It’s Monday night. I’ve got no plan as I head Downtown Toronto to the bed I booked through Backpacker College.  It’s a private room, professionally managed, and only $57 (taxes included).  The room was clean and brightly coloured, had electronic locks, and security personnel at the front foyer.  This large and spacious room was better quality than I could have ever expected! And to top it off it came with a sweet view of the city skyline and a central courtyard to the university.  I’m also about a 7-minute walk to Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum, the famous Bata Shoe Museum and more.

After I check in, I walked 2 minutes and arrived at the grad pub. It had a fun and quaint atmosphere, with a pool table, graffiti walls and a music-loving bartender. One of the local regulars said I should check out Sneaky Dees for karaoke and some students writing a paper wanted to join me. They offered me up an alternative, saying that in Toronto on a Monday night that the Communists Daughter is a fantastic spot. A speakeasy-style bar in a café with a different name, you bring your own vinyl, they’ll play the A side. If everyone enjoys the A side and they want to hear the B side it plays on. If not, they switch records.

I liked that idea, so I grabbed an $8 uber which took me this great neighbourhood off Dundas. I met some fantastic people along the way and after the ride, while looking for the entrance, I heard a pumping rock n roll sound coming from the Painted Lady. At this point, I pulled an audible. I walked in and was greeted by a long bar, with a brilliant urban feel, replete with LEDs, retro French burlesque posters, old city photos, and purple disco ball in front of a stage with over 30 microphones set up perfectly mixed/produced for live music.  Every thirty minutes a new artist and their band or friends would step up, plug in their instrument and jam.  They’d rotate the talent featuring several guitars, piano, saxophone, amplified classical ukulele, playing originals and exceptional cover tunes. Surrounded by friendly people who invited me for drinks, shared anecdotes bit about themselves, and told stories about their neighbourhood.

After a few hours of chatting with new folks and listening to the music being played, I called for a ride and less than ten minutes later was eating a falafel that would make any Egyptian feel at home. Twenty minutes later I was back at my accommodation and slept a sweet night away.

The greater Toronto area is acclaimed for many things! With a wide variety of sports, art, business, music, and activities, Toronto is what the United Nations calls the most multi-cultural city on earth. What better place to start the summer season with Backpacker College than experiencing Canada’s largest city?

Whether you’re on a budget, don’t want to spend hours online planning, or just want a bed that’s affordable, safe and private. Check out our app, try the website, and book a bed on campus or nearby accommodation. You can save money, start travelling and you never know what sort of great things can (and will) happen.