Finding New Friends in Toronto: Five Fail-Free Ways to Make New Acquaintances Hassle-Free
When you move to a new city or, as in my case, new country it is essential to build a strong network of friends. After all, you cannot do it on your own. Also as a social being you have a basic need to socialize. The question is: how do you go about meeting new people? True, you can make friends with your coworkers or neighbors, but it's not always the case. More often than not the extent of your friendship is a pint at a local bar once every two months after work. Even in a big city like Toronto working multiple jobs you can feel lonely. I've come up with five fail free ways to make new friends that worked for me in the past.
Get a gym membership
In Canada people like to stay healthy and fit. Hence about at least 80 % of the people I know have a gym membership. I am not sure how many of my friends actually use the membership they pay for, but that's beside the point. Although some people might say that trying to make a new acquaintance at the gym while you are all sweaty sounds a bit creepy I disagree. This is how it would work: you go to your gym regularly at your convenience and start seeing some familiar faces. First you acknowledge them with a nod, then you start saying hello and making some small talk and before you know it you hang out together. It is a simple yet effective plan which would give you a perfect opportunity to meet new people and stay fit at the same time. There is only one small hiccup – monthly membership can be quite expensive. Luckily there is an abundance of gyms in Toronto and pretty much anyone can sign up for a plan that would suit them best. With over 350 locations across Canada GoodLife Fitness can be rightfully considered one of the most popular workout destinations. It has some high end amenities like: squash courts, swimming pools, massage chairs and more. Depending on your budget you can sign up with just one club or start an ultimate membership which would give you full access to all GoodLife fitness centers. Fit4less, on the other hand, will get you hot and sweaty for only $4.99 every two weeks plus the joining fee.
Sign up for a dance class
Have you ever wanted to learn to dance like a pro? If dancing has always been your passion you can connect with those who feel the same. All you have to do is sign up for a dance class. When it comes to dance you have quite a lot of styles to choose from. You can go with Latin dance and learn the intricate steps of salsa, samba, rumba or even the passionate Argentine tango. There are many schools in Toronto that can turn you into a Latin Dance guru. Check out Access Ballroom Dance Studio and Rhythm & Motion first.
It is widely believed that you cannot take up ballet as an adult. After all it takes years of training to grasp at least the basic skills required for ballet dancing. Ultimately though nothing is impossible if you put your heart into it. Instructors at National Ballet School and Ballet Espressivo believe that it is never too late to welcome ballet in your life.
For those who are particularly interested in street dance various schools in Toronto offer lessons in hip hop and jazz-funk. Simply Swagg Dance Studio and Byfield Dance Experience will teach you how to skillfully swing to a beat. If you fancy contemporary dance above all other genres you can sign up for a class at Contemporary Dance Studio. Whatever your preferred genre is, one thing is certain you will most likely make new friends. Common interests and relaxed atmosphere are fine prerequisites for a beautiful friendship.
Join a book club
I am an avid reader. On a Saturday night I would rather enjoy a good book with a cup of cocoa than go out clubbing. Unfortunately there are not too many people who share my love for books with me. But the good news is that they do exist and multiple book clubs in Toronto make it possible for me to find them. If you have a penchant for classic literature Classic book Club would be your best bet for an appropriate past time. Coffee table book club have regular meetings one Saturday every month where modern literature is being discussed. Young people in their 20-s and early 30-s can find a pleasant company and a good book accompanied by a pint at Books and Beer meetup. Toronto Ladies Book Club is open to young, vibrant and open-minded women who are not afraid of sharing their opinion on both popular and less known reads. Upcoming books for debate include the Half of a Yellow Sun, Love in the Time of Cholera and The Color Purple. Those who are interested in becoming successful investors can try joining Investment and Economics book Club. The non-fiction Book club is for people who like to read engaging thought-provoking non-fiction books. All new members are strongly encouraged to make their own suggestions when they join.
Attend a music festival
Music fans can find common ground with other concert goers at a music festival. Boots and Hearts is a country music festival which usually takes place over the weekend each year in the beginning of August in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. The dates for 2018 are August 9 to 12. To live the full experience choose camping instead of booking a hotel suite. Think Rockfest but for country lovers. Ottawa Bluefest is an annual festival which is hosted in Ottawa in July. Originally its focus was primarily blues music, however now it attracts rock and pop artists as well. The lineup for this year includes some world-famous acts such as Foo Fighters, Rise Against, Three Days Grace and many more. If you are a fan of jazz music you can check out Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival which is scheduled annually in August. Bonus: it's free and the city public transport on the days of the event is also free. The Celtic Roots Festival is a three day event featuring Celtic music and art performed by local and international renowned artists. Home County folk Festival attracts thousands of folk music fans to London, Ontario each July.
Try your luck online
Apple and technological revolution have made it possible to meet new people with similar interests without living the comfort of your living room. All you have to do is log in in one of the chat rooms via your iPhone, and within a few minutes you can set up a meetup. There are a few apps that can help you find potential friends in Canada. Badoo.com is an online chat room for people interested in friendship and romantic relationship. You can filter your results by age, gender, and distance. Two different groups of friends can meet for drinks with the help of Smeeters. Meetup is another matchmaking app for platonic friendships which has been around since before 2002. Peoplehunt is ideal for newcomers, in the unlikely event of not finding your perfect match you at the very least would get useful recommendations of where to go for dinner or what neighborhoods you should avoid.
It can be exceptionally hard to form new friendships as an adult. Thankfully, there are people and resources that can help you with that. A lot of information is also available online: these days Google knows everything. All you have to do is ask.