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the broadview hotel
Making a strong case for Toronto's east end, this hip and charming social gathering spot is housed in a 127-year old building with a storied past. A delicate revitalization saw the stunning corner structure retain its former glory, making its transformation into the city's most lively boutique hotel seamless. Comprised of 58 guestrooms, 3 restaurants and vibrant and buzzy rooftop bar with a beaming view of the Toronto skyline, this home away from home is the perfect place to lounge and relax from the busy centre of the city.
Area / Riverside
Vibe / Quirky and elegant boutique hotel popular among locals in the heart of the East End.
Cafe & Bakery
There are those times when you debate on where to have breakfast or lunch, with the eventual decision to just go where you know it is always excellent. For Toronto, this is just that place. Established by a former architect with a long family history in baking, the lively crowd at breakfast and lunch fills the space to the brim with energy. Whether that be for morning coffee and cornetto, an otherwordly eggplant sandwich made on house-made focaccia for lunch, or just picking up a fresh loaf of crusty sourdough, you'll make a point to come here more than once. Just don't sleep on the selection of illegally soft amaretti cookies.
Area / Fashion District
Vibe / An authentic Italian bakery space that is unapologetically classic, not trendy.
Public Space / Market
Toronto's relationship with neighbouring Lake Ontario has fluctuated, with the waterfront edge being built out and infilled over the course of the city's history. What was previously an underused stretch of arterial road along the lakeside has recently been redesigned to engage the city's accessibility to the lake. With the work of landscape architecture firms West 8 and DTAH, the stretch of Queen's Quay has been thoughtfully revitalized to incorporate bike lanes, sidewalks, street-level transit, and generous public spaces and parkettes. Whether you're grabbing a kayak to sail out from the port, or catching a movie screening on the urban beach across the sugar factory, there are always a plethora of exciting events happening here.
Area / Waterfront
Vibe / Dutch urban cool meets Canadian lakeside.
queen west & ossington
Named the second hippest neighbourhood in the world by Vogue, Queen West has become a verifiable artery of urban attention where you will find Torontonians strolling, shopping, eating or sipping coffee at one of the many local shops here. The Ossington Strip has similarly become the centre of the city's attention for its buzzy restaurant scene and art culture. At the crux of the two is Trinity Bellwoods, a large swath of lush park space where picnicking with friends has become city tradition. Winding down after touring the shops is best done at Sam James Coffee Bar for a quick caffeine pick-me-up, or at the always popular Bang Bang Ice Cream, where a justifiable long-winding line often stretches around the corner.
Area / Queen West
Vibe / Understated cool on traditional main streets where urban culture is booming.
Diner & Bar
The perfect place in Toronto to relax, unwind and bask in all things French-inspired is at Aloette. The sun-filled bistro space with banquette and bar seating is designed to mimic that of an old train car and the delightful, aromatic dishes coming out of the open kitchen keeps the diner intrigued and wanting more. The sleek and contemporary design allows you to get comfortable and linger into the late afternoon; with an easy dining setting and stellar cocktail program, the atmosphere is fun and casual. A couple standouts are the Aloette burger with fries and the iceberg wedge salad, both mind blowing and delicious.
Area / Parkdale
Vibe / Paris in Parkdale mastering the art of French baking and pastry.
When Toronto-Dominion Centre opened in 1967, the future of Canadian business was immediately altered. Designed by architectural visionary, Mies van de Rohe, it was the introduction of the modernist workplace to the city's financial hub which quickly cultivated the functionality of the downtown core. While his designs are timeless yet strong and evocative, TD Centre remains one of Canada's most cultural landmarks that plays a key role in ensuring that the entire complex is energy efficient, healthy and a leader in sustainability.
Area / Financial District
Vibe / The introduction of modernist standards of design in the centre of the financial realm.
art gallery of ontario
Toronto is fortunate to have an extensive permanent collection of art and sculpture at the AGO. The striking building is designed by Frank Gehry and upon entering, you are greeted by a spiral Baroque staircase clad in wood leading up to the top floor of the museum which provides for a picturesque view of the city. Bathed in an abundance of natural light, any which way you turn to start your gallery experience will eventually lead you to Galleria Italia - a long, curved atrium space comprised of wooden beams, vast windows and pocket-cafe perfectly suited for a pause between exhibits.
Area / Chinatown
Vibe / An architectural landmark bringing people together through art and culture.
Kensington Market is notorious for it's incredibly diverse and multicultural food ventures, however a standout is Jen Agg's fourth Toronto establishment, Grey Gardens. It's alluring in it's design and provisions, and allows you to truly create your own experience with each visit. When it comes to the food, there is no better way to describe it other than food that feels very Toronto. The rest is up to you to come and discover for yourself. If we can make one suggestion, if available, request a seat at the chef's counter to be fully immersed in the kitchen. It is undoubtedly the best seat in the house and is guaranteed to instantly heighten your dining experience.
Area / Kensington Market
Vibe / Dining room meets wine bar bathed in delicate candlelight.
This Toronto establishment is somewhat of a cult favourite amongst locals. Opened by highly regarded restauranteur Grant van Gameren, Bar Raval has been coined the most beautiful bar in town and the ultimate surprise on the eyes. If you're looking for the perfect place to share some of the most incredibly exquisite pintxos and tapas, accompanied by superb cocktails with your closest friends, look no further. The whole experience is nothing short of a magical undertaking - being encapsulated in the meticulously designed mahogany millwork that is strikingly Gaudi-esque, you'll find yourself ordering plate after plate.
Area / Palmerston
Vibe / Spanish snack bar buzzing with locals from early morning until late night.
the drake hotel
Nestled in the heart of the West side, The Drake Hotel (no affiliation with Drake the rapper) is hip, cool and eclectic in it's design and interiors. Each of the rooms are designed and decorated differently which really gives it a unique and personal experience to every hotel guest. With three restaurants that are sure to please no matter what your craving is, The Drake is unequivocally Toronto and you couldn't visit without at least checking it out for a drink in the Sky Yard.
Area / West Queen West
Vibe / Hipster epicentre of Toronto cool self-proclaimed as the "hotbed for culture".