See what the city has to offer
Looking through the racks at Ewanika (1083 Bathurst St.) feels more like pilfering your elegant friend’s wardrobe than shopping; there’s stylish footwear from it-girl label Maryam Nassir Zadeh, dreamy knits from Lauren Manoogian and foundational pieces from the store’s eponymous line. SOUVENIR (1232 College St.) carries a range of products—like ceramics, textiles, stationery and more—from local makers; they also stock their own in-house label, and have limited and special-edition products on offer in the gallery-like space. Le Labo (876 Queen St. W.) has finally opened a Canadian post, where you can drop by and watch the perfume house mix up fragrances upon purchase (to help insure a longer shelf-life for the product).
The newest book-purveyor on the block is Queen Books (914 Queen St. E.), where you’ll be able to find shelves stocked with titles from local authors alongside international bestsellers, all within the coziest environment imaginable—think tree-patterned wallpapers and Persian rugs. Glad Day Bookshop (499 Church St.), by contrast, is the world’s oldest queer bookstore; they’ve been in business for some 47 years, although their Village digs are new. If deep discounts are more your speed, there’s really nowhere better than used-book retailer BMV (471 Bloor St. W./10 Edward St./2289 Yonge St.).
Have you ever eaten a semla? If no, you should rectify this immediately; the Swedish take on a cream bun is not to missed, and they’re often on offer at the sweet FIKA Café (28 Kensington Ave.), which boasts an incredibly Instagrammable interior in addition to dreamy baked goods and coffee. Afternoon coffee dates that spill over into early evening snacks with a glass of wine are, arguably, the very best way to spend a day; the Walton (607 College St.) is perfectly poised to facilitate these languorous meetings, with pastries and coffee on offer alongside elderflower cocktails and terrine. If you’re looking for a place that can handle savoury snacks as adeptly as the sweet options, turn to Forno Cultura (609 King St. W.), where the city’s very best porchetta sandwiches reside—fighting words, but we stand behind them.
Sure, Grey Gardens (199 Augusta Ave.) may share a name with the Maysles brothers’ documentary on eccentrics Little and Big Edie Beale, but fear not— there’s no cat food dressed up as pâté around here. Instead, expect seasonal selections like smoked mackerel dip, a wine selection that cannot be matched and the city’s most Instagrammed washroom. If you feel like eating art, in addition to looking at it, head to La Banane (227 Ossington Ave.), where their “Ziggy Stardust Disco Egg” gives dessert a glam-rock edge. Tacos of all varieties are on offer in Kensington Market, including versions on Ojibway-style frybread at Pow Wow Cafe (213 Augusta Ave.) and Baja-style options at Seven Lives (69 Kensington Ave.). Classic French food is on the menu at longstanding Queen Street West bistro La Palette (492 Queen St. W.), which, as it happens, is co-owned by a Toronto artist.
Berczy Park Dog Fountain charts as one of the most controversial additions to Toronto’s landscape; the twotier fountain, designed by Claude Cormier, includes 27 cast-iron dog statues (and a cat), who spew water into the basin from their mouths. There’s something deeply Koonsian about the arrangement, which is worth dropping by Berczy Park (25 Wellington St. E.) to see. A little further from downtown, Rouge National Urban Park (1749 Meadowvale Rd., Scarborough) has incredible beaches, hiking trails and marshes. If you want to shop and walk, at the Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Ave.) you can drop by a farmers’ market and venture out on a few trails in the Don Valley. 1 Queen Books 2 Grey Gardens 3 FIKA Café