Where to shop, eat and get cultured in Toronto’s Uptown neighbourhood
Editor’s note: This feature story was published in summer 2015. For up-to-date info about Uptown, refer to our 2016 neighbourhood guide.
WHERE TO SHOP:
This neighbourhood’s 53 design boutiques are bliss for the DIYer. And this northern stockpile of showrooms keeps on growing. One recent opening: GE Monogram’s Design Centre and Cooking Studio. The upscale appliance showroom was designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, who were inspired by a love of cooking.
The products in the collage at the top of this post provide more ideas of what can be found in this ‘nabe, including (clockwise from top) Tulip tub by Wetstyle, at Tiles Plus; Vuelo faucet by Brizo, at Tubs; Blooming post lamp, at AM Studio; bed by Bonaldo, at Palazzetti; Starck toilet by Duravit, at Roman Bath Centre; Chester sofa by Ralph Lauren Home, at Elte.
WORD OF MOUTH:
We reached out to Uptown design shop owners to find out their favourite places to eat in this particular part of town – because who would know better? Below: seven recommendations that will point you to the best looking spots and greatest tasting menu items in the area.
“It’s rare to find a restaurant in a retail environment, but we’re fortunate enough to have one inside Elte (80 Ronald Ave), designed by Burdifilek. It’s where I get my morning coffee most days.” – Andrew Metrick, buyer and general manager, Elte and Elte Market
MORE MORNING JOE: “Venarello’s Pasticceria & Café. No line ups, friendly smiles and great, down-to-earth Italian coffee.” – Jill Kantelberg, owner, Kantelberg & Co.
“W Burger Bar (682 Caledonia Rd). Get the breakfast burger at lunch. It features peameal bacon and chipotle mayo. If that’s not enough, add the panko-crusted onion rings. I didn’t know onions came that large!” – Jill Kantelberg, owner, Kantelberg & Co.
MORE MIDDAY OPTIONS: “Ace Bakery is our go-to for something fresh. The atmosphere is relaxed cafe style with communal tables. I get the crushed avocado open face toasted sandwich with sprouts and pumpkin seeds.” – Fedra Day, owner, Palazzetti
“Yuki (3259A Dufferin St) has truly incredible sashimi platters. The relaxing, individual rooms make you feel like you’re not in North York anymore.” – Fedra Day, owner, Palazzetti
MORE GREAT MEALS: “Little Sister is one of my favourites, serving Indonesian-Dutch cuisine. There’s an urban-grunge feeling, with distressed walls and a kitchen completely encased in glass. The semur java is a must-try.” – Andrew Metrick, buyer and general manager, Elte and Elte Market
“Take out pasta from Bologna Pastificio.” – Jill Kantelberg, owner, Kantelberg & Co.
Skip the movie theatre at Yorkdale. Just a short drive away, two Pan Am/Parapan American Games venues will have you really on the edge of your seat. At York University, the CIBC Athletics Stadium (located at the corner of Ian MacDonald Blvd and Ottawa Rd) will host some of the world’s top athletes for track and field events like shot put and the 100-metre dash, while some of the best deep drives in the game will be on display at the nearby Canadian Tennis Centre (1 Shoreham Dr).
One of the biggest infrastructure projects underway in the city, the Eglinton Crosstown light rail line will include 10-kilometres of underground track. Follow the progress of the two eastbound tunnel-boring machines, Dennis and Lea (named after Mount Dennis and Leaside), as they dig towards Eglinton Station. At press time, they had just passed Allen Road. Also in the works for this nabe: a mid-rise condo on Yonge, south of Lawrence, designed by Will Alsop, the acclaimed architect behind OCAD U’s Sharp Centre for Design. The latest proposal shows a sloped facade with slatted windows and multicoloured balcony railings.