48 Hours in Toronto

May 22, 2017

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Image by Michael Mayer.

Though HUNT Toronto writer Amanda Scriver has traveled the world, Toronto is the only place she calls home. The largest city in Canada, it’s a vibrant place, populated with residents who are huge on supporting local in a big way: you’ll no doubt notice bars and restaurants touting their use of regional food and beverage producers, while shops fiercely promote and showcase homegrown designers and makers.

An intensely multicultural place, there are over 200 ethnicities recognized and 140 languages spoken here on the daily, and we Torontonians fervently display the influence those cultures have had on our urban home. From Chinatown and Koreatown to the historically Polish Roncesvalles and the Irish settlements of Corktown and Cabbagetown, no matter where you’re from, visiting Toronto will likely feel like a home away from home.

Day One

Neo Coffee Bar. Credit Britney Townsend.

9am: Get your caffeine jolt for the day at Neo Coffee Bar. Don’t forget to try one of their Japanese roll cakes – they’re to die for.

10am: Six blocks away is The Distillery District, an outdoor market housed within the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. Leave a love lock, take a photo under the red heart sculpture and wander into Maisonette to check out the wares.

12:30pm: Hungry? Stroll over to The Chefs’ House on King Street East where you’ll be treated to a seasonal prix-fixe menu masterminded by the culinary students of George Brown College.

Arts Market. Image by Britney Townsend.

2pm: Take the 365 bus from Princess Street to Parliament Street, and proceed to the idyllic Riverdale Farm, where you’ll find a slice of rural paradise in the midst of the city.

3:30pm: Walk to Queen Street East to catch a quick streetcar over to vintage fashion fixture Common Sort. In need of a pick-me-up? Swing by Belmonte Raw for a nourishing juice, then drop into Arts Market for locally made goods that make wonderful souvenirs.

6pm: Meander along Gerrard Street East to Saturday Dinette. With adult milkshakes, Southern-inspired dishes and classic tunes, you won’t want to leave the booths here.

Civil Liberties. Image by Britney Townsend.

8pm: By now you’re probably looking for some entertainment. Hail a cab to provocative Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, whose raison d’être is presenting work that questions cultural norms, and catch a show.

10:30pm: For a nightcap, catch the 97 bus from Yonge Street and ride four stops to Yorkville’s Bar Reyna where you’ll find killer cocktails and tapas.

12am: Grab a taxi and direct your driver to Civil Liberties – if they don’t know it, tell them to look for the giant, glowing pineapple on Bloor Street West – and once you’re in this speakeasy, order up a bespoke tipple that’s as creative as you are.

Day Two

9am: Kick-start your day in Bloordale Village by ordering a flat white and smashed avocado sandwich at Baddies, Toronto’s first full-service, Aussie-style café.

Baddies. Image by Britney Townsend.

10am: Just around the corner is The Monkey’s Paw, a quirky bookstore that offers an array of rare and unique 20th-century items. Prepare to get lost in their stacks.

11:30am: Ride the 29 bus from Dufferin Street five stops, and then drop in at Easy Tiger Goods to ogle the fantastic collection of home décor and stationery items.

12:30pm: Jump in a cab and scoot to Bar Raval in Little Italy for chef Grant Von Gameren’s interpretation of Spanish pinxtos. The venue has no seating, but the tapas are spread out across the bar for folks to dive into. Get in there, and order a lunch cocktail – why not?

1/2 oz. Cocktail Emporium. Image by Britney Townsend.

2pm: Amble down College Street, make a left onto Dundas Street West and then prepare to be your own mixologist by visiting barware purveyor 1/2 oz. Cocktail Emporium. When you’ve gotten your fill, pop down the street to Courage My Love where you can dig through secondhand threads and retro accessories.

4:30pm: Are you a vinyl collector? Well then, walk along Spadina Avenue and visit Sonic Boom Records. You won’t be able to miss it as the windows are always cleverly decorated.

6pm: Continue along Dundas Street West and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a plethora of art spaces including #Hashtag Gallery. This has become a launching pad for many up-and-coming artists and the exhibitions are always a good time.

Bellwoods Brewery. Image via Flickr Creative Commons, by Theresa Power.

8pm: After a long day of walking, it’s time to relax at one of Toronto’s top microbreweries for a few pints and some dinner. Flag down a taxi and head to Bellwoods Brewery. With a rotating list of taps and seasonal dishes on the menu, you’ll be happy you stopped by.

10:30pm: Ready to laugh? Take the 63 bus from Ossington Avenue to Ossington Station and then find a seat at Comedy Bar. On any given night, you’ll see anything from rap battles to a feminist comedy show. They do say variety is the spice of life.

12am: End your night at sceney Burdock, just a 10-minute walk down Bloor Street West, where cocktails and live music are always on offer and a good time is bound to be had.

 

 

About The HUNT Toronto Writer: Amanda Scriver is a passionate freelance writer, community builder and body image advocate. Between eating and exploring everything the cit has to offer, Amanda can be found writing words for publications such as The National Post, THIS Magazine, Buzzfeed, BizBash Magazine and The Globe and Mail. In her downtime, she loves a good cup of coffee, indulging in trashy reality television and communicating via GIF.

About The HUNT Toronto Photographer: Britney Townsend is a photographer with an intense love for Toronto. Residing in Roncesvalles, she runs a local events publication, and is always seeking out the best new coffee, band and cocktail.

 

For more great insider recommendations in Toronto, pick up the guide on gatehousepublishing.com.


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