Shopping Around Ryerson

Being situated in the downtown core of Toronto, Ryerson is in a great location for shopping. Especially note-worthy is the fact that there will be a new Winners having their grand opening during the week of IRSA, and so make sure to stop there and take advantage of any deals. Winners is an extremely affordable department store with great prices on men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. The new location will be right by the intersection of Younge Street and Dundas Street, just South of the Ryerson Student Learning Centre and in between the David’s Tea and Chipotle restaurant. Additionally, there is another Winners just North of the Ryerson Campus at the corner of College Street and Younge Street that is particularly large.

Our Largest Shopping Malls:

Eaton Centre (

This landmark mall is just steps away from Ryerson with over 250 stores, restaurants, and services. It is home to a wide range of stores, including many high-end luxury stores, and 2 large department stores: Hudson’s Bay, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Hudson’s Bay dates back to Canada’s fur trade in the 1600s, and you will find many great deals and souvenirs at this location, as well as luxury items. Saks Fifth Avenue recently opened in Canada and is home to many luxury brands.

Hours: M-F: 10:00-21:30, Sat: 9:30 – 21:30 Sun: 10:00 – 19:00

Yorkdale Shopping Centre (

This mall is in the northern part of the city, but is easily accessible through TTC – approximately a 30-minute subway ride from Ryerson. Yorkdale tends to be considered a higher-end mall, though you will find many other stores as well. Like most malls in Canada, it is home to Hudson’s Bay, and you will also find our high-end Canadian retailer, Holt Renfrew at this location.

Hours: M-F: 10:00 – 21:00, Sat: 9:30 – 21:00, Sun: 11:00 – 19:00

Shopping Neighbourhoods:


Yorkville was once known as the “hippie” neighbourhood of Toronto, but has since transformed into one that houses many luxury boutiques and high-end retailers. It is also home to one of Holt Renfrew’s flagship stores. You will find many great restaurants and cafés, as well as the American leading natural and organic grocery retailer, Whole Foods. However, stores tend to close early in this neighbourhood around 6pm, but extended hours occur on Thursdays and Fridays.

Kensington Market

Kensington Market lies just outside of China town, not far from Ryerson, and easily accessible through TTC’s streetcars. It was a neighbourhood that was exposed to numerous waves of different ethnocultural communities, making it a very multicultural place. It is home to many ethnic grocery stores, speciality food stores, small bookstores, new and used clothing stores, as well as many small restaurants and cafés. The neighbourhood’s streets tend to be small and narrow, often crowded with pedestrians rather than cars.

Quick places near Ryerson:

Marshalls and Winners

Both are discount department stores located steps from Ryerson (Marshalls a little closer than Winners*). If you’re looking for clothes, shoes, cosmetics, or housewares, you will find it here. Winners also carries jewelry.

Alternative Accommodations

We’ve received some inquiries into possible alternative options for accommodations during the week of the conference. Here is an overview of alternative lodging options:

On-campus residences: Unfortunately, the Ryerson residences will not be available for nightly rentals during the week of the conference.

Toronto Hostels: There are a number of affordable hostel options in Toronto, such as the Hi-Toronto Hostel located at 76 Church Street. This spot runs for approx. $40/ night (and they are having a room-booking deal as of right now). Additionally, Global Guest House at 9 Spadina Road and All Days Hostel at 5 Shelby Street are both approx. $100/ night. All three of these options are within travel distance to Ryerson’s campus, and all provide free wi-fi for guests.

The Neil-Wycik building is also currently offering nightly room rentals for Approx. $55/ night, which also includes free wi-fi and complimentary breakfast. This spot is also conveniently located accross the street from Ryerson campus at 96 Gerrard Street East.

Family Fun, for those Travelling with Children

For those travelling with their families (especially with small children), consider going to one of Toronto’s many board game cafes.

Snakes & Lattes is located at 600 Bloor St. West in the heart of the Annex neighbourhood. This spot has over 1,000 board games to choose from, and has a very helpful staff to help explain rules and goals of some of the more complex games. They also have a great tea and coffee menu.

Alternatively, if you’d like to enjoy some beer or wine while playing, Snakes & Lagers is located 488 College Street (just on the edge of Little Italy neighbourhood). This place is owned and operated by the same folks who run Snakes & Lattes (mentioned above), but includes a beer, wine, and spirits menu, and also has a back patio for playing board games outside (weather permitting).

Castle Board Game Cafe is located at 454 Spadina Ave. in Chinatown neighbourhood. This spot is a bit smaller than the other two, but it’s also closer to Ryerson’s campus for those not wanting to travel too far from the conference area.

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto’s home baseball team (Blue Jays) are on fire this season, and they happen to be playing 5 home games during the irsa2016 conference! For those interested in checking out a Jay’s game, here’s the need-to-know details:

Baseball fandom in Toronto is high, and fans are devoted to their boys-in-blue. During the week of Congress, the Jays are playing the Rays on the 9th and 10th, and the Astros on the 12th, 13th, and 14th (all games are at the Toronto Rogers Centre). Tickets are available on, and range from $6 – $135.

There are also a number of bars around the Rogers Centre for drinks and food pre- and post-game (both can be expensive at the actual game). There’s a two-storey Boston Pizza located at 250 Front Street (right across from the Rogers Centre), as well as The Amsterdam Brewhouse by the waterfront at 245 Queens Quay West.

Make sure to catch at least one of these games, the energy can be really exciting!

Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants

Downtown Toronto is home to many great vegan and vegetarian restaurants, catering a great many types of food like pizza, thai, and pub fare.

Urban Herbivore – located in the Eaton Centre but with another location in Kensington Market – serves a number of great veggie-friendly soups and sandwiches.

 Sabai Sabai is an excellent and fair-priced vegan thai restaurant located just at the corner of Church and Dundas. (We’re also currently looking into getting IRSA2016 delegates a discount here).

Located at 109 McCaul street (in the Village by the Grange), Karine’s is a small breakfast and lunch location with a number of great vegetarian and vegan options. There are $5 breakfast meals everyday, and the PBC (Peanut butter/ banana/ chocolate) smoothies are amazing. They also sell vegan desserts like cupcakes, brownies, and cookies.

A bit further West though (but still a walkable distance from Ryerson’s campus), is where the majority of really great vegetarian and vegan restaurants are located…

In Kensington Market alone there are Cosmic Treats (207 Augusta Ave.) with science fiction-themed pub food and desserts, Veggie D’Light (160 Baldwin St.) with Caribbean foods, Bunner’s Bakery (244 Augusta Ave.), which is (as the name suggests) a cozy little vegan bakery, and Grasshopper Restaurant (310 College St., a personal favourite!) with delicious vegan sandwiches, salads, and appetizers. Kensington Market and its neighbour Baldwin Village are both home to many vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants and small grocery stores, though these four spots definitely stand out as exceptionally great.


Smoking and e-Cigarettes in Toronto

For those looking for cigarettes or e-cigarette materials, there are a number of stores located close to the Ryerson campus. Directly across from Ryerson at the corner of Gerrard and Mutual Street is a Mac’s Milk open 24hrs which sells most popular brands of cigarettes. There are also similar convenience stores located at 1 Carleton Street (7-Eleven), 256 Jarvis Street (Rabba Fine Foods), and the Metro grocery store at 89 Gould Street.

As for e-cigarettes, there are shops all around Toronto including The Ecig Flavourium Vape Boutique (114 Queen E), 180 Smoke Vape Store (657 Younge), and Vap29 (639 Bay & 452 Queen W) just to name a few of the most popular.

Please keep in mind that, by law, stores are not allowed to merchandise tobacco products, and so you will need to ask the employees behind the counter for any such products. Please also keep in mind that smoking in buildings is prohibited, and that this now also includes on restaurant patios and many building balconies.

Groceries Near Ryerson University

For those hoping to stay in and cook for most meals throughout the conference, there are several options located close to the Ryerson campus.

There is a Metro grocery store located across the street from the Rogers Communication Centre (RCC) building at 89 Gould Street, which is open daily from 7 AM – 11:30 PM, as well as another Metro grocery store located at the corner of Younge and College in the basement of College Park, which is open 24hrs.

The Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens is also located just North of the campus at the corner of College and Church, and is open until 11 PM daily. This is the largest grocery store in the area and has arguably the greatest selection of culinary needs – they stock everyday grocery items, gluten-free products, a selection of vegan and vegetarian options, and they also have a large in-store bakery. There is also an LCBO and Joe Fresh located on the top floor.

The Ryerson Farmers’ Market also runs Wednesday on Gould Street from 11 AM – 2 PM, with dozens of vendors selling a variety of local and sustainable foods. Visit their website for further info:

For those not staying close to Ryerson’s campus, Toronto is full of great neighbourhoods with many different small and large grocery options. We’ll be posting soon regarding the different neighbourhoods like Little Italy and Kensington Market, and will provide a more detailed outline of each neighbourhood’s grocery and restaurant options.


Your Blog Source for Everything IRSA2016!

Hello all,

We’ve finally got the blog running for updates regarding the upcoming World Congress of Rural Sociology hosted by Ryerson University. We’ll be posting updates regularly about the conference, as well as practical things to know for your stay in Toronto and visit to Ryerson.

Be sure to check back regularly, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@irsa2016) and like us on Facebook!