Daniela Andrews

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  • Nomad
  • Woman of Action

Daniela is very attached to her native soil, but loves travelling the world nevertheless.

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My 24 Hours in Toronto

My perfect 24 hours in Toronto would start off with a run on the boardwalk by the Lake. After working up an appetite I’d have brunch with friends at La Cubana and gorge on their Cuban breakfast.

I’d wander down Roncesvalles, popping into all the little indie shops and boutiques. Then I’d grab a blanket, a good book, some magazines, and a few sugary canelles from Nadège and I’d spend some time lying out in Trinity Bellwoods Park.

To work up an appetite you can visit St. Lawrence Market and gaze at all the delis, butchers, bakeries, produce stands, and more. When it was time for lunch (because, let’s face it, it’s all about the food), I’d head over to Sud Forno for their amazing pizza al taglio, on par with anything you’d find on the streets of Rome. If you’re more of a Paris person, go and check out Cluny Bistro; it feels like walking into a scene from a French film.

Then I’d work off lunch with a walk along Queen Street West, picking up a few great finds at some of my favourite shops like Fashionably Yours for vintage, Zane for cool bags and accessories, Kit & Ace for athletic-inspired cashmere, Heel Boy for amazing shoes, Oak + Fort for contemporary women’s design, and Dutil for all things denim.

You probably want to take home some Canadian souvenirs, and The Drake Hotel’s General Store is the perfect place to find them. Since you’re already there, pay a visit to the outdoor Sky Yard during the summer and the Lounge during winter for a light cocktail or a hot tea. On the way home I’d snap a few selfies against the colourful backdrops of Graffiti Alley.

After a late-afternoon siesta, I’d get ready and head out for dinner with a group of friends at Byblos. The eastern mediterranean menu is designed to share, so it’s always best to go with a group. We’d stuff ourselves silly with wine, shakshouka, and sweet jeweled rice, and then walk a few blocks to Gusto for drinks on the all-season rooftop patio, gazing up at the stars.

 

Locations



Lake OntarioHarbourfront Centre, Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

The lake stretches from the east end of the city to the west and is a great place for a walk, a jog, or a bike ride. In the east end, near Ashbridge’s Bay, you’ll find a boardwalk and a stretch of beach, a popular spot during the summer months.
La Cubana392 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

The original location of La Cubana is bright and airy and serves up brunch dishes with Cuban flair. The food is rich and perfect for a weekend treat.
Roncesvalles AvenueRoncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

The Roncesvalles neighbourhood is fiercely independent so you won’t find any big box stores, just a selection of independent shops and boutiques for everything from organic foods, to gourmet cheeses, to antiques.
Nadège780 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Nadège makes arguably the best croissants in the city. There is often a lineup of people waiting to pick up some of the decadent desserts that look almost too perfect to eat, or an assortment of their colourful macarons. In the summer, sit on the patio and watch the action on Queen Street.
Trinity Bellwoods ParkTrinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Trinity Bellwoods Park stretches from Dundas Street in the north, to Queen Street in the south, and offers a welcome patch of green space downtown. When the weather is good the park is packed with families, couples, and friends, all vying for a spot under the sun.
Sud Forno716 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

This two-level bakery/café is something straight out of Campo de’ Fiori in Rome. It serves up cannoli, gelato, espresso, and fresh bread made in house. The pizza al taglio is the best in the city.
Fashionably Yours709 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Fashionably Yours is a vintage consignment shop where you can find a great selection of designer brands like Céline, Prada, and Louis Vuitton, mixed in with contemporary labels.
Zane753 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Zane, the man behind this boutique, curates an incredible selection of bags, jewelry, and accessories at this Queen Street store. Men will love the selection of Happy Socks. Women will love the Rebecca Minkoff bags.
Kit & Ace779 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Kit & Ace is a Canadian label offering technical cashmere in the emerging “athleisure” style. Designs are basic but the fabrics are amazingly soft to the touch.
Heel Boy773 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Heel Boy stocks men’s and women’s shoes from well-known and up-and-coming brands. They’ve got a finger on the pulse of fashion, making this a great source for contemporary styles at a great price point.
Oak + Fort666 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

This relative newcomer to the Toronto retail scene has become a fast favourite with the downtown crowd. Think Scandinavian style with clean lines and neutral palettes.
Dutil704 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Exclusively denim, from top to bottom. The small store is stacked with jeans, shirts, jackets, and shorts, from brands like Nudie, APC, Cheap Monday, Rag & Bone, and Levi’s special edition Made & Crafted.
Graffiti AlleyGraffiti Alley, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Graffiti Alley runs parallel to Queen Street West from Spadina Avenue to Portland Street. It’s a colourful display from some of the city’s most talented graffiti artists and a cool way to take in free art in the city.
Byblos11 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Plates here are large and designed for sharing, so come with a group to maximize the number of amazing things you can try. The sweet jeweled basmati rice is a must. Then layer on shakshouka, eggplant, labneh, and lamb or whatever else tickles your fancy.
Gusto101 Portland Street, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

Gusto is amazing for brunch, lunch, or dinner, but at night it buzzes with a packed house of the cool King West crowd. The space (a former mechanic shop) is industrial chic and the rooftop glass-enclosed patio makes it an all-season hot spot.
St. Lawrence Market92-95 Front St E, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

A huge food market.
Cluny Bistro35 Tank House Lane, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

A modern French bistro in the Distillery District.
The Drake Hotel1150 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Kanada

A Toronto institution for arts and culture.
‘Toronto is full of distinct pockets, each with its own unique atmosphere.’
  • Enjoy the skyline view from the Thompson Hotel rooftop at sunset. It's a magic time of day.
  • Try the pizza at Terroni! It's the best!
  • Sandwiches at Sud Forno.
  • Drop by Early Bird Espresso for a caffeine shot. They take the art of coffee-making very seriously.
  • Trinity Bellwoods Park is always good for a walk or a picnic in the summertime.
  • The bright colours of graffiti alley in the city's west end.
  • St. Lawrence Market.
  • Sud Forno

My thoughts about Toronto

What do you love about your destination?

Toronto is often called “the city of neighbourhoods” – it’s full of distinct pockets, each with its own unique atmosphere. I love how there’s something to suit every taste. If you want to live large, you can spend the day shopping in Yorkville. If you want to get artsy, you can explore the ROM or the AGO. If you want to be active, you can wander through High Park or down by the Lake. There are so many possibilities here. I also love how much green space there is for such an urban centre.

Which music fits best to your destination?

The Vagabond Summer mix from Canadian DJ Alex Merrell.

Breathe in the crisp Canadian air.
The city is full of parks and green space.
If you're looking for a great souvenir, drop by the Drake General Store, just next door to The Drake Hotel.
View from Toronto Island.
Gusto is a great restaurant with a vibrant atmosphere.

Take a vacation into My life

What’s your background?

I’m a creative spirit with a bucket list a mile long and I’m a wandering nomad. I’ve lived in Toronto my whole life, but recently set out to explore the world. I love being by the sea and the mountains (preferably at the same time). I like eating good food and meeting new people, and if a destination has sunshine and a good cappuccino, I’m all set. At the beginning of last year I left home to travel the world and, during my time in southeast Asia I touched down in Bali and felt drawn to the island. After travelling through Europe for a while I, returned to Bali and decided to call it home, at least for a while.

What is the best moment of the day?

Can I have two? Early morning when the rising sun shines across the rice fields, turning everything a brilliant shade of green. And sunset surfs, watching the sky ablaze in neon hues while floating in the sea.

What inspires you?

Travel. Passion. People’s stories. Everything from a breathtaking landscape to an incredible meal. The ocean. People who are passionate about what they do and how they approach life.

How would a good friend describe you?

Let’s ask them... “A chic adventurer,” “Awesome sense of style,” “A great friend, always there to share a laugh, a tear, a hug, an adventure.” “Eternal optimist.” “Lives by her own rules.” “Brave.”

Your lifestyle in 5 words?

Creative, active and full of surprises.

Which books, newspapers or magazines do you read?

Newspapers: I tend to skim over whatever is popular in the city I’m in. In Toronto, I like the Globe & Mail and the crossword puzzles in the Toronto Star.
Magazines: Toronto Life, Vogue, InStyle, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Monocle.
Books: “All My Puny Sorrows” (by Canadian author Miriam Toews) is incredibly moving, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” (by blogger Jenny Lawson) is incredibly hilarious, and “Infidel” (by Ayaan Hirsi Ali) is incredibly enlightening. I’ve also been trying to make my way through “The Power of Now” for about a kazillion years and I just finished “Life After Life,” which was spectacular.

Which films blow your mind?

“The Night Manager” with Tom Hiddleston was fantastic. I also love “Broad City,” “GIRLS,” “The Good Wife,” and “House of Cards.” “Sex and the City” is a series that will always hold up for me. For films, some of my favourites are “Crazy Stupid Love,” “This is Where I Leave You,” and “Incendies.”

Person you’d like to sit next to in an airplane?

Jennifer Lawrence. We’d play pranks on the flight attendants and be BFFs.

What are your favourite destinations around the globe?

Anywhere in Italy. Paris. Copenhagen. Amsterdam. Munich. NYC. Bali. Lombok. Patagonia. Canada.

Your life philosophy?

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in sideways – champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other – body thoroughly used up and totally worn out, screaming: Woo hoo! What a ride!”

Suitcase, Backpack or Weekender?

Last year I travelled the world with a North Face Base Camp Duffel – it was my “monster” for the year and held up really well through countless boats, planes, trains, and buses. Now I’ve switched back to a hardside suitcase on wheels.

What else should we know about you?

Wherever I go, I’m happiest if I have good food, good weather, good coffee, and loads of nature. Also, I make it my business to find the best gelato, ice cream, or bakery wherever I go.

Travelling is…

the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

Life is…

constantly evolving.

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