Category: Ontario

6 Favourite Neighbourhoods & Shops in Toronto

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1. The Distillery District: This historic area of Toronto used to be The Gooderham and Worts Distillery. There are lots of shops and restaurants located in beautiful Victorian Industrial buildings. This is a great place to catch a festival, take photos, go shopping for specialty items (sake, olive oil or chocolate, anyone?), see some art in the galleries and of course, drink!

Favourite Spots

Soma Chocolatiers: Very inventive chocolate. Try the spicy Mayan hot chocolate in the winter!

Greg’s Ice Cream: The best ice cream! Flavours change often.

Balzac’s Coffee: Beautiful two level coffee shop with fresh baked goods.

 Brick Street Bakery: Cheese twists to die for! For serious.

 Getting there: From King or St. Andrew subway station, take the 504 King Streetcar and get off at Parliament.

2. Kensington Market

Where can you grab a Mexican churro, fresh fish, cheese and vintage clothing? Kensington Market, of course.  Half outdoor market and half thrift store, this unique area of Toronto is stuffed with tiny mom and pop shops, fish mongers, butchers and Mexican treats.  Back in the day this used to be a predominately Jewish area. Now, it’s home to hippies and artists and a great place to people watch. In the summer, cars are not allowed and Pedestrian Sunday takes over.

Courage my Love Great for vintage finds, jewelery, post cards, beads, leather string…any and everything.

Pancho’s Bakery: Mmm. Really good churros. Get them plain or filled with chocolate!

Nu Bugels: The best bagels outside of Montreal. Buy them…you won’t regret it!

queenwest
All rights reserved by Uncle Lynx

4. Queen Street West

Queen West is where all the cool kids hang out. It used to be that anything below Queen & Spadina was a great area for shopping and finding edgy, unique clothing. Although some stores can still be found there, most have moved west. Head here to visit galleries, hang out in Trinity Bellwoods Park and go shopping.

Favourite Spots:

Fashion Crimes for super fancy, funky dresses and tights.

The Ten Spot for a manicure that will last for days.

The Magic Pony to check out what show they have in their gallery, and to pick up one of a kind jewelry, vinyl toys, notebooks and more.

Arepa Cafe: for freshVenezuela cornmeal sandwiches filled with your favourite toppings. I recommend the Curvy Chick.

Nadege Patisserie for some of the best macaroons and madelines you will ever have. They come in strawberry, vanilla and chocolate!

Gladstone Hotel & Drake Hotel. Great places to stay and hang out with artsy types. The Gladstone always has new shows on it’s second floor gallery (I had an installation here!), and the Drake has a rooftop patio.

Leslieville mural
Some rights reserved by Paul Henman

5. Leslieville

This charming east end neighbourhood has become a foodie destination. Lots of specialty shops have popped up here, including Paulette’s Donuts and Chicken, Rasher’s and the  Leslieville Cheese Market to name a few. This area is also home to a year-round artisan market called Arts Market. Here you’ll find handmade accessories, jewelry and art.

Favourite Spots:

Bobette and Belle: This fab bakery makes delightful cakes, whoopie pies and cupcakes. They also make their own marshmallows!

Le Matin Bakery: The best baguette in the city. Really.

Tango Palace: My favourite coffee shop. Yummy naan sandwiches and orange chocolate tea lattes. Mmm.

 

6. The Beaches

The Beaches are located in the east end of the city, and it’s a popular area for families and yuppies. (really).
Queen Street East has tons of tiny shops and bakeries. Each summer they have a famous Jazz festival. Hang out on the beach (Kew Beach) and catch some fireworks during the summer holidays.

The Pie Shack: Pie, pie and more pie! You can enjoy both savoury or sweet pies here.

The Remarkable Bean:  Good coffee and delicious savory muffins.

Ed’s Real Scoop Ice Cream: Home made ice cream available in an array of delicious flavours! You can get as many flavours as you want in one cone. (within reason!)

Cherry Blossoms in High Park 2013

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One year, I went to High Park and all of the cherry blossoms were gone. That was incredibly sad, so each year I make sure to follow the Cherry Blossom Watch so that I won’t miss out!

If you’ve been waiting, wait no more! The cherry blossoms have peaked and will be around for the next two weeks. Go and see them! Be careful where you park, because it can be hard to find a spot and you will get ticketed if you park in the wrong spot!

 

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Daytripping: The Humber River Pedestrian Bridge

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I’m really happy that the weather is warming up, and that summer will be here soon! I went for a walk on the Humber Pedestrian Bridge.

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This is a bridge of many names. It’s known as the Humber Bay Arch Bridge, Humber River Arch Bridge, and the Gateway Bridge. Oy.  The bridge was completed in the mid-1990s and spans 100 meters over the Humber River.

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This busy Etobicoke spot is great for walking, cycling and taking in the waterfront. You can walk along the Shared Path, under the bridge and take in some swans.

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I’ve also been told that this is a really romantic spot when the sun goes down. You can see all of the city lights. As you walk along the bridge, you can also see that many couples have locked their love onto the bridge, like in Italy. Cute!

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Click here to see a map of the Humber River Bridge. Please note that parking can be hard to find in the summer months, and is mostly paid. (we found free parking though!)

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