What a time to be in Toronto. ‘Scuse the Drake reference, but honestly – there’s never been a greater time to be in the 6! I grew up 20 minutes away from the downtown core of the city, which always felt like a thousand worlds away to me. I finally “moved” here two years ago on a two-month sublet, and within a couple days I knew there was no going back home. There’s always so much going on in the city…whether it’s Pride Week, Caribana, TIFF, or just a random Thursday – there’s literally always something to do! Some people like to refer to Toronto a mini New York, but I tend to disagree. There’s no place in the world remotely like it. Toronto has it all: big-ticket events, incredible cuisine choices (ever had Jamaican-Chinese fusion?), amazing shopping, and a heartbeat and vibe unlike any other place I have known. It’s the most multicultural city in the world, and I feel grateful to live in a place so diverse, modern, innovative and progressive. Toronto is a great place for anybody to come, feel welcome and have a great time – whether it’s a family getaway or a ladies jaunt full of nights out, dining and shopping (but I mean, if you’re American you’ll feel less of that guilt with the exchange!). I’m so excited to have partnered with Tourism Toronto on a 2-part series showcasing two of my favourite areas in the city – and my favourite spots within them. First up (voted coolest neighbourhood in the world by Vogue – and, coincidentally, also where I live) – Queen West! This is Toronto’s art + design district – full of art galleries and amazing, one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.
Union – A Canadian-French bistro using local ingredients (with the most adorable tree-covered back patio).
Jonathan + Olivia – A must-stop during a shopping day. I’m always enchanted by the curation of this store – more specifically, their selection of minimal yet bold garments by hard-to-find brands.
Bang Bang Ice Cream – An offshoot of the notoriously delicious Bakerbots bakery has a wall which lets you see all the incredible ice cream flavour(s) (anything from London fog to cinnamon toast- to Fruit Loops) to be potentially wedged between your choice of a freshly made Japanese-style waffle, macaron, puff, or cookie. The lineup is always worth it.
The Drake Sky Yard – Whether you’re enjoying late dinner on a breezy summer night or sipping a cozy Rum Diary in the middle of winter, this ever-changing, all-season space (complete with its own satellite cocktail bar!) is hands-down one of the best rooftop patios in the city. Stargaze as you enjoy a meal with friends and make sure you try the lobster nachos!
The Gladstone – Every year, the Gladstone partners with community organizations and arts curators to produce a long list of exhibitions and programs relevant to communities across the city, including That’s So Gay and Fly By Night (which coincides with Nuit Blanche). A great spot to check out exhibits anytime, as they provide access to locally-made artworks 365 days a year!
Canada’s largest city and most-visited destination, Toronto is Canada’s downtown. Toronto blends the best of modern Canadian diversity and inclusiveness with big-ticket events, top attractions, restaurants, music, architecture, culture and festivals in one of the world’s most unique and exciting cities.