You can find Manga in Toronto Public Library: Amazing Toronto by Sayuri Ishiyama

CN Tower, Toronto. Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama

What comes to your mind when you hear Toronto? 

 I’m Sayuri from Tokyo, Japan. After graduation from high school, I decided to explore the world and understand different cultures, food and languages. In Japan, I used to work at the busiest station in the world: the Shinjuku Station. Before moving to Toronto, I lived in Fiji Islands for six months as a language student and in Australia for a year. Today, I live in a vibrant neighbourhood near Bloor and Dufferin.  


In my opinion, Toronto is the most diverse city in the world. 50% of the population comes from outside of Canada. You can see people from different countries in the streets, hear new languages, admire different cultures, and you will come across food from across the globe.

  1. The Food Scene

The Toronto food scene is heaven for all you foodies! Greektown, Little Portugal, Korea Town, Chinatown, India Bazaar, you can find any food even if you haven’t heard of the country and trust me, you will love it.





I love trying different foods from the globe here in Toronto, from Shawarmas to Italian – Spaghetti, Pizza, Lebanese and Caribbean Foods. 

Toronto TTC on Queen Street West overlooking the CN Tower (Picture courtesy: Yugbodh Singh)

2. Public transport doesn’t come on time (what is a timetable?) 

 When you have an appointment with your friend, you might want to check how long it takes by train or bus. However, trust me, you will be late because showing time on the apps is not true most of the time.

The public transportation arrival time is not standard here, especially for the buses. The scheduled timetables sometimes disappear, and three buses will sometimes arrive together. Trust me, and this helps us as you can make some excuses for arriving late to the class or at a party. 




3. You are not allowed to drink alcohol in public places.

 Do you want to grab some alcohol and hang out with your friend like in Japan? You can’t do that.

Drinking alcohol outside in public places is prohibited in Toronto. 

Why don’t you get coffee instead? Yes, you can always try Tim Hortons or Starbucks. However, I recommend coffee hopping with your friends as many local coffee shops are around downtown. 





Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama

4. The city has Bipolar weather

 You should prepare many layers before coming to Toronto. Otherwise, you will be at the mercy of the weather. In March, you enjoy a sunny day one day at 13 degrees and the very next day, and it snows at -2 degrees. There will be days when it will rain in the morning, snow in the afternoon, and 20 degrees summer in the evening. What bipolar weather! Also, Sun Sets at 8:30 PM during summer. 




Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama

5. Everyone seems to love Sushi 

 Sushi, ramen, karaage tofu, macha and sake. Have you ever heard these names? And do you like it?

I am surprised when many students from other countries say their favourite food is Sushi. 

Many people in Toronto, Canada, love Japanese cuisine. You can find most Japanese ingredients and restaurants in Toronto, thanks to them.

You will never miss Japanese food.





Outside the Scotiabank Arena(Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama)

6. It is expensive to dine outside

Oh, don’t forget this. The food is fantastic, but the price is also excellent. $7-10 for beer and $20 for one bowl of ramen. Unfortunately, there is no Gyu-don, which is like $5 and enough for a full stomach. If you are a student and need to save money, I recommend cooking yourself at least twice a week. 

The Old Spaghetti Factory. Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama




Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama

7. Tip and card culture

 In Toronto, paying by card is the most common way to pay. You don’t have to hesitate even if it’s $0.5. (Uber or Lyft only accept cards)

 Tipping culture must make the Japanese confused. How much should I pay? How do I pay? The average is 15%. If you like their service, you can pay more. Choose how much on the check machine or put a tip in the tip jar.



Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama

 8. Yes, there is Sakura: the Japanese national flower at the High Park. 

Whenever you miss Japan, you can go and see Sakura at the high park. High Park is a prominent part of Toronto. 




Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama

 9.Torontonians don’t use umbrellas

 I am confused, but most of the people chose to get wet. I ask myself, are they too lazy to carry an umbrella for their protection or maybe they don’t care about the rain as much as we do?

All Japanese use an umbrella even in light rain and always keep it in a bag for the accidental shower. Hmm, interesting habit.



Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama

 10. Manga: You can find Manga at public libraries in Toronto.

The Toronto Public Library has 100 different locations across the city of Toronto. You can browse, study, and work inside these libraries for free. As Manga is considered for amusement and entertainment in Japan, therefore, you will never see a Manga in a Japanese Library. 

In Toronto Library, all the Manga is available in English, so as a Japanese student, it helps to pick up an English version of Manga and improve your English vocabulary. 



Graffiti at Shaw and Bloor: Pictures courtesy: Sayuri Ishiyama

Most of Toronto is different from Japan. But the difference is interesting. I am still trying to find a new me in this multicultural city. Are you excited to move to Toronto? Yes, we are all welcome here. 


Sayuri Ishiyama

This article is authored by Sayuri Ishiyama. She is currently studying in Toronto, Canada


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.