Where to shop, eat and get cultured in Toronto’s Midtown neighbourhood
Editor’s note: This feature story was published in summer 2015. For up-to-date info about Midtown, refer to our 2016 neighbourhood guide.
WHERE TO SHOP:
Midtown’s 48 design showrooms and boutiques stock posh, practical and even experimental goods. One notable stop: Moncer. The raw windows, exposed beams and original wooden ceiling of the specialty flooring showroom – originally a ’30s flour mill – are perfectly complemented by the boutique’s sustainably harvested flooring options.
The products in the collage above provide more ideas of what can be found in this ‘nabe, including (clockwise from top): Helena teapot by Georg Jensen, at Torp Inc.; Orson desk by De la Espada, at Hollace Cluny; Doll by Lucky Boy Sunday, at Advice from a Caterpillar; Momentum headphones by Sennheiser, at Bay Bloor Radio; Le Parc, by Minotti.
WORD OF MOUTH:
We reached out to Midtown design shop owners to find out their favourite places to eat in this particular part of town – because who would know better? Below: two recommendations that will point you to the best-looking spots and greatest-tasting menu items in the area.
“There’s no better way to spend an early afternoon than at Café Boulud (60 Yorkville Ave; shown above). The space is peaceful and beautiful, with excellent art on the walls, and the food is delicious.” – Arne Nordtorp, owner, Torp Inc.
Dance to the latest jams next to prehistoric T. Rex skeletons during Friday Night Live at the ROM (100 Queen’s Pk). The 101-year-old institution is known as much for Daniel Libeskind’s brash mix of old and new architecture as it is for its acclaimed collection of artifacts.
Next door, KPMB’s Telus Centre for Performance and Learning (273 Bloor St W) offers a more harmonious take on merging historic buildings and modern pavilions. Inside, elegant wooden waves define Koerner Concert Hall’s roof and leave listeners speechless. Filled with centuries-old pottery, the Gardiner Museum (111 Queen’s Pk; shown above) also keeps with the times by hosting installations by contemporary ceramics artists like Clare Twomey.
Tucked beside the ROM, U of T’s lush Philosopher’s Walk pedestrian path to Hoskin Avenue offers a view of construction progress on the school’s new Jackman Law Building. Designed by Hariri Pontarini (with B+H Architects), the future campus landmark includes a crescent-shaped wing that matches the curve of Queen’s Park. The busy local firm has another buzzed-about project under construction close by: One Bloor. As the 257-metre-tall tower nears completion, its signature rippling curves are making the condo a serious neighbourhood standout.