Inside most of us, there is a little bit of wanderlust. But for introverts, although enticing, the idea of wandering to a foreign place can also be intimidating. On the surface, a bustling, up-and-coming city like Toronto can seem like an “extroverts only” kind of place, but, if you dig deep enough, you can find an abundance of hidden gems that introverts will enjoy, too.
If you like to read, just be warned: When visiting the BMV, you may never want to leave. The BMV, a Canadian bookstore chain originating in Toronto, carries everything from a $9.99 collectable Archie comics to $5.99 books on how to cook for your cat. There are three locations in Toronto and, though the Bloor location may be its flagship store, the BMV on Edward Street (in the photo above) happens to be the oldest. Introverts, if you need a break from the real world, I recommend diving into the land of fiction at the nearest BMV.
Location: 10 Edward Street
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 10AM-11PM; Sun 12PM-8PM
Allan Gardens Conservatory
To put it simply, Allan Gardens Conservatory is a flower-infested wonderland. Constructed in 1910, Allan Gardens is a welcome juxtaposition in a man-made, industrial city. It’s absolutely free, open all year round, and a great place to relax or take photographs. However, be cautious! If you’re prone to allergies, you may want to sit this one out. Although beautiful, the building can become quite stuffy, especially in the summertime – but in the winter, that makes it a perfect tropical escape!
Location: 19 Horticultural Avenue
Hours of Operation: 10AM-5PM daily
Snakes and Lattes
Board games and caffeine. Do you really need anything more? Let me give you a hint… the answer is no! Snakes and Lattes is a board game café with two locations in Toronto. As a way of minimizing the use of electronics and encouraging conversation, Snakes and Lattes offers a wide variety of board games for just $5 dollars per person. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and the menu isn’t just limited to coffee and sandwiches. If you’re in the mood for dessert, mac and cheese, or even a beer, the café serves those as well! Whether you’re a Monopoly or a Cards Against Humanity kind of coffee drinker, Snakes and Lattes is guaranteed to be a latte fun.
Locations: 600 Bloor St West; 489 College St
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 8AM-“Late” (12AM); Sat & Sun 11AM-“Late” (12AM)
Muji is a Japanese retailer that offers minimalistic home décor & storage, clothing, stationery, and skin care essentials. Upon entry, you may have the sudden desire to buy cutlery, pens, journals, and everything else that you don’t need. What will attract an introvert in the most is the store’s stationery section. The high quality notebooks and pens made out of recycled materials will prompt any introvert to want to draw or write to their heart’s content.
Location: 20 Dundas Street West
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 10AM-8PM; Sat 10AM-7PM; Sun 11AM-5PM
Steve’s Music Store
Steve’s Music Store, located in the Entertainment District of the Downtown Core, sells instruments, their accessories, studio equipment, and DJ accessories. For the music-loving introvert, this store is like the sweet sound of a G Major triad. If you’re into sheet music, stop by and take a look at Steve’s collection! From new to old, there’s something unique from every genre.
Location: 415 Queen Street West
Hours of Operation: Mon-Wed 9:30AM-6PM; Thurs-Fri 9:30AM-9PM; Sat 9:30AM-5:30PM; Sun 12PM-5PM
The Distillery District
If you’re an artsy introvert in Toronto, The Distillery District is the place for you. The Distillery District is a pedestrian-only village that houses an abundance of art galleries, unique cafés, and designer boutiques. There is always something going on in the Distillery District, whether is be a music festival or a Christmas market. Make sure to bring your wallet though – the District tends to be a bit pricey, but you can just walk around and window-shop for free!
Location: 55 Mill Street
Hours of Operation: Varies by business
Hibernate in one of these havens this winter by booking a trip to Toronto on Wanderu.com or by downloading the Wanderu app! Toronto is easy to get to from Buffalo and New York City, as well as from lots of other cities across North America!
About the author: Brianne James is a university student from Toronto, Canada. Majoring in the Creative Industries, Brianne specializes in fashion, journalism, and digital media. Brianne enjoys singing, drinking too much tea, conversations about nothing, and making people smile.