There’s no way I could leave Toronto without compiling a guide featuring all the spots nearest and dearest to my heart. This list has been in the works for the past three years, even before I moved into my downtown apartment. So, without further ado, here’s the city guide I’ve most enjoyed writing!
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Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods, each with its own personality and intricacies. It’s impossible to create a guide to Toronto without considering the myriad of unique communities that make up this metropolis. I’ve organized this guide by neighbourhood, and then by category, to make for easy perusing.

Note: Toronto is HUGE, and this guide focuses primarily on the core. It doesn’t venture too far north of Bloor. This is where I’ve spent my time and the guide is already quite extensive while only encompassing these areas.

Downtown Core (Queen West and Chinatown)
The first few months of living within the downtown core was overwhelming, to say the least. I soon grew very fond of having the city at my fingertips, and loved being so close to many iconic buildings.

See/
Much Music: The television and radio headquarters for all of Canada. Many Canadian daily shows are filmed here, such as The Social and Marilyn Denis. The building is a striking, unmistakable landmark of Queen West.

OCAD University: Another stunning landmark, Ontario College of Art and Design fits in perfectly with the courses it offers. Hang out on campus, or visit one of the nearby cafés brimming with students for street style inspiration.

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO): Designed by architect, Frank Gehry, The AGO is my favourite gallery in the city. There’s always something exciting to see, and the permanent collection is worth checking out regardless of when you visit.

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Eat/
Toronto is a foodie’s dream! In the (almost) three years I’ve lived here, I’ve tried my hardest to visit as many caf√©s, restaurants, and bars as humanly possible. Let’s just say, dieting here is not easy.

Rol San: Excellent Chinese food, this place is always pretty busy but the atmosphere and food is ridiculous.
Mother’s Dumplings:¬†Life-changing¬†dumplings and steamed veggies
Lucky Red: Delicious, delicious bao! The service is super friendly and the cocktails are mouthwatering.
Bahn Mi Boys: Cheap Vietnamese eats! The kimchi fries are my absolute favourite!

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Bahn Mi Boys

Peter Pan: I haven’t visited since they renovated, but the new patio makes it a must!
La Carnita (John & Adelaide): The biggest and best La Carnita location. There’s ample natural light, and if you have a sweet tooth, you can grab a pimped out soft-serve cone from Sweet Jesus after your meal!
Byblos: Make a reservation for the most delightful Turkish/Mediterranean cuisine in the city.
P&L Burger or Burger’s Priest: Queen West has no shortage of burger joints, and the best burger is a highly contested debate. It’s a toss up between these two takeout spots. If you like a juicier burger, opt for P&L.¬†The Burger’s Priest is known for outlandish burgers (think grilled cheese buns and multiple patties!)

The Burger’s Priest

Drink/
Peoples Eatery: I like to go here primarily for the kalimotxos (red wine and coke, who knew?) but the small plates are equal parts delicious!

Sweets/
Butter Avenue: Macaron heaven, this place is so darling! They also have a midtown location.
Kekou Gelato: With two locations, one on Baldwin Street and a newer one (serving soft-serve gelato) on Queen and Spadina, Kekou serves up delicious Asian flavours like Vietnamese coffee and Hong Kong milk tea.
Sweet Jesus: Attached to La Carnita’s newest location on John Street, Sweet Jesus dishes up¬†soft-serve masterpieces with all the fixings. Go right at 12pm, and you’ll beat the rush.
Le Gourmand: Skip the coffee, and try one of the best (and melty) chocolate chip cookies in Toronto.

Kekou Gelato on Baldwin Street

Coffee/
Dark Horse Spadina: Arguably the most photogenic of all the Dark Horse locations (there are four and counting…) This Toronto powerhouse makes a mean cappuccino. Oh, and it’s a hub for freelancers and creative types with shared work spaces in the building.
Little Nicky’s: Did someone say, “mini donuts”? I love the vintage details of this cozy caf√©.
Red Eye Espresso: Located near the OCAD campus, this coffee shop is a hub for our city’s future designers, artists, and creative directors.

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Stay/
Hotel Ocho: Boutique hotel with a popular restaurant/bar in the heart of Chinatown.
Super 8: Affordable accommodation in the middle of bustling Chinatown.
The Beverley Hotel: I have an affection for this hotel and its beautiful rooftop patio. My sister, Stephanie stayed here once and they offered us both free breakfast!

Activities/
Y Yoga: I chose this yoga studio based on its proximity to my apartment, the studio is beautiful, the classes are some of the city’s best, and I absolutely LOVE the spin classes and sauna access included with your membership.
City Dance Corps
: As a former dancer, I wanted drop-in classes at an affordable price. City Dance Corps has accomplished teachers and a huge assortment of classes for all ability levels (ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet boot camp, stretch, barre class!)

Financial District/Harbourfront
The central business district is constantly buzzing with activity and suits (yes,¬†Suits the TV show is filmed here!) It’s a fun place to be during the week as¬†the backdrop for New York in many films and TV series.

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Nathan Philips Square

See/
Union Station: Maybe I’m biased because Nick worked here, but I think Union Station is the most beautiful building in Toronto. I sometimes sit in the Great Hall and feel myself being transported back to the heydays of railroad travel.
Toronto Islands: No trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to the Islands. There’s a ferry that goes out every half hour from the Harbourfront. Pack a picnic (with some cheeky beers) and dig your toes into the sand.
St. Lawrence Market: If I lived closer, I’d buy all my groceries from St. Lawrence Market. The vendors are knowledgable and friendly. Oh, and this is the place to try Toronto’s famous peameal bacon.
Sugar Beach: Pastel pink umbrellas, anyone?
Massey Hall: One of the most iconic concert venues in Toronto.
Gooderham Building: The original flatiron building is a historic landmark of Toronto.
Nathan Philips Square: There are plenty of concerts and events (including Jazz Fest) held here, and its now the home to the official Toronto sign.

Activities/
Rogers Centre: Do yourself a favour and go see a Blue Jays game. They’re Canada’s only professional baseball team and are on fire this season!
Air Canada Centre: I visited the ACC for the first time a few weeks ago to see Janet Jackson – it’s massive!
Steam Whistle Brewery: Learn about the deep water cooling system while enjoying a pint of crisp Pilsner at iconic Steam Whistle.

Eat/
Richmond Station: An unpretentious fine dining experience. Their burger is the best you’ll have in Toronto!
Little Fin: If you love seafood, you’ll love Little Fin. The lobster roll is unbeatable.
The Chase: The best¬†rooftop patio in Toronto, you’ll want to take someone special to this spot.
Pizza Libretto: Incredible Neapolitan pizza
iQ Food Co: Healthy fare that consists of smoothies (try Peaches and Green) and salad boxes. The spicy salmon is my favourite.

iQ Food Co.
Pizza Libretto

Drink/
AAA Bar (Triple A Bar): A Texas-style BBQ joint with enough bourbon to go around!
Mascot Brewery: The unofficial pre-gaming spot before heading to a Jays game!
El Patio: Margaritas and buckets of Corona, anyone? And apparently they give away free tacos at midnight?!

Coffee/
Dineen: Worthy of a visit for the building alone, Dineen has the most instagrammed floors in Toronto.
Maman: New York’s famous french caf√© recently opened in Toronto to hoards of devoted fans. Try their croque maman or stop by for a cocktail and their cinq-√†-sept menu.
Sam James (Toronto Street): Newest location, same incredible coffee

Stay/
Hotel Germain
Soho Metropolitan

King West:
Simply¬†walk along¬†King West, and you’ll hit so many¬†of Toronto’s favourite restaurants and bars. Maybe of these spots (Portland Variety, Bar Buca, Colette) evolve throughout the day, serving breakfast and coffee earlier in the day and dinner and drinks at night. This trendy neighbourhood is exceedingly popular during the Toronto International Film Festival, held every year in September. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a celebrity. Bill Murray was cycling, exploring, and taking selfies¬†with locals during the festival in 2014.

See/
Princess of Wales:¬†The place to go for live theatre in Toronto.¬†Kinky Boots is currently playing! I’ve also seen Anything Goes and The Book of Mormon here.¬†
TIFF: King Street West becomes pedestrian-only during TIFF, so even if you’re not seeing any¬†films (but I recommend you do! Tickets are available to the public!) you’ll want to walk along King from University to Spadina to take in the energy and excitement. I always joke that TIFF is my Christmas because it’s the most wonderful time of year.

Activities/
Her Majesty’s Pleasure: Getting pampered has never been this much fun. Her Majesty’s Pleasure is a caf√©, bar and beauty-lover’s mecca all in one. You’ll gush over the marble countertops and copper details.
TIFF Bell Lightbox: See art house, documentaries, and hard-to-find films year-round at this venue. We saw a New Zealand Maori film here last year. The adjacent bar and restaurant, Luma is a local gem.
SPiN: A ping pong social club offering lessons and regular tournaments.

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Her Majesty’s Pleasure

Eat/
Wilbur Mexicana: Housed next-door to Her Majesty’s Pleasure, Wilbur is seriously addictive (and reasonably priced!)
Colette: The most beautiful restaurant and caf√© in Toronto. Don’t ask questions, just go!
Wvrst: German beer hall with any type of sausage you can imagine. The curry wvrst is as authentic as they come.
Bar Buca: An all-day snack bar with excellent service
Patria: The best Spanish tapas in the city
Home of the Brave: All your favourite American classics like tater tots and deep dish pizza.

Wilbur Mexicana

Drink/
Valdez: South American food and delicious sangria, their rooftop patio is a hit among locals and tourists!
Bar Hop: All the beers you could ever imagine in a relaxed setting.
Bar Wellington: A casual spot for outdoor drinks
Rock ‘N Horse Saloon: If you like country music, this is the place to be for some serious two-steppin’!
The Porch: A massive rooftop patio that serves bulldogs, win!

Sweets/
Forno Cultura: An italian bakery with a modern aesthetic.
Millie Patisserie & Creamery: French-inspired pastries infused with Asian flavours. The sister shop to Kensington’s Millie Creperie.
Delysées: French classics in the most unique flavours and hues. The shop is a sight for sore eyes. Try the gold and rainbow sprinkled éclairs.

Coffee/
Portland Variety: Coffee, breakfast, lunch, cocktails, dinner? They do it all in a beautiful space.
Forget Me Not Café (formerly La Merceria): An Argentinean café that oozes charm.

Stay/
Thompson Hotel: Thanks to Hotwire, Nick and I were able to stay here at a very affordable rate. If you’re here in the summer, I highly recommend checking out the rooftop pool.

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Kensington Market:
See/
Walk around, take in all the sights and smells of this delightful neighbourhood. You can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants, food vendors, and vintage clothing shops that make up this vibrant, eclectic community. Pedestrian Sundays during the summer months are especially fun.

Eat/
Blackbird Baking Co: The best baguettes in town!
Seven Lives: The baja fish taco here is unbelievably delicious.
Otto’s Berlin D√∂ner: D√∂ners and currywurst!
The Dirty Bird: Chicken and waffles!

Drink/
Cold Tea: Ask them to make you anything. I’ve had the most delicious, inventive cocktails in Toronto at this speakeasy.
Handlebar: It feels like your grandmother’s basement, but in a good way. They always host the best events, like people sharing their traumatizing Tinder conversations on Valentine’s Day.

Sweets/
Bunner’s Bake Shop: A gluten-free/vegan bakery. They even have vegan soft-serve!

Coffee/
Café Novo: Another perfect café patio with free wifi!
Café Pamenar: A pleasant (and quiet) environment with impeccably pulled shots.
Fika: Swedish café with a glorious backyard patio! They also serve delicious open-faced sandwiches (just like Swedes do!) and breakfast.

Fika Café

Shop/
Courage My Love: One of many incredible vintage stores along Kensington Avenue.
Good Egg: My favourite bookshop/gift shop in the whole city!
BYOB Cocktail Emporium: For all your cocktail and bar cart needs

Little Italy:
See/
The Royal: My favourite cinema to catch non-mainstream (and mainstream) films. I saw St. Vincent here, and it remains one of my favourite movies today.

Eat/
Bar Raval: A spanish tapas bar that will transport you to Barcelona.
Bar Isabel: Grant Van Gameren’s first restaurant featuring creative plates. Try the octopus.
DaiLo: Inventive Chinese fusion, think fried watermelon!
Easy Restaurant: Great for all-day brunch on any day of the week

Drink/
Sneaky Dee’s: Super dive-y, but always a good time. Their nachos are consistently rated the best in Toronto.
No One Writes to the Colonel: A laidback spot for small-medium groups
Mod Club: I’ve only been here once to see my friend, JT perform, but I had a really good time.

Coffee/
Voodoo Child: An all-day affair, coffee is served during the day and cocktails at night.
Manic: This caf√© doesn’t offer wifi yet still manages to appeal to students from nearby U of T.
Empire Espresso: This cozy nook is the perfect place to bask in the sun with a cappuccino. They have a white and pink floral espresso machine that I can’t help but admire.

Sweets/
Bake Shoppe: My sister bought my¬†birthday cake here, and it’s been my favourite cake to date! They make homemade poptarts that will make you swoon!

West Queen West/Dundas West
See/
Trinity Bellwoods Park: Some of the best people watching in Toronto, this park is filled with the very fashionable and good-looking.
Graffiti Alley: Toronto has fantastic street art, particularly between Portland and Bellwoods on Queen Street West.

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Eat/ (West Queen West)
Saving Grace: Best brunch in Toronto with an ever-changing menu and heaping portions.
The Federal: This place is less busy than Saving Grace, but also super delicious. I recommend the Eggs Federal.
Kadbanu: Try the dates and eggs at this Iranian breakfast spot.
Patois: Chinese and Jamaican food that will knock your socks off. The service is always incredible and the cocktails are yummy.
The Goods: A takeaway joint with healthy, lighter fare for those in a hurry.
Rock Lobster: There have been numerous photos taken and articles written on their famous caesar. The lobster poutine is also excellent.

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Saving Grace

Eat/ (Parkdale)
Grand Electric: Tacos and bourbon on the cutest patio.
Electric Mud BBQ: Southern comfort food by the same folks as Grand Electric.
Miss Thing’s: Polynesian food and the best cocktails in town (Rum in a coconut, so you feel like you’re on holiday!)
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Sweets/
Nadège Patisserie: Macarons and Kusmi teas.
The Tempered Room: Incredible croissants and pastries
Kitten and the Bear: The most quaint café with artisan jam and homemade scones served with delicious Sloane Tea.

Coffee/
Capital Espresso: When in Parkdale, caffeinate here
Tucana Coffee: See my blog post on Tucana Coffee and owner, Tenille Clark.

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Drink/
Czehoski: An all-around good spot and their sign is awesome!
Cocktail Bar: They have a drink with a watermelon slice that I can’t stop thinking about.
Northern Belle: By the same people as Northwood, this place makes magical cocktails
The Beaconsfield: Good for groups
The Drake: Plenty of live music on offer
Bar Fancy: Look for the neon tiger
416 Snack Bar: The best bar snacks you’ll ever eat and a wonderful cocktail, beer, and wine list.

Shop/
Coal Miner’s Daughter:¬†Such a lovely shop with mostly Canadian-designed and made garments.
ZANE: An excellent assortment of accessories, both by Canadian and international designers. They’ve recently opened a Yorkville location as well.
Old Faithful Shop: Vancouver favourite, Old Faithful recently opened its doors to Torontonians
Aesop: This Australian skincare line has a massive global following, their flagship Toronto shop is stunning.
Easy Tiger Goods: Another local design-focused store, I’ve written about Easy Tiger before. They also have a coffee bar in the back (yay for multipurpose spaces!) and serve Philip Ice Pops in the summer.
Penny Arcade: Great vintage store where every piece is curated by the owner and restored to its original integrity.
Monkey’s Paw: A used bookstore with a vending machine that dispenses books!
Type Books: This is just the best place to spend an afternoon and has been written about in countless magazines. It’s located right across from Trinity Bellwoods Park, so grab a book and read in the park!
Soop Soop: Stocking all those hard-to-find magazines

Soop Soop
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Apolis bag from Old Faithful Shop

Shop/ (Parkdale)
North Standard Trading Post: For a taste of Canadiana, stop by and chat with the lovely couple who own and operate this shop.
Public Butter: Vintage shop worth checking out

Ossington:
See/
Lower Ossington Theatre: A fun spot to catch live theatre
The Garrison: Another great live music venue. We saw Christchurch’s own, Shapeshifter here last year.

Eat/
Boralia: I haven’t been here yet, but I’ve heard only good things
Mamakas Taverna: A light and bright restaurant serving yummy Greek food
Union: French fare in an intimate setting
Poutini’s: Skip Smoke’s Poutinerie and hit up Poutini’s after the bar.
La Cubana: I love the mint interior and design elements of this restaurant. Try one of the Cuban plates and a fresh mojito while you’re at it.

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Drink/
Reposado: If you like tequila, you’ll want to add this to your list of must-visit watering holes.
The Painted Lady: Everyone’s always dancing and smiling here, so many good vibes.
Dakota Tavern: Bluesgrass and country tunes in a chill setting. They also serve bluesgrass brunch.
Get Well:  Lots of arcade games and great beers on tap
Bellwoods Brewery:¬† You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment after gaining a spot on this covetable Ossington patio.

Sweets/
Bang Bang Ice Cream: Almost always¬†busy, but it’s worth waiting for.

Coffee/
Crafted: Yes
I Deal Coffee: Yes
Sam James Coffee Bar: Yes! Ossington is full of wonderful cafés. The owners are all lovely people.

Shop/
Victoire: Locally-made threads and the raddest employees!
Shop Lost and Found: See my blog post on this awesome menswear boutique.

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Stay/
The Gladstone: Each room has its own theme and has been designed by a local artist.
The Drake Hotel: Another design-focused hotel with excellent dining options.

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Roncesvalles and Bloor West:

See/
Revue Cinema: Catch an independent flick or art house film at this adorable cinema.
High Park: Cherry Blossom season is brief, but worth checking out if you’re here in late April/early May.
High Park Library: Housed in a beautiful old building, this a pleasant place to get lost in a book.

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Eat/ (Roncesvalles)
La Cubana: The original location has a patio and serves cuban brunch!
The Westerly: My friend Lisa had brunch here two weeks in a row because she loved it so much!
The Ace: One of my last meals in Toronto, and I was a big fan of the Dark and Stormy I had here.
Barque Smokehouse: Meat-heavy dishes like smoked duck on blueberry pancakes.

Eat/ (Bloordale/Bloor West)
Starving Artist: A variety of yummy breakfast options all served on waffles!
Brock Sandwich: Trust me on this one, the best sandwiches I’ve had in Toronto.
Hello Darling: Innovative vegetarian brunch options make this place a worthy destination
Wallace & Co.: An adorable¬†diner with one of the best burgers I’ve tasted in Toronto.

Drink/
Bar Neon: This place is undeniably cool.

Coffee/ (Roncesvalles)
Reunion Island Coffee Shop: This Oakville roaster set up shop on café-heavy, Roncy. With refreshing drinks like cold brew and tonic and a gorgeous interior, this place was an instant success.
Lit Espresso Bar: A nice place to work remotely and I’m a huge fan of their mint green coffee cups.
Extra Butter: The last time I was here they had these decadent breakfast tarts with either egg/bacon or egg/spinach. SO INCREDIBLE.

Coffee/ (Bloor West)
Propeller Coffee Co.: An airy, spacious café that caters to students and freelancers.
Wallace Espresso: An intimate café with strong coffee and good vibes
Grey Tiger: Café-cum-bar with an eye-catching mint exterior.

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Sweets/
Home Baking Co.: Carrot cake that even those who dislike carrot cake will enjoy. By the same people as Bakerbots and Bang Bang, they also have ice cream sandwiches, tea and coffee.
Through Being Cool Vegan: The best vegan donuts (you won’t even know!) in the city.

Shop/
Muttonhead: Canadian apparel company, all clothing is manufactured right in Toronto
Likely General: The best, most unique general store I’ve ever been to! This shop was curated with love.

Bloor/Yorkville:
Mink Mile, as its often referred to, is a popular shopping destination. If you’re wanting to give your credit card a workout, Yorkville is¬†the place to be.

See/
Royal Ontario Museum

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Eat/
Trattoria Nervosa: Try the mushroom pasta, you’ll die.
Kasa Moto: Japanese dishes on a fabulous patio with top-notch cocktails

Drink/
Hemingway’s: The best (and least pretentious) bar in Yorkville. Maybe I’m biased because its a New Zealand-owned bar and they always play the rugby.

Sweets/
MoRoCo Chocolat: Soft-serve and decadent macarons in a dazzling café
Summers: Delicious ice cream in the heart of Yorkville.

Coffee/
Sorry Coffee Co.: Located in Kit & Ace’s new flagship store, you won’t be sorry you stopped in. Sorry Coffee Co. is a copper/rose gold dream.

Shopping/
COS:¬†Recently opened in September, this Swedish brand is known for minimalism and beautiful textures. The interior is absolutely stunning, and you’ll probably¬†¬†want to take photos on the staircase.
Holt Renfrew: A Canadian jewel, this department store is reminiscent of the past.
Club Monaco Bloor Street: The most beautiful and iconic of all the Club Monaco locations, they even host an outdoor market in the summer/autumn months.

Stay/
Four Seasons
The Ivy at Verity: A small boutique hotel with only a handful of rooms

East End
Church-Wellesley Village:
Canada’s largest gay village is vibrant year-round, but really comes out to play during Pride.

Activities/
Pride Toronto: A ten-day festival celebrating the LGBTQ community both in Toronto and internationally, culminating with an exciting parade on the final Sunday. It’s always such a fun event¬†and makes me happy to live in such a diverse city.

Eat/
Smith: By far my favourite dining establishment in the Village, the brisket hash is out of this world. Oh, and order the doughnuts to share.
Guu Izakaya: Inventive dishes are abundant at this rowdy izakaya.

Drink/
Bar Volo:¬†Their website says it best, “rotating taps and snacks”.
Woody’s and Sailor:¬†Everyone is workin’ it at Woody’s and it lives up to its name as “Toronto’s Hottest Gay Bar”.
Fly 2.0: Fierce and fabulous, you’ll want to dance all night long at the second edition of everyone’s favourite nightclub.
Crews and Tangos: Another place to go if you want to leave your head and heart on the dance floor.

Corktown/Distillery District

See/
Allan Gardens Conservatory: A botanical gem in the heart of the city, Allan Gardens has a permanent collection of exotic plants and seasonal flower shows.
St. James Cathedral:¬†Striking Anglican cathedral that’s home to the oldest congregation in the city.
Berkeley Events: A gorgeous old church that has been converted into an event space.
Distillery District:¬†The restored historic Distillery District features North America’s best-preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture. It’s the perfect¬†backdrop for local restaurants, design stores, cafes and art galleries, and the annual Christmas market.
Arta Gallery:¬†Open since 2003, Arta¬†features the work of Canadian and international artists. It’s well worth a visit!

Eat/
Le Petit Déjeuner: All-day brunch, try the waffles!
Cocina Economica: You’ll feel like you’re in a small Mexican village at this new joint.
El Catrin:¬†Another Mexican restaurant with the largest patio I’ve ever seen and superb artwork.

Coffee/
NEO Coffee Bar: Japanese desserts and the best coffee in Toronto by award-winning barista, Bruce Ly.
Tandem Coffee: One of the best matcha latt√©s I’ve ever tried! They also have matcha floats! Oh, and the owners are the sweetest people you’ll ever meet!
ODIN: A beautiful¬†Norwegian caf√© and bar that’s blowing up on Instagram.
Rooster Coffee: Not as iconic as their Broadview location, this spot is still a gem!
Balzac’s:¬†Either my taste buds have changed, or Balzac’s coffee has become less bitter.¬†Anyway,¬†even before I liked Balzac’s coffee, I loved their coffee shop in the Distillery District.

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Sweets/
Roselle’s: Earl Grey soft-serve in the summer, decadent, beautiful treats year-round!

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Shop/
Hoi Bo: Toronto-made garments that are made to last in an aesthetically-pleasing shop.
John Fluevog: Made in Vancouver, John Fluevog shoes are anything but boring.
Heel Boy: Another of my favourite local shoe stores.

Leslieville:
This is certainly one of my most-visited neighbourhoods in Toronto. More mature and less rowdy than the West End, a trip to Toronto isn’t complete without an afternoon in Leslieville.

See/
The Opera House:¬†Opened since 1909, The Opera House is one of Toronto’s oldest music venues. I saw Flume perform here for $13! What a bargain!

Eat/

Lady Marmalade: Vegetarian-friendly brunch options
Bonjour Brioche: French bakery and delicious breakfast spot. I love their croque madame.
Maha’s: You’ll want to return again and again for this Egyptian brunch.
The County General: Their Riverside location is so cozy and welcoming.

Sweets/
Desmond & Beatrice: The best cookies and cupcakes I’ve ever eaten.
Bobbette & Belle: A store so beautiful you’ll want to spend an entire afternoon reading or writing while sampling macarons and tea.
Ed’s Real Scoop:¬†So many flavours, so little time!

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Coffee/
Te Aro: The perfect space to enjoy a flat white.
Pilot Roasters: Try a coffee flight in this industrial warehouse that supplies many local cafés.
Boxcar Social: Boxcar’s second location is even prettier than you’d imagine. They serve treats from local favourite, Bake Shoppe.

Beauty/
Fuss Hair Studio: I’ve tried SEVERAL salons in Toronto, and Fuss is by far my favourite!

Shop/
Good Neighbour: The East End’s version of The Drake General Store. It’s an excellent place to find gifts and unconventional Toronto souvenirs.
Tiny Record Shop: Located inside TOKEN, this place has an extensive collection of records.

The Danforth/Broadview:
See/
Danforth Music Hall: Hands down, the best live music venue in the city. I’ve seen Bombay Bicycle Club, Lorde, Brooke Fraser, and a handful of other wonderful artists here.
Evergreen Brickworks:¬† A community environmental centre that inspires visitors to live, work, and play more sustainbly. They even have a shuttle from Broadview station, so you don’t have to drive. Cycling is also encouraged. The farmers market is one of the biggest in Toronto and they often host food and cultural events. I was here a few days ago for their final summer’s night event that offered free food and entertainment.

Eat/
The Danforth has some of the best Greek food you’ll¬†ever eat. It’s also host to¬†a festival called Taste of the Danforth, which is really popular every year.

Sweets/
Von Doughnuts: The freshest doughnuts I’ve tried in Toronto (and I’ve tried too many!)

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Coffee/
Rooster Coffee House: Overlooking Riverdale Park with the perfect view of Toronto’s skyline, this coffee shop is a must-visit.

Rosedale:
Full disclosure: I’ve spent very little time in Rosedale, but here are a few suggestions for places to visit!

Eat/
Terroni: Authentic Italian cuisine, you can’t go wrong! I believe this was their first location.

Coffee/
Boxcar Social: Superb cortados, friendly baristas, a stunning space to write, read or catch up with friends.

Shop/
Want Apothecary: Hard to find brands that I wish I could afford.

Yonge & Eglinton:
Regrettably, I haven’t spent too much time on Yonge & Eglinton. However, these are a few places I’ve been and would recommend you visit, should you venture north of Bloor.

Eat/
Little Sister: Where else can you get Indonesian food in Toronto?
La Vecchia: Set foot in old world Italy at this delicious restaurant
Lil’ Baci: I haven’t been to this location, but I’m told its even better than their Leslieville spot.

Coffee/
De Mello Palheta Coffee Roasters: Great coffee with the best takeaway cups and great lunch options.
Crosstown Coffee Bar: This place JUST opened as I was leaving Toronto, so unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to visit. My friends (aka BlogTO) have raved about it.

Drink/
The Rebel House: I had lunch and my leaving drinks with my colleagues here, and we had such a great time.

Escapes/
The Beaches: one of my favourite neighbourhoods, I like coming here to run or relax with a coffee.
Niagara Falls: It’s a must-visit for anyone who is coming to Toronto for the first time.
Niagara-on-the-Lake: Have lunch at the oldest pub in Canada and visit the myriad of wineries scattered along Niagara.
Prince Edward County: Time Magazine rated it one of the best places to visit in 2015. Go see for yourself.
Tobermory: The perfect escape from the concrete jungle that is Toronto; a small community at the Northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula.

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The Beaches

Must-Visit Miscellaneous/
Canadian National Exhibition
Nuit Blanche
Toronto Flower Market
Aga Khan Museum

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Transportation/Getting Around/
Toronto Transit Commission: The quickest, most convenient way to get around Toronto. The subway system is linked with buses and streetcars.
GO Transit:¬†Ontario’s inter-regional transit¬†system, which links¬†Toronto to the greater Toronto area and beyond.
Bike Share Toronto: A great way to get around the downtown core.
Uber: Uber’s received a lot of backlash in Toronto, but most Torontonians want it regulated. It’s safer and more reliable than taking a taxi, and you can order it directly from your phone.
UP Express: The most enjoyable way of getting to Pearson International Airport.

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Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “ Toronto City Guide ”

  1. Umm….WOW. I’m completely floored by this post and how thorough it is (not that I expected any less).

    I’m happy to say that I’ve been to a number of these places, but really, really need to explore downtown a LOT more. I will definitely reference this post when I’m trying to come up with a good idea for dinner or brunch.

    Jackie
    Something About That

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, Jackie! I’m glad you enjoyed reading the Toronto guide, and I hope it comes in handy. I’ve been following your blog posts over the past few weeks, and I’m so impressed with the quality and consistency of your writing and photography! Keep it up, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on the horizon for you!

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  2. This is truly a wonderful guide. Although we never really got to hang out, I totally relied on your Instagram when searching for places to eat, you totally inspired me to venture to the Ossington and College areas! I’m sure you’ll light up New Zealand with your bright and positive posts. Toronto misses you!
    xo
    Siffat
    icingandglitter.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Siffat! It makes my day to know that the guide will be useful! I regret that we never got to go for that cup of coffee, but it was lovely bumping into you on my last day in Toronto. Again, congratulations on your new job at ELLE – I can’t imagine anyone more perfect for the role! xoxo

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