Toronto can be a pretty intimidating place, especially for those who are new to the city. Even some long time residents still have a lot more to learn about Toronto. Typically, once you do something right the first time, you stick with that same routine because you already know it works. Eventually it becomes all you ever know, and trying anything different becomes a little bit frightening.
But a lot of good can come from venturing outside your comfort zone. There are a ton of different "tricks" that can help improve the way you live in Toronto. If your daily routine is starting to get a little monotonous, try some of these life hacks that Torontonians on Reddit have suggested and see if your life changes for the better:
1. Use the PATH to save you time getting around
The PATH is one of Toronto's best features; not because it's the largest underground mall in the world, but because it's really convenient. It's a great way to avoid all of the hecticness that goes on on the streets above, and it connects to several major streets downtown; from College to Queen's Quay. It's definitely going to take some time to get used to, but once you have the hang of it, you'll find that the PATH is really helpful (especially for staying warm this winter). Here's a map to get you started.
2. Get Megabus tickets to travel on road for good prices
Those who need to travel somewhere outside of Toronto might want to consider taking the Megabus instead of driving. It offers rides to various places, including locations in Ontario, Quebec and New York. The prices are generally reasonable and change based on when you plan to travel and where. For example, tickets from Toronto to Buffalo can fall within the $15 to $20 dollar range, but tickets from Toronto to New York can reach up to 45 or 100 dollars. Sometimes they even advertise tickets going for as low as $2! Whatever the case, it still may be worth it for those who don't have a car or those would rather not drive.
3. Try biking in the downtown core
This probably isn't for everyone, but those who are adventurous enough to try it out may end up enjoying it. Some Torontonians who use a bike regularly have claimed it's easier to get around downtown (especially in Old Toronto) by bicycle. It can also be just as fast as taking transit or driving. In the end, a bicycle (and the maintenance it requires) is much cheaper than a car; plus you get to avoid traffic headaches (for the most part) as well as paying for gas and fare. Just don't ride on the sidewalks.
4. Download the GO and Rocketman apps
Transit in Toronto can be tricky sometimes. If you find yourself confused about what buses to take and which ones to transfer to, you should download the GO and Rocketman apps on your phone. They'll give you detailed instructions and information about bus, train and streetcar schedules, as well as each of their designated routes. You can even use them to set up routes tailored specifically for your own needs.
5. If you're moving to Toronto, try your best to find a place to live near work
Anyone in Toronto will tell you just how rough a commuter's life is in this city. If you're looking for a new place to live in Toronto, it would be really good if you found one that's near your workplace. A 20- or 30-minute walk is always better than being stuck in traffic or sitting in a crowded bus. Removing your reliance on transit will also help to give you more free time for other things.
6. Buy TTC tokens at authorized retailers instead of at the stations
If you're running errands, you can kill two birds with one stone by buying the TTC tokens you need for the week at the store you're shopping in. Use this tool to see what locations near your place are authorized to sell tokens. By doing this, you'll at least spare yourself the long wait in line at the station. Metro and Petro Canada gas stations are two examples of authorized token retailers.
7. When driving, use alternate routes, entrances or exits to avoid high-traffic zones
The traffic problem in Toronto is a colossal one. Many of us rely on the 401 to get to work, and there's barely a day when traffic is smooth-sailing. If you are a regular driver, try to use alternate routes, entrances or exits to avoid these high-traffic zones within the city and on the 401.
8. Get a Toronto Library Card
Don't overlook your Toronto Library Card - it can do a lot of things for you. It'll give you access to online resources such as databases (some of which would require 20- to 50-dollar memberships without a library card), archives and e-books. You'll also have access to in-house resources like books, magazines, and movies. Your Toronto Library Card also gets you deals at various Toronto venues, including the AGO, the ROM, the Ontario Science Centre, and more.
9. Download the Best Parking app
The Best Parking app is a great way to curve the parking problem in Toronto. It gives you a quick overview of parking locations in Toronto and their prices. It's also very easy to use and works in a bunch of other major cities in North America.
10. Make use of stores that offer student discounts
Several businesses in Toronto offer discounts to students. Check out these locations to make use of them.
11. Go to places that offer cheap drinks
It's not impossible to go out in Toronto and still have fun on a budget. Check out these Toronto bars for cheap drinks and deals.