Thursday, 11 July 2013

Life in T.O.

Five weeks in, and I have already attended a variety of motions, examinations for discovery, etc., and what’s really exciting, soon I’ll be conducting my own settlement conference for a small claims court trial. To think two months ago I didn’t even know what a settlement conference was!

"I want to share my tips on living and working in downtown Toronto as a law student."

While I could go on about all the fantastic things happening in the office, for this blog, I want to share my tips on living and working in downtown Toronto as a law student.

MB students are frequently asked to attend court or meetings all over the city. While some are within walking distance, many are not (especially with small claims matters). Thus, a good understanding of the city’s transit system (TTC) is integral to any student’s success.

The TTC is the most convenient and cost-effective way to get from point A to point B for both work and play. I had to adjourn a settlement conference at the Toronto Small Claims Court, located near Sheppard station (there’s a purple line now?) from our office at King & York. Got there--using the subway--in just 20 minutes! With buses, streetcars and subways operating 19+ hours a day, the subway has become my preferred method of transportation (along with approx. 1 million people daily). However, it is not perfect (a.k.a. delays) so, it is important, especially for us students, to always give ourselves extra time to get to where we need to be. Take it from me – arriving early and catching up on some reading is MUCH better than running late and having to apologize to the judge and/or partner for being late…

Eating Out
When it comes to food, Toronto takes the cake (and the curry, the burgers, and the sushi…) But finding your go-to restaurants takes some investigation. Luckily for me, when I first started at MB, the exiting articling students took us, summer students, on a culinary tour of the surrounding food courts and restaurants to point out some of their favourite lunch spots (FYI - I.Q., Aroma, Thai Express, and Sandwich Box). So getting restaurant advice from fellow students and/or Toronto natives about where to eat is the way to go! I also recommend a weekly dose of “Eat Street” on the Food Network to keep up to date on the current food trends.

Getting Around Underground
Toronto has this fantastic underground tunnel system that links its downtown core together which provides access to most of the main downtown buildings, shops, and restaurants! However, it also gets confusing, because it covers a lot of ground without the traditional street markers. So if (or when) you get lost in the PATH, it is important not to panic. Everything only looks the same. Remember this: if you need to reorient yourself, just exit the PATH to the street level until you get your bearings.

I prefer the left side.
The PATH is great to dodge the heat (it’s air-conditioned) and rain—these features are incredibly helpful for avoiding wet court documents (true story when getting to the 393 University Courthouse), and sweat marks on your brand new suit when its 35 + degrees (not a true story, but I still like to avoid it)! So embrace the PATH and use it to your advantage!

I’ve found the best thing about Toronto is that it is always a unique experience. Just be flexible and willing to learn quickly in order to handle all the curveballs. And that is just like being a student! So keep calm and carry on!
Anthony G.