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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 & 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
A huge food market.
A modern French bistro in the Distillery District.
A Toronto institution for arts and culture.
My thoughts about Toronto
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.
The Vagabond Summer mix from Canadian DJ Alex Merrell.
Take a vacation into My life
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Creative, active and full of surprises.
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.
“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.”
Jennifer Lawrence. We’d play pranks on the flight attendants and be BFFs.
Anywhere in Italy. Paris. Copenhagen. Amsterdam. Munich. NYC. Bali. Lombok. Patagonia. Canada.
“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!”
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.
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.
the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
More local soulmates in Canada, Toronto
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