TOP OF TORONTO

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
416-923-1171
http://www.casaloma.org

 

CN Tower (completed 1976)
301 Front St W
416-868-6937
http://www.cntower.ca/Intro.html

 

Toronto Dominion Centre (1967)
By Mies van der Rohe
66 Wellington St W
www.tdcentre.com/en/Pages/default.aspx

 

Art/Design Institutions

 

GENERAL GALLERIES AND CENTRES:

 

Art Complexes

 

401 Richmond
401 Richmond St W
416-595-5900
http://www.401richmond.net

 

University Art Galleries

 

University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC)
15 Kings College Circle
416-978-1838
http://www.utac.utoronto.ca

 

 

 

Art Supply Stores

 

Aboveground Art Supplies
74 McCaul St
416-591-1601
https://www.abovegroundartsupplies.com

 

Currys Artists’ Materials
283 Dundas St W & 490 Yonge St
416-798-7983
Toll free: 1-800-268-2969
https://www.currys.com/default.htm

 

De Serres
130 Spadina Ave
416-703-4748
http://www.deserres.ca/en-CA

 

Essence du Papier
66 Wellington St W
416-601-0599
http://essencedupapier.com
 

 

Gwartzmans Art Supplies
448 Spadina Ave
416-922-5429
http://gwartzmans.com

 

Midoco Art & Office Supplies
555 Bloor St W – 416-588-7718
1964 Queen St E – 416-691-5676
http://www.midoco.ca/Home.html

 

The Paper Place
887 Queen St W
416-703-0089
http://www.thepaperplace.ca

 

Woolfitt’s Art Enterprises Inc.
1153 Queen St W
416-536-7878
http://www.woolfitts.com/fulfill

 

Book Stores

 

Art Books

 

Art Metropole
788 Queen St W
416-703-4400
http://www.artmetropole.com

 

D & E Lake Ltd.
239 King Street East
416-863-9930
http://www.delake.com

 

General

 

Nicholas Hoare
45 Front Street E
416-777-2665 (BOOK)
http://www.nicholashoare.com/

 

Subject Specific

 

Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St
416-944-0962
Toll free: 800-361-6120
http://www.cavershambooksellers.com/home

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

 

The Cookbook Store
850 Yonge St
1-800-268-6018
http://www.cook-book.com/

 

Parentbooks
201 Harbord St
416-537-8334
http://www.parentbooks.ca/

 

Theatre Books
11 St Thomas Street
416-922-7175
http://www.theatrebooks.com/

 

Toronto Womens Bookstore
73 Harbord St
416-922-8744
http://womensbookstore.com/

 

Unique to Toronto

 

Ben McNally Books
366 Bay St
416-361-0032
http://www.benmcnallybooks.com

 

Swipe Design | Books + Objects
401 Richmond St W
416-363-1332
Toll free: 1-800-56 SWIPE
http://www.swipe.com/

 

Tequila Bookworm
512 Queen St W
416-504-2334
http://www.tequilabookworm.com/

 

Type Books
883 Queen St W – 416-366-8973
427 Spadina Rd – 416-487-8973
http://typebooks.ca

 

Used Books

 

Eliot’s Bookshop
584 Yonge St
416-925-0268
http://www.blogto.com/bookstores/eliots

 

The Monkey’s Paw
1229 Dundas St W
416-531-2123
http://monkeyspaw.com

 

BMV Bookstore
10 Edward St
416-977-3087
http://www.blogto.com/bookstores/bmv

Open until midnight.

 

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Craft Places

 

The Beadery
446 Queen St W
416-703-4668
http://www.thebeadery.ca

 

King Textiles
445 Richmond St W
416-504-0600
http://www.kingtextiles.ca/

 

Queen’s Fabric & Buttons [no website]
461 Queen St W
416-504-6464

 

Romni Wools
658 Queen St W
416-703-0202
http://www.romniwools.com/

 

The Workroom (a place where you can sew/craft by the hour)
1340 Queen St W
416-534-5305
http://theworkroom.ca

 

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Design, Accessory & Jewellery Stores

 

Design Stores

 

Bluebird Handmade
986 Bathurst St
416-535-3232
http://bluebirdhandmade.com

 

Mjölk
2959 Dundas St W
416-551-9853
http://www.mjolk.ca

 

Accessory Stores

 

Accessity
136 Cumberland St
416-972-1885
http://www.accessity.com/

 

Distill
55 Mill Street #47 (Distillery District)
416-304-0033
http://distillgallery.com

 

Propaganda
686 Yonge St
416-961-0555
http://www.shopaganda.ca

 

Jewellery Stores

 

Flux + Form
116 Sherbourne St
416-368-9679
http://fluxandform.ca

 

Made You Look
1338 Queen St W
416-463-2136
http://www.madeyoulook.ca/site/home.php

 

Fashion

 

Canadian Designed

 

Comrags – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
654 Queen Street West
416-360-7249
http://www.comrags.com

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.

 

Casual

 

Lululemon Athletica – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
342 Queen Street West
416-703-1399
http://www.lululemon.com/toronto/queenstreet

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
416-340-2667
http://www.mec.ca/AST/ContentPrimary/Services/Stores/Toronto.jsp

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
http://canada.roots.com

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.

 

Children’s

 

Kol Kid – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
674 Queen Street West
416-681-0368
http://store.kolkid.ca

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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Hats

 

Big It Up – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
58 Spadina Avenue – 416-591-0864
321 Queen Street West – 416-598-4287
http://www.bigitup.com

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.

 

Men’s

 

Green Shag
670 Queen St W
416-603-SHAG (7424)
http://www.greenshag.com

 

Grreat Stuff
870 Queen St W
416-536-6770
http://grreatstuff.com/web/index.php

 

Men’s & Women’s

 

Lavish & Squalor
253 Queen St W
416-599-4779
http://lavishandsqualor.com

 

Pet Clothing

 

Timmie Doggie Outfitters – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
867 Queen Street West
http://www.timmie.ca

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

 

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Shoes

 

Dorfer Shoes [no website] – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
165 Dupont Street
416-922-9458

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
http://www.fluevog.com

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.

 

Women’s

 

Charlie
809 Queen St W
647-436-8452
http://iluvcharlie.com

 

Comrags
654 Queen Street W
416-360-7249
http://www.comrags.com/

 

Fraiche [no website]
348 Queen St W
416-341-8606

 

Kaliyana – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
2516 Yonge Street
416-480-2397
http://www.kaliyana.com/eng/home.html

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
416-603-7661
Toll free: 1-800-317-7661
http://www.lidabaday.com/

 

Motion Clothing – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
107 Cumberland Street
416-968-0090
http://motionclothing.com

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).

 

Vintage

 

69 Vintage Collective
1207 Bloor St W
416-516-1234
http://69vintage.com

 

Courage My Love
14 Kensington Ave
416-979-1992
http://www.peanutbreath.com/courage/courageindex.html

 

House of Vintage
571 Queen St W
416-363-8343
http://www.blogto.com/fashion/house-of-vintage-toronto

 

Film Venues

 

Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC)
401 Richmond St W, Suite 245
416-588-0725
http://www.cfmdc.org

 

Media Commons, Robarts Library, University of Toronto
130 St George St, 3rd Floor
416-978-6520
http://www.library.utoronto.ca/mediacommons/

 

NFB (Mediatheque)
150 John St (at Richmond St W)
Events, Workshops and Screenings: 416-973-3012
Venue rentals: 416-973-2186
http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/mediatheque/

 

Royal Cinema
608 College St W
416-466-4400
http://www.theroyal.to/films/room/

 

TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St W
416-968-3456
http://tiff.net
http://tiff.net/tiffbelllightbox/venue

 

Underground Cinema
186 Spadina Ave, basement level
647-922-4335
http://torontoundergroundcinema.com

 

V tape
401 Richmond St W, Suite 452
416-351-1317
http://www.vtape.org

 

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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
416-392-7120
http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/

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

 

Harbourfront

 

Kensington Market

 

Yorkville

 

Gift Shops & Souvenirs

 

Bounty [no website]
235 Queen’s Quay West
416-973-4993

 

Drake Hotel General Store
82A Bathurst St – 416-703-6518
1144 Queen St W – 416-531-5042 ext 101
http://drakegeneralstore.myshopify.com

 

Outer Layer
430 Bloor St W – 416-324-8333
577 Queen St W – 416-869-9889
http://www.outerlayer.com

 

Red Pegasus
628 College St
416-536-3872
http://redpegasus.ca

 

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Store
100 Queen’s Park
416-586-5766
http://www.rom.on.ca/dining_shopping/shopping/museumstore.php

 

The Souvenir Market
93 Front St E, Upper Level 23
416-203-0033
http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/shopping/vendors/souvenirmarket.html

 

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Great Views

 

 

180 Panorama
55 Bloor St W
416-967-0000
http://www.eatertainment.com/restaurants/panorama

 

360 Restaurant - CN Tower
301 Front St W
416-362-5411
http://www.cntower.ca/en-CA/360-Restaurant/Overview.html

 

Toronto Island Ferry (for views of the city’s skyline)
9 Queen’s Quay W
416-392-8193
http://www.torontoharbour.com/toronto-island-ferry

 

Late-Night Meeting Venues

 

$$ 7 West Café
7 Charles St W
416-928-9041
http://www.7westcafe.com

 

$$ Fran’s – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
20 College Street (the original)
416-923-9867
http://www.fransrestaurant.com/index00.php

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
http://thelakeviewrestaurant.ca

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
416-640-9197
http://www.sinandredemption.com

 

Museums

 

Bata Shoe Museum
327 Bloor St W
416-979-7799
http://www.batashoemuseum.ca

 

Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA)
952 Queen St W
416-395-0067
http://www.mocca.ca

 

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
100 Queens Park
416-586-8000
http://www.rom.on.ca

 

Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Ave
416-599-5321
http://www.textilemuseum.ca

 

Music Stores

 

Music Stores

 

Rotate This
801 Queen St W
416-504-8447
http://www.rotate.com

 

Sonic Boom Records
782 Bathurst St
416-532-0334
http://sonicboommusic.com

 

Soundscapes
572 College St
416-537-1620
http://www.soundscapesmusic.com

 

Music & Book Stores

 

Circus Books & Music
866 Danforth Ave
416-925-6116
http://circusbooksandmusic.com

 

Pandemonium
2862 Dundas St W
416-769-5257
http://www.pandemonium.ca/contact.htm

 

Zoinks! Music & Books
1019 Bloor St W
416-913-8827
http://zoinks.ca/blog

 

Vintage Records

 

Cosmos Records – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
607A and 652 Queen Street West (entrance off Palmerston)
416-603-0254
http://alarmpress.com/24681/blog/columns/behind-the-counter-cosmos-records-toronto-on

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

 

7-Eleven
372 Bay St (Bay & Richmond St)
416-203-8350
http://www.7-eleven.com

 

Drugstores

 

Shoppers Drug Mart
220 Yonge Street (Eaton Centre)
416-979-9373 
http://www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/Home.aspx

 

Shipping & Printing Services

 

FedEx/Kinko’s
357 Bay St (between Richmond & Adelaide)
416-363-2705
http://www.fedexoffice.ca

 

Transportation

 

Toronto Streetcars (TTC)
(501 Queen streetcar runs in front of the Sheraton)
http://www3.ttc.ca

 

U.S. Consulate

 

U.S. Consulate General Toronto
360 University Ave (between Queen & Dundas)
416-595-1700
http://toronto.usconsulate.gov

 

Walk-In Clinics

 

MCI Medical Clinics Inc. (The Doctor’s Office)
595 Bay St (Atrium on Bay)
416-598-1703
http://www.mcithedoctorsoffice.com

 

Parks & Gardens

 

Allan Gardens Conservatory
19 Horticultural Ave
416-392-1111
http://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/tours/allangardens.htm

 

High Park
1873 Bloor St W
http://www.highparktoronto.com

 

Leslie Street Spit
For location/directions: http://www.friendsofthespit.ca/spit_directions.htm
http://www.friendsofthespit.ca/

 

Music Garden
Waterfront
http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/thewaterfront/parks/musicgarden.cfm

 

Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square
http://www.toronto.ca/city_hall_tour/peace_garden.htm

 

Queen’s Park (University of Toronto campus)
110 Wellesley St W
http://www.toronto.com/listing/100218--queen-s-park

 

Sugar Beach
Foot of Lower Jarvis Street on the eastern edge of the Jarvis Slip, south of Queens Quay Boulevard
http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/explore_projects2/east_bayfront/canadas_sugar_beach

 

Trinity Bellwoods Park
1053 Dundas St W
http://www.trinitybellwoods.ca

 

Performing Arts Venues

 

Alumnae Theatre Company
70 Berkeley Street
416-364-4170
http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/

 

Factory Theatre
125 Bathurst Street at Adelaide
416-504-4473
http://www.factorytheatre.ca/concrete/concrete/index.php

 

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (home of the Canadian Opera Company)
145 Queen St W
416-363-8231
http://coc.ca/aboutthecoc/fourseasonscentre.aspx

 

Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay W
416-973-4000
http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com

 

Hart House Theatre, University of Toronto
7 Hart House Circle
416-978-8849
http://www.harthouse.ca/hart-house-theatre

 

Massey Hall
178 Victoria St
416-872-4255
http://www.masseyhall.com

 

Princess of Wales Theatre
300 King St W
416-593-0351 (Mirvish Productions)
http://www.toronto-theatre.com/theaters/princess-of-wales-theatre/theater.php

 

Roy Thomson Hall (home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra)
60 Simcoe St
416-872-4255 (box office)
http://www.roythomson.com

 

Royal Alexandra Theatre
260 King St W
416-593-0351 (Mirvish Productions)
http://www.toronto-theatre.com/theaters/royal-alexandra-theatre/theater.php

 

Tarragon Theatre
30 Bridgman Avenue
416-531-1827
http://www.tarragontheatre.com/

 

Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge St
416-733-9388
http://www.tocentre.com

 

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Places of Worship

 

Anshei Minsk Synogogue – “The Downtown Toronto Shul” – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
10 St Andrew Street (Kensington Market)
http://www.theminsk.com/

 

Bloor Street United Church – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
300 Bloor St W
416-924-7439
http://www.bloorstreetunited.org/

 

Christian Science Reading Room
927 Yonge Street
416-924-3636
http://www.firstchurchtoronto.com/readingroom.asp

 

Church of the Holy Trinity
10 Trinity Square
416-598-8979
http://www.holytrinitytoronto.org/wp

 

Omar Bin Khattab Mosque [no website]
240 Parliament St
416-861-9288

 

St. Andrew’s Church (Presbyterian) – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
75 Simcoe St (corner of King St W and Simcoe)
416-593-5600
http://www.standrewstoronto.org/

 

St. James Anglican Cathedral
65 Church St
416-364-7865
http://www.stjamescathedral.on.ca

 

St. Michael’s Cathedral (Roman Catholic) – Contributed by: Karen McKenzie
200 Church St
416-364-0234
http://www.torstm.com/StMikes/

 

Toronto Chinese Baptist Church
78 Beverley St
416-596-8376
http://www.tcbc.on.ca/en/node

 

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
http://www.toronto.ca/city_hall_tour/archer.htm

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)
http://bodyblitzspa.com

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.

 

Restaurants

 

URBAN SPOON CLASSIFICATIONS
$              Cheap Eats
$$           Moderately Priced
$$$         Higher Priced
$$$$       Fine Dining

 

BY RESTAURANT TYPE:

 

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Artists Hotels

 

$$$ The Drake Hotel – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1150 Queen Street West
416-531-5042
http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/dining

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
416-531-4635
http://www.gladstonehotel.com/food

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
416-362-7662
http://www.aroma.us

 

$$ The Beaver – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1192 Queen Street West
416-537-2768
http://www.beavertoronto.ca/index.html
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
http://darkhorseespresso.com

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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Desserts

 

$$$ Dufflet Pastries – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
787 Queen Street West
http://www.dufflet.com/home.asp

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
http://www.nadege-patisserie.com

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
http://www.wandaspieinthesky.com

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
http://www.torontoeatoncentre.com/EN/Pages/default.aspx

 

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Museum Restaurants

 

$$$ Frank at the Art Gallery of Ontario – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
317 Dundas Street West
416-979-6688
http://www.ago.net/frank-restaurant-contemporary-comfort-cuisine-toronto

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
http://www.jamiekennedy.ca

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
http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Canteen.aspx and http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Luma.aspx

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
416-913-4444
http://www.sandwichbox.ca

 

 

RESTAURANTS BY TYPE OF FOOD:

 

American/Canadian

 

$$$ Bannock (Canadian)
401 Bay St
http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Bannock.aspx

 

$$$ Baton Rouge at the Eaton Centre – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
216 Yonge Street
416-593-9667 ‎
http://www.batonrougerestaurants.com/25-restaurant-en/baton-rouge-eaton-centre.html#map

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
http://queenandbeaverpub.ca

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.

 

Chinese

 

$$ Lee Garden Restaurant – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
331 Spadina Avenue
416-593-9524
http://www.leegardenrestaurant.ca

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.

 

French

 

$$$ Café La Gaffe – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
24 Baldwin Street
416-596-2397
http://www.cafelagaffe.com

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
416-977-2929
http://www.midibistro.ca

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
416-596-6405
http://www.leselect.com

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)
http://www.magicoven.com

 

Queen St Gluten Free (bakery)
2359 Queen St E
416-907-9663
http://www.queenstglutenfree.com

 

$ Wild Earth Café & Bakery
2124 Queen St E
647-348-0202
http://www.wildearthbakery.ca

 

Greek/Mediterranean

 

$$$ Estiatorio VOLOS
133 Richmond St W
416-861-1211
http://volos.ca

 

Indian

 

$$ Lahore Tikka House – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
1365 Gerrard Street East
416-406-1668
http://lahoretikkahouse.com

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
416-483-5393
http://www.maroli.ca

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
416-504-1992
http://labettola.ca

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
416-865-1600
http://www.buca.ca

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
416-504-1992
http://www.terroni.com

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
416-532-8000
http://pizzerialibretto.com
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.

 

Japanese

 

$$ Ematei Japanese Restaurant
30 St. Patrick St
416-340-0472
http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/ematei

 

$$ Guu Toronto – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
398 Church Street
416-977-0999
http://guu-izakaya.com/toronto

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.

 

Korean

 

Mexican

 

Middle Eastern

 

Pan-Asian

 

Polish/Ukrainian

 

$$ Café Polonez – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
195 Roncesvalles
416-532-8432
http://www.cafepolonez.ca/About_Us.html

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.

 

Thai

 

$$$ Lee (tapas style) – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
603 King Street West
416-504-7867
http://www.susur.com/lee/index.html

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
416-593-0333
http://www.saladking.com

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
416-533-7466
http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/rotipalace

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
416-532-6298
http://www.island-foods.com

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
416-304-0767
http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/pats_homestyle

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
416-463-6055
http://therealjerk.com

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?

 

Vegan/Vegetarian

 

$ Urban Herbivore
64 Oxford St
416-927-1231
http://www.fressenrestaurant.com/herbivore/index.html

 

$$ Vegetarian Haven
17 Baldwin St
416-621-3636
http://www.vegetarianhaven.com/site

 

$$$ Fressen
478 Queen St W
416-504-5127
http://www.fressenrestaurant.com

 

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Toys, Puzzles & Games

 

Games

 

Game Centre
730 Yonge St
416-925-4951
http://yyztech.ca/game-centre-charles

 

Hairy Tarantula Games & Comics
354 Yonge St
416-596-8002
http://www.hairyt.com

 

Snakes and Lattes (board game café)
600 Bloor St W
647-342-9229
http://www.snakesandlattes.com

 

Toys/Designer Toys & Puzzles

 

Kidding Awound
91 Cumberland St
416-926-8996
http://www.kiddingawound.com

 

Magic Pony – Contributed by: Jill Patrick
680 Queen Street West
416-861-1684
http://www.magic-pony.com

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
647-346-5317
http://www.narwhalartprojects.com

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
416-599-8697
http://www.thetoyspace.com

 

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Workout Places

 

Goodlife Fitness (Eaton Centre North Coed Club)
250 Yonge Street, 5th Floor
416-408-4856
http://www.goodlifefitness.com

 

Toronto Athletic Club
79 Wellington St W
416-865-0900
http://www.torontoathleticclub.com

 

The Yoga Lounge
103 Church St
416-864-1973
http://theyogalounge.net

 

Zines & Graphic Novels

 

Zine Collections

 

OCAD’s Zine Library
The Learning Zone, Village on the Grange building (Dundas & McCaul), Level 1
416-977-6000
http://www.ocad.ca/library/learning_zone/zine_library.htm

 

Toronto Reference Library’s Zine Collection
789 Yonge St, 4th Floor, Periodicals Section
416-393-7131
http://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/trl/2011/03/a-handmade-tale-zines.html

 

Toronto Zine Library
292 Brunswick Avenue (2nd Floor of the Tranzac Club)
http://www.torontozinelibrary.org/

 

Graphic Novel Stores

 

The Beguiling
601 Markham St
416-533-9168
http://www.beguiling.com/index.php

 

The Labyrinth
386 Bloor St W
416-840-4506
http://animationroadshow.blogspot.com/

 

Silver Snail Comics
367 Queen St W
416-593-0889
https://www.silversnail.com/shop/index.html