A list of the city’s highlights and hot spots, personally recommended by the members of the ARLIS/NA 2012 Conference Planning Committee.

Architectural Highlights


Casa Loma (1911-1914)
By E. J. Lennox for Sir Henry Pellatt
1 Austin Terrace


CN Tower (completed 1976)
301 Front St W


Toronto Dominion Centre (1967)
By Mies van der Rohe
66 Wellington St W


Art/Design Institutions




Art Complexes


401 Richmond
401 Richmond St W


University Art Galleries


University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC)
15 Kings College Circle




Art Supply Stores


Aboveground Art Supplies
74 McCaul St


Currys Artists’ Materials
283 Dundas St W & 490 Yonge St
Toll free: 1-800-268-2969


De Serres
130 Spadina Ave


Essence du Papier
66 Wellington St W


Gwartzmans Art Supplies
448 Spadina Ave


Midoco Art & Office Supplies
555 Bloor St W – 416-588-7718
1964 Queen St E – 416-691-5676


The Paper Place
887 Queen St W


Woolfitt’s Art Enterprises Inc.
1153 Queen St W


Book Stores


Art Books


Art Metropole
788 Queen St W


D & E Lake Ltd.
239 King Street East




Nicholas Hoare
45 Front Street E
416-777-2665 (BOOK)


Subject Specific


Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St
Toll free: 800-361-6120

Books on mental health: Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Psychiatry and related subjects.


The Cookbook Store
850 Yonge St


201 Harbord St


Theatre Books
11 St Thomas Street


Toronto Womens Bookstore
73 Harbord St


Unique to Toronto


Ben McNally Books
366 Bay St


Swipe Design | Books + Objects
401 Richmond St W
Toll free: 1-800-56 SWIPE


Tequila Bookworm
512 Queen St W


Type Books
883 Queen St W – 416-366-8973
427 Spadina Rd – 416-487-8973


Used Books


Eliot’s Bookshop
584 Yonge St


The Monkey’s Paw
1229 Dundas St W


BMV Bookstore
10 Edward St

Open until midnight.


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Craft Places


The Beadery
446 Queen St W


King Textiles
445 Richmond St W


Queen’s Fabric & Buttons [no website]
461 Queen St W


Romni Wools
658 Queen St W


The Workroom (a place where you can sew/craft by the hour)
1340 Queen St W


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Design, Accessory & Jewellery Stores


Design Stores


Bluebird Handmade
986 Bathurst St


2959 Dundas St W


Accessory Stores


136 Cumberland St


55 Mill Street #47 (Distillery District)


686 Yonge St


Jewellery Stores


Flux + Form
116 Sherbourne St


Made You Look
1338 Queen St W




Canadian Designed


Comrags – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
654 Queen Street West

Go to this store to see the recent creations of Canadian fashion designers Judy Cornish and Joyce Gunhouse and check out their archived collections going back to 1998.  I have a suit that I bought here 15 years ago and it is still my favourite. The fabrics are good quality and weight and the styles are timeless. I’m never disappointed when I get anything here. It is an investment but the pieces will keep for many years.




Lululemon Athletica – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
342 Queen Street West

Chain of stores originated in Vancouver; carries yoga, dance, running, and other cool workout duds.


Mountain Equipment Co-op – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
400 King Street West

Canadian outfitters that can supply you with toques, mitts, shoes, backpacks etc.


Roots – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
Roots Central in Eaton Centre 220 Yonge Street
369 Queen Street West

Another Canadian institution that can supply you with well-designed hats, gloves, sweats, sports jackets, leather bags, and more.  They have designed clothing for both the Canadian and US Olympic teams.




Kol Kid – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
674 Queen Street West

This is where I buy really special gifts for baby showers – clothing, books, toys, and all manner of contraptions to help young mothers and fathers take care of their babies.


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Big It Up – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
58 Spadina Avenue – 416-591-0864
321 Queen Street West – 416-598-4287

This hat store is an inspirational Toronto success story. It was started 15 years ago by a young Jamaican entrepreneur Dameion Royes. I like to go to the original retail outlet at 58 Spadina Avenue near the corner of Spadina and King St. West. I’ve been buying hats here since it first opened. They have recently expanded and opened more retail outlets (including the Eaton Centre and 321 Queen West). The hats are simple, well made and affordable. Go here to get a toque or a Fargo hat or a classic fedora. You won’t find a store like this anywhere else.




Green Shag
670 Queen St W
416-603-SHAG (7424)


Grreat Stuff
870 Queen St W


Men’s & Women’s


Lavish & Squalor
253 Queen St W


Pet Clothing


Timmie Doggie Outfitters – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
867 Queen Street West

If you are strolling in the area, drop in to get your best friend a prezzie.


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Dorfer Shoes [no website] – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
165 Dupont Street

I have never regretted buying shoes here. They fit well and last forever and I always get compliments on them. I prefer the shoes made in Germany. Ganter shoes (entirely made in Bavaria) are the perfect walking shoe.  Trippen shoes are exquisite hand-made leather concoctions from Berlin – incredibly comfortable and quiet to wear -- like a moccasin or medieval slipper shoe. If you go to this store, check the ledge inside the front window for specials. If you love something, go ahead and pay full price. The cost of good shoes can be amortized over at least 5 years. I have Ganters that are more than 15 years old and I plan to be buried in my Trippens.


John Fluevog Shoes – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
242 Queen Street West
(416) 581-1420

I first discovered Fluevog in the 1970s in Vancouver’s Gastown. The platform heels I bought then, but sadly no longer own, are now collector’s items on Ebay. I’ve bought many pairs of shoes here over the years. They are weird and wonderful but exceptionally well made and hence very comfortable to wear. Fluevogs are conversation pieces and, like rare books, they appreciate in value.




809 Queen St W


654 Queen Street W


Fraiche [no website]
348 Queen St W


Kaliyana – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
2516 Yonge Street

Unique designs for the modern woman. Sizes 6 to 22. Clothes, shoes and accessories like nowhere else. Boutiques in Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto.
Shoes from Germany (Trippen), France (Arche) and Spain (Chia Mihara).


Lida Baday
70 Claremont St
Toll free: 1-800-317-7661


Motion Clothing – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
107 Cumberland Street

Beautiful clothes that you will want from Noriem, Black Label, Lunn, Babette, Oska, Lilith, Hebedding, Mes Mes Soeurs et Moi, Barbara Lang, plus exquisite costume jewellery and Rundholz boots from Germany (be warned…this store is dangerous).




69 Vintage Collective
1207 Bloor St W


Courage My Love
14 Kensington Ave


House of Vintage
571 Queen St W


Film Venues


Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC)
401 Richmond St W, Suite 245


Media Commons, Robarts Library, University of Toronto
130 St George St, 3rd Floor


NFB (Mediatheque)
150 John St (at Richmond St W)
Events, Workshops and Screenings: 416-973-3012
Venue rentals: 416-973-2186


Royal Cinema
608 College St W


TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St W


Underground Cinema
186 Spadina Ave, basement level


V tape
401 Richmond St W, Suite 452


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General Shopping/Eating Areas


St. Lawrence Market – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
Where Toronto restaurants, beautiful foodies and art librarians shop
92- 95 Front St E Toronto

The South Market is open Tuesday (opening at 8:00 a.m.) through Saturday (opening at 5:00 a.m.)  It’s a cornucopia of everything edible, raw and cooked, offered at 86 permanent shops, stalls and small restaurants on two levels. If you like to keep a little something in your hotel room, there’s a yummy selection of take-out spots, plus fresh fruit and veg stands, cheese shops and bakeries. A must to try is Canadian bacon on a bun; although we Canadians call it back bacon, and by either name it’s delicious. The best time to go is Saturday morning before 7:00 a.m.  Closed Sunday and Monday.
Before you leave, happily sated with good food and drink, stop in for a dose of Toronto history at The Market Gallery, second floor, South Market. This exhibition space, operated by the city government’s Culture Division, is located in the original 19th century council chamber, all that remains of Toronto’s first city hall.
The North Market is a farmers’ market on Saturday (opening at 5:00 a.m.) and an antique market on Sunday (dawn to 5:00 p.m.)
Getting there:  St. Lawrence Market is a brisk 20 minute walk from the hotel, or else take either the Queen St. eastbound streetcar or the King St. eastbound streetcar. Exit at Jarvis St. and walk south to Front St. Transit tokens will be available at the conference Registration/Hospitality desk.


Distillery District




Kensington Market




Gift Shops & Souvenirs


Bounty [no website]
235 Queen’s Quay West


Drake Hotel General Store
82A Bathurst St – 416-703-6518
1144 Queen St W – 416-531-5042 ext 101


Outer Layer
430 Bloor St W – 416-324-8333
577 Queen St W – 416-869-9889


Red Pegasus
628 College St


Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Store
100 Queen’s Park


The Souvenir Market
93 Front St E, Upper Level 23


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Great Views



180 Panorama
55 Bloor St W


360 Restaurant - CN Tower
301 Front St W


Toronto Island Ferry (for views of the city’s skyline)
9 Queen’s Quay W


Late-Night Meeting Venues


$$ 7 West Café
7 Charles St W


$$ Fran’s – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
20 College Street (the original)

I have had many a late night/early morning coffee and lemon meringue pie at Fran’s on College Street -- admittedly when I was much younger – and always in the company of a young man who could protect me from the other riff-raff sitting in the adjoining booths. I loved these furtive visits to Fran’s and you can too. With the Toronto Police Station right next door, it is now far too safe -- but it is still open 24x7 and the waitresses still serve lemon meringue pie.


$$ The Lakeview Restaurant – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1132/1134 Dundas Street West

This place is a bit more out-of-the-way than Fran’s but worth the trip if you want to see another part of Toronto – in the middle of the night. I used to go here for breakfast in my twenties when I lived in a room on Crawford Street. It is a classic old diner located in the Portuguese area of Toronto near the top end of Trinity-Bellwoods Park and Ossington. It now has a Brunch, Lunch, and Late Night Menu including cornflake chicken and canuck sandwiches and deep fried treats like “Shaved Sirloin Poutine” (yum!??)


$$ Sin & Redemption Restaurant, Lounge & Pub
136 McCaul St




Bata Shoe Museum
327 Bloor St W


Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA)
952 Queen St W


Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
100 Queens Park


Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Ave


Music Stores


Music Stores


Rotate This
801 Queen St W


Sonic Boom Records
782 Bathurst St


572 College St


Music & Book Stores


Circus Books & Music
866 Danforth Ave


2862 Dundas St W


Zoinks! Music & Books
1019 Bloor St W


Vintage Records


Cosmos Records – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
607A and 652 Queen Street West (entrance off Palmerston)

Cosmos is a goldmine of jazz, blues, Latin, Brazilian, and disco classics. Probably the best in North America, this is a mandatory stop for anyone who collects rare vinyl. You could be rubbing shoulders with famous jazz and hip hop musicians and producers who routinely visit this shop when they come to Toronto. The owner, Aki Abe and his enthusiastic and knowledgeable young staff (including my own son Chris) will be happy to help you.


The Necessities


Convenience Stores


372 Bay St (Bay & Richmond St)




Shoppers Drug Mart
220 Yonge Street (Eaton Centre)


Shipping & Printing Services


357 Bay St (between Richmond & Adelaide)




Toronto Streetcars (TTC)
(501 Queen streetcar runs in front of the Sheraton)


U.S. Consulate


U.S. Consulate General Toronto
360 University Ave (between Queen & Dundas)


Walk-In Clinics


MCI Medical Clinics Inc. (The Doctor’s Office)
595 Bay St (Atrium on Bay)


Parks & Gardens


Allan Gardens Conservatory
19 Horticultural Ave


High Park
1873 Bloor St W


Leslie Street Spit
For location/directions:


Music Garden


Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square


Queen’s Park (University of Toronto campus)
110 Wellesley St W


Sugar Beach
Foot of Lower Jarvis Street on the eastern edge of the Jarvis Slip, south of Queens Quay Boulevard


Trinity Bellwoods Park
1053 Dundas St W


Performing Arts Venues


Alumnae Theatre Company
70 Berkeley Street


Factory Theatre
125 Bathurst Street at Adelaide


Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (home of the Canadian Opera Company)
145 Queen St W


Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay W


Hart House Theatre, University of Toronto
7 Hart House Circle


Massey Hall
178 Victoria St


Princess of Wales Theatre
300 King St W
416-593-0351 (Mirvish Productions)


Roy Thomson Hall (home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra)
60 Simcoe St
416-872-4255 (box office)


Royal Alexandra Theatre
260 King St W
416-593-0351 (Mirvish Productions)


Tarragon Theatre
30 Bridgman Avenue


Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge St


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Places of Worship


Anshei Minsk Synogogue – “The Downtown Toronto Shul” – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
10 St Andrew Street (Kensington Market)


Bloor Street United Church – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
300 Bloor St W


Christian Science Reading Room
927 Yonge Street


Church of the Holy Trinity
10 Trinity Square


Omar Bin Khattab Mosque [no website]
240 Parliament St


St. Andrew’s Church (Presbyterian) – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
75 Simcoe St (corner of King St W and Simcoe)


St. James Anglican Cathedral
65 Church St


St. Michael’s Cathedral (Roman Catholic) – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
200 Church St


Toronto Chinese Baptist Church
78 Beverley St


Public Art


Al Waxman, by Ruth Abernathy (2002)
Bellevue Park, August Ave


The Archer, by Henry Moore (installed 1966) – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall

The public art purchase that precipitated the artist’s love affair with Toronto, and his eventual gift to found the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario.


Flat Iron Building, by Derek Besant (1980)
Wellington & Jarvis Sts


Flight Stop (Canada Geese), by Michael Snow (1979)
Eaton Centre (220 Yonge St)


Graffiti Alley
(Between Queen & Richmond; runs from Spadina to Augusta)


Two Large Forms, by Henry Moore (1966-1969)
Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St W


Untitled (Mountain), by Anish Kapoor(1995)
Front St & Simcoe St (Simcoe Park)


War of 1812 Monument, by Douglas Coupland (2008)
Fleet St & Bathurst St


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Recreational Activites


Body Blitz (women only) – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
471 Adelaide Street West (between Spadina and Bathurst)

This is my neighbourhood spa of choice where I go to relax. Canada’s first water spa for women. Features a warm sea salt pool, hot green tea pool, cold plunging pool, aromatherapy steam room, infrared sauna, showers, and a complimentary use of lockers, kimono, sandals and towels. All ages and shapes welcome. Bathing suits are optional.




$              Cheap Eats
$$           Moderately Priced
$$$         Higher Priced
$$$$       Fine Dining




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Artists Hotels


$$$ The Drake Hotel – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1150 Queen Street West

I’ve eaten here twice and the food has always been excellent. It is a loud club-like atmosphere which will get your senses racing and your ears buzzing. A cool experience if you are up to it.


$$$ The Gladstone Hotel – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1214 Queen St W

The ARLIS/NA conference planners ate here and we liked it. They use only locally sourced produce. Their salads are excellent and we also loved their desserts. Wait staff are so friendly and the décor is cool. Eat early if you want a quiet time with friends; later in the evening when the bands start playing in the adjoin spaces, the atmosphere becomes more eclectic and louder – but still a wonderful ambience and loads of fun.


Cafés & coffee shops


$ Aroma Espresso Bar
121 King St W


$$ The Beaver – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1192 Queen Street West
Open 8am-11pm 7-days a week

This is a great breakfast or brunch place “offering quality and healthy comfort food in a laid-back café atmosphere.” They do a wicked breakfast burrito or a tofu scramble burrito if you’re vegan. The kitchen is open until 11pm daily. You can get dinner and late night snacks here but the place may be a bit more raucous after the DJs arrive. They have a back patio that is licensed until 2am.


$ Dark Horse Espresso Bar – 3 locations – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
684 Queen Street West – 647-352-3512
682 Queen Street East – 647-436-3460
215 Spadina Avenue – 416-979-1200

Big wooden communal tables with variety of chairs. The best coffee I have ever had (way better than Starbucks or Tim Hortons) – espresso, espresso macchiato, cappuccino, latte, Americano, mocha latte, or French press. I buy beans by the pound here; the first time I asked them to grind a bag, I was given a friendly mini tutorial on the fine points of filters (pointed or flat) and hot water (dripped or poured). Now I know exactly how to respect the bean. Last week it was San Antonio Huista & Jacaltenango (Tasting Notes: Black Cherry, Chocolate) from Guatemala. This week it’s La Argentina Cadefihuila Coop Lot 8 Cade (Tasting Notes: Tropical Fruit, Toasted Nut) from Colombia.


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$$$ Dufflet Pastries – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
787 Queen Street West

Dufflet Rosenberg has been making and selling her scratch cakes on Queen West since 1975. Look for “the Queen of Cake” riding her bike around the area – petite with wiry curly red hair, freckles and a big smile. While you’re waiting at the counter to be served, try to decide between the assortment of cakes, tortes, pies, flans, bundts, tarts, bars, brownies, and cookies on display. Order a coffee or cappuccino and sit in the window to watch the world go by. Before you leave, buy a box of Dufflet’s sweet treats to go. I love the nutt-e caramel almond pistachio but the chocolate crackle has been written up in the New York Times and they don’t deliver to the U.S. Stock up while you’re in Canada.


$ Nadege Patisserie – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
780 Queen Street West

Nadege Nourian, a pastry chef and chocolatier from Lyon France, set up shop on Queen West last year.  Her specialities are French cake, croissants, tartes, macarons, madeleines, and capeles but you can also get a wonderful breakfast and lunch here. Sit in the window and watch people walk their dogs in Trinity Bellwoods Park.


$ Wanda’s Pie in the Sky – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
287 Augusta Avenue (in Kensington Market)
(416) 236-7585

Wanda Beaver is an art school grad who decided she preferred to make pies for hungry Toronto people. We are very grateful. Find her shop in Kensington Market and have a coffee or tea with one of her single or combination fruit pies, cream pies, or custard and nut pies, squares, cookies or tarts. Buy a copy of her cookbook and learn how to make one of my favourites: Sweet Potato Praline Pie.


Fast food


$ Eaton Centre Food Court
220 Yonge St


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Museum Restaurants


$$$ Frank at the Art Gallery of Ontario – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
317 Dundas Street West

This restaurant is a homage to Frank Gehry, the creator of the AGO’s new addition. I’ve eaten here a couple times and enjoyed the experience although I can’t recall what I ate.


$$ Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner Museum – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
111 Queen’s Park

I’ve eaten here for receptions mostly but they do have a nice café on the top floor that serves Kennedy’s cuisine – which is among the finest in Toronto.


$$ O&B Canteen and $$$$ Luma at TIFF – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
350 King Street West
647-288-4715 and

The Canteen which faces out to King Street and John Street is a perfect place to watch people and to be seen. The food is simple and good with very well-trained wait staff.



Sandwich shops


$ The Sandwich Box
67 Richmond St W







$$$ Bannock (Canadian)
401 Bay St


$$$ Baton Rouge at the Eaton Centre – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
216 Yonge Street
416-593-9667 ‎

The ARLIS/NA conference planners have eaten here twice because it is big and convenient and efficient. An upscale bar and grill, this place has a very nice ambience, the tables are spaced to provide maximum privacy for groups of diners, the food is tasty and the staff are exceptionally friendly. They specialize in grilled and barbecued meat and this is apparent as soon as you walk in. Meat lovers will find the aroma very appealing but vegans will not.


British (eg. pub food)


$$$ The Queen and Beaver Public House – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
35 Elm Street
647 347 2712

The ARLIS/NA conference planners ate here and we really liked it. Close to Ryerson University, this award-winning pub restaurant specializes in classic British dishes that have stood the test of time – in other words, simple country fare created by non-vegan Anglo-Saxons. Heavy on the carbohydrates, fat and salt, but delish!!! Check out their Seasonal, Brunch, Lunch, Pub, Puddings, and Sunday Feasting Menus. If you have a recurring craving for Bangers ’n Mash with gravy and Sticky Toffy Pudding (join the club), you can get your fix here. They have beer on tap or in bottles to wash it all down – plus sports on the big screen just to remind you that this is a pub.




$$ Lee Garden Restaurant – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
331 Spadina Avenue

My son goes here and recently ordered takeout. It was incredible. I couldn’t stop exclaiming how fresh, tasty and delicious it was. I’ve never tasted better.




$$$ Café La Gaffe – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
24 Baldwin Street

There are a few restaurants on Baldwin – all worth going to – plus a variety of little shops. Baldwin is very close to the AGO and to OCADU. This French restaurant is reliable and cozy.


$ Midi Bistro – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
168 McCaul Street

This intimate and affordable French/Belgian restaurant is where OCADU takes guests for lunch or early dinner. Excellent wine list. Run by two people – the owner/server and the cook. If you get a table, you will be treated like royalty. Choices are limited but everything is made with care. Try their Moules-Frites with a nice bottle of wine or beer.


$$$ Le Select Bistro – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
432 Wellington Street West

We all used to frequent this restaurant when it was located on Queen Street West where the Rivoli is now. I was introduced to quiche and salad, onion soup, pate, French stick and Billy Holiday – we all thought we were in Paris but it was just Toronto in the 1970s. They had little bread baskets suspended on pulleys above every table; it was delightful. Maybe because the name Le Select carries so many vivid memories, I have never been to their new restaurant on Wellington, just 2 blocks from my home, but I have heard it is an excellent place for a French meal. You should go.


Gluten Free Options


$$$ Magic Oven
6 Wellesley St W
416-868-OVEN (6836)


Queen St Gluten Free (bakery)
2359 Queen St E


$ Wild Earth Café & Bakery
2124 Queen St E




$$$ Estiatorio VOLOS
133 Richmond St W




$$ Lahore Tikka House – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1365 Gerrard Street East

This Pakistani restaurant which is in a perpetual state of renovation is located in Little India. It has good food but poor service which some say is a hallmark of authenticity. To order, you tick off your selections on an order form and hand it in at the front cashier. While you’re waiting to be served at your utilitarian table with plastic chairs, stroll around and have a look at the men working the BBQ grill and at the colourful hangings that adorn ceilings and walls. You will soon forget you’re in Canada. On a very hot summer day, the locals go here for a plain salty Lassi (a traditional yogurt drink that is better than lemonade). This is the best place to enjoy Traditional/Modern Pakistani/North Indian Cuisine, including BBQ from Tandoor (Lahori beef, lamb, and chicken kabobs); Biryani (Rice) dishes; Lahori Karahi Gosht (lamb) and Karahi (Curries) with Tandoor Naan (butter, till, and plain rooti bread). Vegetable and meat samosas for appetizers and for dessert Lahori Kulfi (traditional Pakistani ice cream – mango, almond or pistaccio) and a Mango Lassi drink.


$$ Maroli Indian Kerala Cuisine – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
630 Bloor Street West

This Indian restaurant has received rave reviews and is on my list of places to go. It has an extensive menu of traditional Indian fare plus Malabar specialties and Maroli dinner deals.


Italian (including pizza places)


$$$ La Bettola di Terroni – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
106 Victoria Street

I haven’t been to this place but it is run by the Terroni folks. La Bettola or “Hole in the Wall” is just east of Yonge street a few blocks from the conference hotel.


$$$ Buca – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
640 King Street West

Buca is located in a trendy area of Toronto, in an industrial building down a cobblestoned laneway off King Street West. The main room has high ceilings and wooden tables, some communal. The ambience is stylish bohemian comfort for people who want to eat and drink in the company of friends. You will be given scissors to cut your pizza the way Italian nonnas do. This isn’t the Olive Garden or East Side Marios. It’s a very trendy hotspot that serves high quality food and wine to a high energy crowd. If young party people annoy you, don’t go. But it could be a fun night out and the food won’t disappoint if you go with the flow.


$$$ Terroni – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
720 Queen Street West

This restaurant has great ambiance and energy; it is noisy and bustling, there is always a lineup but it is worth waiting. Squeeze into any available table or take a place at the bar. While you peruse the menu, your waiter will bring a bottle of water – and wine if you prefer – both served in water glasses. No table clothes or fancy wine glasses here. Food is done simple and straight here. Warning: don’t ask for balsamic vinegar – the chef has forbid its use, as it masks the flavor of his fine olive oil. And don’t ask for parmesan cheese with any seafood dish. They will flatly refuse to give it to you because Italians do not eat cheese with fish. Don’t get defensive or upset – Terroni is just trying to give you an authentic experience of regional Italian cuisine. Learning is good.


$$ Pizzeria Libretto  (real Neapolitan pizza) – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
221 Ossington
Open daily 12-11pm and Sunday 4-11pm

Everything on the menu is fresh and delicious and they have exceptional Neapolitan pizza – just the way I remember it from my trip to Rome and Naples. I took my son here for his birthday. If you don’t want a pizza, get a combo of antipasti or salami/cheese plates with a salad. My favourite is arugula, pear, walnut, piave (a slightly sweet hard cheese). For dessert, try Libretto Tiramisu – it is the best I have ever had (but I’ve heard that Buca’s is pretty good too). They don’t take reservations so relax and chat with some locals while you wait for a table. I like this place better than Buca because entire families with children go here. Everyone is having a good time.




$$ Ematei Japanese Restaurant
30 St. Patrick St


$$ Guu Toronto – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
398 Church Street

An import from Vancouver, Guu is the place to go for an authentic izakaya experience in Toronto. It’s very popular and you may have a difficult time grabbing a table. Described as a Japanese action movie with cooking, singing and dance, all the waiters/chefs will greet you in unison when you enter.






Middle Eastern






$$ Café Polonez – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
195 Roncesvalles

My brother-in-law is Ukrainian. He is married to my sister who cannot cook. We found out that this restaurant is where he goes for a food fix. I took my friend Irene here to see why. It was packed with people eating – always a good sign. I can confirm that this is hands-down the best Polish/Ukrainian restaurant in Toronto. You can easily walk by it on the street. Outside it looks like an insurance company office but as soon as you open the door, you smell it – cabbage and smoked meat! You can stuff yourself here for $20 including the tip. Choose the Daily Special which includes soup, main course, potatoes, salad, rye bread with butter, and choice of non-alcoholic beverage. After dinner, loosen your belt, make your way to Queen Street and get on the streetcar going east. Ask the driver to wake you up before your stop or you’ll end up in the Beach.




$$$ Lee (tapas style) – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
603 King Street West

The home of Susur Lee, one of Toronto’s most famous chefs – eating here is a taste experience worth paying for, at least once in your lifetime. Service is exceptional and you will be amazed by the attention to detail.


$ Salad King – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
340 Yonge Street

Stroll up Yonge Street. Located near Ryerson University, north of the Eaton Centre at Elm Street, this is a popular place with students and other locals. Great food at an affordable price.


West Indian


$ Caribbean Roti Palace – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
744 Bathurst Street

Long narrow fast-food place next to Honest Ed’s, just south of Bloor.  They make delicious rotis.


$ Island Foods – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1182 King Street West

There used to be an Island Foods in the food court directly below my library at OCADU but alas it closed -- and now I have to go to King & Dufferin -- which is Island Foods’ original home. I have consumed tons of their rotis and their vegetable dinners (with extra spinach) – usually ordered as “take out” to fulfill my dinner obligations when I’m too tired to cook. Having kept me and my family nourished for many years, I can wholeheartedly recommend Island Foods to anyone who has never experienced a real West Indian roti – a healthy and delicious concoction of chick peas, curry and potatoes in a cornmeal wrap. The annual Carabana festival is fueled by rotis sold by Island Foods at concession stands along the route. Long live the roti. Try one while you’re here.


$ Pat’s Home-Style Jamaican Foods – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
558 Queen Street

This is a hole-in-the wall place that sells mostly take-out but you can eat standing up at a counter by the front window – which is what a lot of people do. It is a hidden treasure like a lot of these places tend to be. They have the best ox-tail in Toronto. You can also get jerk chicken, curry goat, Jamaican dumplings, and more.


$$ The Real Jerk – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
709 Queen Street East

Okay I’ve never actually been here but I love the name. I’ve driven by it on the streetcar many times and I gather it is another place to get rotis – and much more. It’s easy to get to, and where else are you going to ever find jerk chicken, oxtail, or curry goat?




$ Urban Herbivore
64 Oxford St


$$ Vegetarian Haven
17 Baldwin St


$$$ Fressen
478 Queen St W


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Toys, Puzzles & Games




Game Centre
730 Yonge St


Hairy Tarantula Games & Comics
354 Yonge St


Snakes and Lattes (board game café)
600 Bloor St W


Toys/Designer Toys & Puzzles


Kidding Awound
91 Cumberland St


Magic Pony – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
680 Queen Street West

You have to go here – the staff are all graphic artists or designers or zine afficionados. They sell designer toys and collectible things in boxes that will entice you – also graphic novels and books by artists they like. Browse or buy something really different for a friend back home. They will say “where did you get it??”


Narwhal Art Projects – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
690 Queen Street West

This gallery is run by the owners of Magic Pony – it can’t be explained but you should go here to have a look yourself.


The Toy Space Inc.
106 Bathurst St


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Workout Places


Goodlife Fitness (Eaton Centre North Coed Club)
250 Yonge Street, 5th Floor


Toronto Athletic Club
79 Wellington St W


The Yoga Lounge
103 Church St


Zines & Graphic Novels


Zine Collections


OCAD’s Zine Library
The Learning Zone, Village on the Grange building (Dundas & McCaul), Level 1


Toronto Reference Library’s Zine Collection
789 Yonge St, 4th Floor, Periodicals Section


Toronto Zine Library
292 Brunswick Avenue (2nd Floor of the Tranzac Club)


Graphic Novel Stores


The Beguiling
601 Markham St


The Labyrinth
386 Bloor St W


Silver Snail Comics
367 Queen St W