As told to Dawn Morrison

Robyn Willson (BComm’11) knows Toronto.Toronto-Robyn-Willson_200x200 She was attracted to Dal originally when she decided to study outside of Ontario, and fell in love with Halifax. She is originally from Toronto, and settled back there after graduation. She now works in commercial banking for CIBC. Her favourite thing about Toronto is the variety of the people and neighbourhoods, which create diverse and vibrant communities.

Best Networking Spot

“I think the best way to network is to take part in events that happen naturally, through your firm. You’ll have a stronger connection to the people you meet if you try to attend as many of your own office events as you can. All the firms have events, and invite external partners so it’s easy to connect that way, especially in finance.”

Best Volunteer Opportunity

“You should always do what you’re interested in, which is a nice way to find your niche. I grew up doing lots of canoe trips, so I naturally gravitated towards volunteering with Outward Bound. You have to make sure your volunteer opportunity is a good fit. It also helps to pick someplace that is close by, and convenient. Our office is only 15 minutes from Regent Park, which offers subsidized housing. Volunteering there is rewarding for a variety of reasons, including the fact that we get to truly become part of the neighbourhood.”

Best Spot for a Lunch Meeting

“Downtown Toronto can get very busy. If you’re looking for a spot that has lots of space and is close to everything, I recommend a place called Mercatto at Bay & Adelaide. It’s quiet and you can have coffee there, too. John & Sons is also a neat place, with a lot less of a ‘Bay Street’ feel to it. It has character.”

Most ‘Toronto’ Thing you can do While There

“Take a walk, and check out the different neighbourhoods. You can walk for 10 minutes, and find completely different areas to explore. I’ve lived here for years, and I can still discover little pockets of the city to have lunch, or coffee in. There are also great online blogs and magazines that publish what’s going on each week, like Toronto Life. It’s worthwhile to check those out.”

What’s it like to Live and Work in Toronto?

“I love it. Downtown is sometimes busy, and there’s so much going on all the time, yet people are still welcoming and friendly. You can do something different every night of the week.”

Best Place for Friday Night Fun

“The Royal Ontario Museum has these events on Friday nights with a DJ, food, a bar — you can enjoy a bit of night life while you explore the exhibits. It’s been so successful, there are other events that take place across the city, like jazz nights at the Aquarium, and similar events at the Art Gallery of Ontario on Thursdays. They are really fun for all ages, you can go with two people, or 10 and have a great time.”

Best place to eat on a dime

“Every neighbourhood has their own, but one that comes to mind is the Mystic Muffin, where you can still get a sandwich for under $5. It’s been around forever. Gail’s Snack Bar is another great place to go.”

Best neighbourhood for newcomers

I love King East near the Saint Lawrence Market. You can walk to work downtown in 10 minutes, and still live in an eclectic neighbourhood filled with bookstores, coffee shops and restaurants.