 years guy moving to the Toronto area for the summer from LA and I'm just wondering what is there to do in this town?

So I'm 19 years old and i just found out I'm going to be living with my uncle in toronto on summer holiday this year (for my school that means till the end of september). My Uncle lives in Pickering which im told is only about a 20 min drive from Toronto. Anyways, what is there to do in terms of nightlife in Toronto? Im coming from LA and am pretty into the electro and rave scene so I'm looking for nice clubs and bars that cater to these genres of music, as well as any music festivals that are going to be happening during this time. I'm basically your standard smoking drinking college student so another concern i have is how does the government up there regard recreational drug use? Are drugs on a schedule !, 2, and 3 basis like they are in The Us?
posted by sumobob to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oy... Pickering. Will you have access to a car? I'd say it's 20-25 minutes from downtown when there's no traffic at all. Most of the time there is traffic. Public transit from there consists of GO trains/buses which you take to the subway. I guess if you're from LA you're used to that kind of distance -- it's sort of like living in Burbank and going to Hollywood at night.

For music listings, stillepost.ca, Eye Weekly or NOW Magazine. I can't refer you to specific clubs because I'm not into that scene but acquaintances who call themselves ravers and do a lot of coke have been going to Circa it seems. (This is not an endorsement.)

How the fuzz regards recreational drug use varies depending on the drug. You're unlikely to get anything but a warning for smoking a joint on the street or in a park. If you get caught selling that's another matter. For other drugs it's better to keep it low-key but that doesn't mean it's not totally happening everywhere. Drug laws here generally are much less strict.
posted by loiseau at 3:52 AM on June 8, 2008

Oh, and here: rave.ca - tribe.ca - Cherry Beach raves (every weekend I believe)
posted by loiseau at 3:57 AM on June 8, 2008

The good news is that the drinking age in Ontario is 19, so you'll be able to do that legally at any bar/club/venue you like. The bad news is, well, Pickering, which others have mentioned is a bit out there.

I second loiseau's suggestion of NOW Magazine -- I have to read it each week for work and it's just loaded with the sorts of shows and clubs you're looking for.
posted by kate blank at 5:10 AM on June 8, 2008

Ehn, rave.ca is more for montrealers. Check out purerave.com for TO parties.
posted by sunshinesky at 5:31 AM on June 8, 2008

Oh god, purerave.. haven't thought about that place in ages.

Try Torontoraves (full disclosure, I'm friends with the owners), very useful, somewhat less cruft than Purerave.

The final World Electronic Music Festival is this year, end of July. End of an era!

For clubs in town.. you'll mostly be looking at three: Guvernment, CiRCA, and Republik for mostly mainstreamy dance/rave music. Electro is still pretty huge in Toronto, so the club listings in both Now and Eye will be useful--Now skews very hard towards house and hip-hop in the articles about club music, but Denise Benson seriously knows her shit, so is worth trusting.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:14 AM on June 8, 2008

(oh and obviously this calls for another meetup!)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:15 AM on June 8, 2008

"I'm basically your standard smoking drinking college student so another concern i have is how does the government up there regard recreational drug use? Are drugs on a schedule [1], 2, and 3 basis like they are in The Us?"

Basically, yes: Schedule I, II, III, and IV. Here's the law. I cannot offer you any advice whatsoever except that whatever you have heard about the supposed permissiveness of Canada's drug laws was probably wildly exaggerated.
posted by onshi at 1:07 PM on June 8, 2008

Great, this is exactly the type of stuff Im looking for. Burbank to Holllywood shouldn't be that bad, I've got access to a motorcycle, so I figure with lane splitting and everything I ought to be able to make good time. Does those same laws apply there as they do here in California?
posted by sumobob at 1:25 PM on June 8, 2008

I cannot offer you any advice whatsoever except that whatever you have heard about the supposed permissiveness of Canada's drug laws was probably wildly exaggerated.

While it's true that such stories get exaggerated as soon as they cross the border, there is very much less of a DRUGS ARE BAD AND YOU ARE GOING TO HELL OR AT LEAST JAIL FOR A LOT OF YEARS for smoking a fucking joint up here.

sumobob, 'lane-splitting' (if I understand the term) doesn't really exist up here. Motorcycles are functionally the same as cars when using the road.

And, I hope this goes without saying.. if you're coming into Toronto to party, I would hope that you're not biking back to Pickering immediately afterwards. Cops take a pretty dim view of impaired driving up here.

If you're going to party, go to Guv or CiRCA, stay till the music's done, then go have a Big Greasy Breakfast of Doom and head back to Pickering on the GO train. Please.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:54 PM on June 8, 2008

As far as I know, lanesplitting is *only* legal in California and in no other state in the US, let alone Ontario. Could be wrong though.
posted by the dief at 3:36 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Great thanks for the info great answers, this is my first time asking so I don't really know if I should start new questions for all these, but Im just going to make this a general "How am I going to live moving to Canada this summer?" question. In terms of healthcare, i see a shrink and take pretty heavily controlled meds. I've also heard horror stories from my mum about waits and stuff and I can't miss with these meds on and my doctor wouldn't give me extra refills b4 I went up so I'm kinda worried about all this stuff. How the hell does the healthcare system work up there for us crazy Canucks? Am I not going to have pay for anything?
posted by sumobob at 10:35 PM on June 8, 2008

Are you a Canadian citizen? If so, after three months of residency you will be eligible for OHIP, the government funded healthcare. This covers dr's visits (including psychiatrists). During the three months you need to arrange your own private health insurance (and arrange it before you come because insurers will not cover you after you have been in Ontario for a time. I think it is a week or two). Prescriptions cost money unless you have private benefit coverage (usually through work or school). Can you get a refill prescription from another dr before you leave?
posted by saucysault at 11:22 AM on June 9, 2008

If you're just moving up there for the summer you're probably not going to be a resident -- it'll be one of those six month max visitor's permit, right? At any rate, a summer is not enough time for OHIP to kick in, so you'll have to arrange for alternate insurance or hope that the insurer you have now will cover you in Canada, although I think this is highly unlikely.

The wait time thing is typically exaggerated by Americans who are, deep down, ashamed of their system and want to think of some justification, any justification of their own piss-poor emphatically busted healthcare crap festival. Believe me, I'm an American and I know from experience. If you're in a rural area you'll have significant wait times, but that'll be true for pretty much any rural area anywhere in the US as well. I'd be way way way more worried about the insurance thing if I were you, and keep in mind even if by some weird miracle you were covered by the provincial plan, drugs are outside OHIP's scope, so you'd have to have supplementary insurance in any event.

These guys are the guys I have for the supplementary insurance (through my workplace, so I'm not sure how much it costs -- sorry about that) so they're at least one source for private health insurance you might want to look into.

Good luck with it! And come to a meetup!
posted by the dief at 8:18 PM on June 10, 2008

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah one more thing. Hopefully you're still reading this thread. But make sure that the drugs you need are available here. Check out my frantic-ish askme post about one of my wife's meds that, thankfully enough, we ended up not needing.

If you have a question about the availability of your meds up here, please feel free to memail me and I'll dig into it.
posted by the dief at 8:21 PM on June 10, 2008

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