Toronto has come into its own as a world-class town, and at no time is it more alive than during TIFF. Here’s where to eat, drink, and indulge in the city.

By Chris Metler & Coleman Molnar

Creative Space

Jeff Stober’s The Drake Hotel remains one of the city’s coolest quarters, but it’s the new Drake Commissary in the Junction Triangle that has the hipsters pedalling west. It’s been branded an eat-in restaurant, a bar, a culinary hub, a bakery, and “8,000 square feet of innovation and experimentation.”

A Little Cali in Little Italy

The creative duo of Craig Harding and Alexandra Hutchison delivers another shot in the arm to Toronto’s culinary scene with La Palma, an Italian eatery with a breezy, laid-back vibe and take-out friendly menu that feels more LA than Naples.

New Home for Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has landed on Sterling Avenue bringing another dose of culture to the Junction Triangle. Doors are set to open Spring 2018…fingers crossed.

Elite Eats

Robert De Niro, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and Hollywood producer Meir Teper are bringing their luxury brand to Canada. Nobu Toronto will house a hotel, residences, and a 15,000-square-foot, two-level restaurant with a bar lounge, outdoor seating, and private dining rooms.

Dinner & a Gallery

Canadian curator Emily Harding has marked the return to her hometown with a new eponymous gallery featuring contemporary art from Canada, the US, and Europe, as well as a private events space and supper club, Palette, directed by renowned restaurateur Jeff Dinan.

Dalí Style

From September 7–30, Yorkville Village will house an art and fashion exhibition featuring works from Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and the fashion designers he influenced. Dalí x Yorkville Village offers the public an opportunity to experience some of Dalí’s fashion-focused sculptures, lithographs, and paintings.

Spot a Celeb

Head to the Shangri-La’s Lobby Lounge for a taste of the Flying Monkey B-Wall Honey Lager, brewed with honey from the hotel’s on-site apiary, and a chance to rub shoulders with some Hollywood elite. Or grab a bite at STK in Yorkville, home to many star-studded dinner parties and the location of Nordstrom Supper Suite dinners for films and their stars during TIFF.

The Art of the Outsider

Known for highlighting emerging and mid-career artists who push the boundaries, Angell Gallery is one of the best locations in the country to spot the next greats. On display this fall: works from post-contemporary American artist Greg Haberny and local visual artist Ellen Bleiwas.

Catch a Buzz

Arvo is one of the only joints in the historic Distillery District where you can get your caffeine fix. Come for the espresso, stay for their integrated flower shop. Venturing further west? The Junction’s new Pacific Park Social brews lattes with Hale beans, while rustic salvage items amplify the ambience. Meanwhile in midtown, Nespresso Café remains the place for chic meetings, with Jacked Up Coffee’s vintage Citroën van, often parked at Yorkville Village, being the spot for a quick shot.


Terroni’s Sud Forno has opened a second location on Temperance Street in a heritage building within the Financial District, dishing out decadent Italian desserts like custard tarts and bomboloni, worthy of the approval of even the most discerning of Nonnas.

The Laneway Less Travelled

Discover Toronto’s secret architectural gems like U of T’s private Elmsley Place and the row-house-lined Glasgow Street in Chinatown. Or walk through Kensington Market and down Fitzroy Terrace, the site of the oldest residence in the funky neighbourhood. Also of note here: the annual Kensington Jazz Festival (September 15 to 17), featuring local performer Molly Johnson, Laila Biali (pictured here), and many others.

Something Is Happening in Yorkville

Of course, Bloor Street’s Mink Mile anchors the country’s flagship retailers—Louis Vuitton and the the three H’s: Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew, and Hermès, with the new Chanel Maison just a five-minute walk away—as well as fan favourites like Coach, Cartier, and Michael Kors. But the luxury shopping mecca has simultaneously blossomed into a cultural hotspot with events like the TD Jazz Festival and the reimagined Toronto Fashion Week breathing new life into the neighbourhood.

A #1 Spot Expands

Tucked above Spadina Avenue at Queen Street is Chef Patrick Kriss’ haunt, Alo, voted the number one restaurant on Canada’s 100 Best list. This might explain why there’s so much buzz around its new sister location, Aloette, which will take over the ground-floor space.

Reflect at the AGO

The Art Gallery of Ontario will transform into a hall of mirrors in Spring 2018 with the arrival of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s first North American tour in 20 years. Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors features a collection of the 88-year-old artist’s work, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and six of her famed kaleidoscopic environments.

Luxury Comes to the Waterfront

The new feather in the cap that is Toronto’s ever-improving waterfront is Hotel X, the luxury property slated to open at Exhibition Place this fall. From the Library Hotel Collection that includes unique NYC boutique stays like the Library Hotel and Hotel Giraffe, Hotel X boasts 406 rooms, multiple restaurants, a courtyard beer garden, a three-storey rooftop SkyBar with a pool, an art gallery, a cinema, four indoor tennis courts, a full-service spa, and a 90,000-square-foot athletic centre with its own children’s area. Also not to miss: the epic panoramic views of the sprawling city. We shot our fashion story on location at Hotel X, check it out here.