As we mentioned in the first article in this series, WiFi is pretty much available everywhere in Toronto. Most of the coffee chains, restaurants and some bars, especially the chains, have free WiFi available for customers, though it generally is password protected so check with the cashier or server. Some will have a sign for WiFi advertising this, but the majority don’t.
The majority of the places mentioned here are used to students and freelancers camping out for an hour or so, use some common sense and remember cafes make their money off coffee not WiFi, so make sure you buy something - OSAP (and expense accounts) is not just for beer.
There are a number of spots on Ryerson campus that make good study spots and feature free wireless. There is the 24-hour Tim Horton’s on Victoria St. south of Gould St. and to next to the pool is a new Balzac's Coffee in the Image Arts Building. While this doesn't have a much seating, WiFi is available.
To the east there on at Dundas and Dalhousie is RISE Espresso that does have WiFi, but the place is pretty small it’s not recommended for study sessions.
To the north there is a Starbucks at Gerrard and Church, near the Ryerson Theatre, that’s open fairly late. If you continue up Church St. you’ll be in the gay village area which has a number of coffeeshops with WiFi available, if not great study spots, favourites include Bulldog Coffee and Hair of the Dog.
The West (and North) is the Best
Your best bet is to head west and north towards Young St. If you’re at the Business school on Dundas, there are two good spots. At the Atrium at Bay there is a Timothy’s that’s open days, but not too late in the evening. A better bet is the Starbucks a bit further west at Elizabeth St. on Dundas (it’s also right around the corner from the hard-to-find bus terminal). Be aware though that lots of students have made this their home and it can be quite hard to find a seat during evenings and weekends.
Young and College
Besides being home to about three actual Internet cafes (yes, they still exist) Yonge St. has a two or three good options. Right at College there is a Starbucks that is also open late and has a fair amount of seating.
The best spot though is the Second Cup in the Courtyard Marriot hotel a block north of College on Wood St. It’s got lots of seating, plugs and is open until 11pm most nights and still has cozy corners despite its size.
If this one is full, and you feel like an 8-block walk, there is a similar-sized Second Cup at Charles St. One advantage of this walk is it will put you in the vicinity of 7 West (1 block west on Charles) a good spot to know if you’re looking for real food at an actual restaurant at 4 in the morning.
That wraps up our survey of WiFi spots around Ryerson, if you know any other good ones, let us know in the comments.