5 locals prepare their favorite spots in some of the city’s eclectic neighborhoods to create your ultimate virtual guide
As one of the most diverse cities in the world, Toronto is full of things to see, do, eat and experience. However, most of us end up falling into a routine of hanging out in the same neighborhoods or dining in the same must-see places.
While restrictions still hamper international travel, there’s no better time to take a vacation and explore your own backyard. Step out of your comfort zone this summer and explore the countless things you can do in this diverse and beautiful city.
With it, Destination Toronto is launching a campaign that encourages Torontonians to do and see things they’ve never done before in the city while sharing those experiences on social media using #NeverHaveIEverTO. As part of the campaign, they also introduced the My Toronto Pass, an exclusive pass for mobiles, which allows residents and visitors to take advantage of special offers, added values and unique experiences of their kind with participating companies such as the Bata shoe museum, Haunted Walks Inc., Toronto botanical garden, Toronto Harbor Tours Inc., and many others !
Explore the city’s vibrant and unique communities and see everything from shops, places and spaces to culturally and historically significant landmarks in Toronto’s 25 neighborhoods across Stroll. The free self-guided walks provide plenty of reasons to get out while helping local businesses and neighborhoods discover what our visitors love. As well as spending a night or two at one of the city’s beautiful hotels, enjoying their unique amenities and offerings, eat your way through the city via CafeTO, enjoy a fixed-price menu for Have dinner together (September 17 to October 3) or take advantage of the ActiveTO program.
With an impressive 140 named neighborhoods, here are some insider recommendations to explore safely, responsibly, and following public guidelines in a few of the city’s municipalities.
Local: TJ Borile, Contractor and Daniel Oliveira, Marketing Director
To stay: With magnificent guest rooms, The Broadview Hotel beautiful 130 year old building has an excellent restaurant on the ground floor and a rooftop bar.
Shop: Owned and operated by two queer women of color who champion social justice in their community, Old’s Cool General Store is a one-stop-shop where you can do your groceries, a scented candle and an anti-racism book in one trip.
To eat: Get away from the tried and true Greek and experience reasonably priced Thai cuisine at Sala Modern Thai Cuisine, a must-see place to celebrate milestone events like birthdays, anniversaries and promotions. The menu has a lot to offer, so it’s best to go as a group and eat as a family. For incredible samosas, as well as soups, curries and sauces that you can reheat at home, we love Samosaria. The coconut chickpea curry is a must.
To drink: The RE place & Poured coffee is an environmentally conscious boutique and café. There are all kinds of products to help you reduce your carbon footprint: you can fill your own containers with dish soap or all-purpose cleaner and enjoy your Americano on the spot in a donated coffee mug or bring your reusable cup to go. . Make drinks using only Ethiopian coffee beans, Cafe Mofer is another cafe with a cozy atmosphere assimilated to a log cabin with an Afro-centric touch.
Make: The Taylor Creek Recreational Trail is ideal for walks, runs, or a bike ride on one of the many paved and tree-lined trails where you can spot local wildlife. It also has picnic areas and fire pits for socially remote hangouts.
To discover the best of the west – Etobicoke South
Local: Ed Ho, former owner of Globe Bistro, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in energy and climate policy at Johns Hopkins University
To stay: The Westlake Boutique Hotel stands out from its peers with modern designs and smart technology.
Shop: For evenings inspired by coastal towns, Mike’s Fish is the best fishmonger in the West End.
To eat: Kitchen on the sixth floor is a gourmet pub with a good selection of beers, while Royal meats is a grill restaurant with a large patio specializing in cevapi / cevapcici and the institution of the region, San Remo Bakery, is a must-have for sandwiches and donuts, especially their apple fritters.
To drink: Birds & Beans Coffee is a mainstay of the neighborhood and a great place to stop if you enter.
Make: All of the waterfront parks from Humber West to Etobicoke Creek are great places, but Colonel Samuel Smith Park is considered a birding spot with lots of urban areas, wetland trails, and an ice skating rink. popular in winter. Composed of heritage buildings and an important route of Indigenous travel and commerce, there is also Humber Lakeshore College Campus. For live music, visit The Rockpile Pile Bar & Nightclub and The Timothée pub.
For a relaxing city break in North York – Don Mills
Local: Nisha Kannan, Senior Manager, Technology Business Operations, TD Bank Financial Group
Shop: Lotus Nails & Spa is my go-to for a good manicure and pedicure and it rarely gets wrapped up. In addition to shopping at the resort, the Boutiques in Don Mills is a culinary playground with restaurant chains like Joey’s, Bier Markt and Taylors Landing or independents like Fabbrica, Mantra Restaurant and The Good Son.
To eat: A 20 year old staple, Hakka Garden has a menu with more Indian influenced choices than many other Hakka places and a great mom and pop vibe.
Make: East Don Parkland Trail is a beautiful trail with trails, trees, and bridges, great for walking, jogging, or biking. It includes parks in several sections as well as car parks. The Aga Khan Museum has beautiful fountains and gardens and is a popular location for weddings and engagements and the Ontario Science Center is a gem of the region.
For style and edge to The King and Dufferin
Local: Wayne Morgan, Head of Engagement at a Neuroscience Firm
To stay: When it’s time to rest your head, go chic and check in at Hotel X Toronto. New and packed with amenities, it’s close enough for a great exploration of the shops, bars and restaurants in Parkdale.
Shop: Venture beyond Liberty Village and explore West Dufferin, heading for House of Vintage, where you are sure to find cool items that will capture the spirit of the neighborhood. Then complete your look across the street at Public Butter Vintage. Take something dazzling for yourself or as a gift to made you watch or get a new look from Leesa at klute hair.
To drink: Need caffeine? You will find exceptional cappuccinos at Rustic Cosmo Cafe—Yes, the place with the cow on the sign — or Sam James Coffee Bar if you fancy a cortado. Want something else? Stopped at Good good wine bar – perhaps Parkdale’s best hidden gem – which serves fine wines on one side with a cool burger joint (Additional burger) the next door. Or escape from The shameful Tiki room to sip tropical drinks with umbrellas!
For outdoor treats and family experiences in Scarborough – Rouge Park
To stay: Glen Rouge Campground is ideal for all ages. There is so much to do like biking, hiking, taking photos for the gram and swimming plus it’s right in the city center.
To eat: Besides the annual Scarborough Coast Festival, must-sees on Old Kingston Road include Fratelli Village Pizzeria and Ted’s restaurant. In Pickering, there is Italian restaurant Casa Verde, The Roti hut in Scarborough and the beef patties at Warden Station (provided by Fahmee Bakery & Jamaican Foods) are the best!
To drink: Nothing like a drink on the terrace of Harbor in Pickering.
Make: In addition to a mandatory bonfire with friends at Scarborough Bluffs, visit Rouge National Urban Park to see the unique sculptures in the Garden of ancient spirits (we say it is a portal) and Red Beach Park, a small beach that is not usually as crowded as The Beaches but just as pleasant. For a paranormal touch, you can go for a walk on the Old Haunted Finch Bridge.