The 6 Best Places to Go in Toronto to Get Inspired

Taking the plunge and moving to the big city can be both the best and worst thing to happen to your professional career.

On the one hand, you’ve got ample opportunities and a plentiful network right at your fingertips. On the other, you’re a tiny little minnow who barely knows how to swim, trying haphazardly to make it through the ocean.

In times like those, it’s easy to get knocked down and forget why you came here in the first place. So if you’ve been stuck underneath a cloud of pessimism and despair in the career department, check out these Toronto safe havens to find some inspiration in every field.


Photo: Ian Muttoo/Flickr

ArchitectureBAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Whether you’re in the business of buildings or not, there’s nothing like a stunning piece of architecture to induce a bout of creativity in you. Let’s be honest, in Toronto, if you’ve seen one skyscraper you’ve seen them all. Take a little trip just outside and marvel at the BAPS grandiose structure or step inside and appreciate its detailed moldings and beautiful statues. That newfound perspective is sure to invigorate your ideas.


Photo: Lana Slezic/Toronto Star

Business Mirvish Village
As an aspiring owner of a fortune-500 company, heading out to the artsy area of the west end might seem like an odd choice, but keep an open mind. The Village gets its name from Toronto’s infamous late entrepreneur, Ed Mirvish, who founded Honest Ed’s. When the store began bringing in millions of dollars in revenue, Ed petitioned the city to allow him to plow through the neighbouring streets to expand the warehouse, but his request was denied. Persevering, Ed funneled money into the neighbourhood to support local artists’ ventures and eventually the community blossomed into the bustling community of Mirvish Village we know and love today. Take a walk through the streets and think outside the box. Keep your eyes peeled for potential.


Service IndustryArt Gallery of Ontario
Anyone who has worked in the service industry will tell you that above all else, what you really need, is patience. A recent study by the Wall Street Journal found that drawing (even doodling) can help improve your focus, memory, and patience. The Art Gallery of Ontario offers classes almost every day of the week in a variety of different art forms including sculpture, drawing, watercolour, and much more. Try something a little outside your comfort zone and perhaps all that downtime will spark some creativity for your newest dish or cocktail.


Writing + Other Art FormsThe TTC Bloor-Line Subway
While riding the subway may be your most hated portion of the day, you can’t ignore the fact that people watching is amazing for sparking creativity. The Bloor Line is the perfect choice because you’ve got Greektown at one end and the artsy west end on the other. Ride it for as long as you’d like and observe everything – the noises (or lack there of), the people, the expressions, the smells, everything. Take it all in and write often. Not convinced? Well, a Brooklyn commuter recently penned his entire fantasy novel on his phone and now it’s on the verge of a multi-million dollar movie deal.


Medicine + HealthGreen Roof at City Hall
Cross Bay Street and escape the busy downtown core in this safe haven green space. Working in the health field is hard work and it’s easy to let it consume your life and turn you into a ball of stress. Take some time for yourself, bring your laptop to this lush garden in the centre of the concrete jungle and watch this TED Talk. It’s given by Eric Dishman, a healthcare researcher who proposed a new idea for reinventing health care – tackling it as a team sport and putting the patient at the forefront.


Image: Simon Jarratt/Corbis

Law + EnforcementVolunteer Toronto
Working in law and law enforcement can be rewarding, but also quite draining. Take some time away from the office or detachment and remind yourself that people are good. Check out Volunteer Toronto’s Website and find something that suits your interests. There are opportunities for regular commitment or just a one-time event. Get together with some colleagues or friends, forget about work, and help someone do something you’re passionate about. The smile on their face will be more than enough to get you through the work week.

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