Toronto’s Best Neighbourhoods, Deconstructed

QUEEN WEST

Shinola

‘Til You Drop

Detroit-based Shinola—known for its sleek timepieces and stylish bikes—opened its first brick-and-mortar shop on Canadian soil earlier this year. Standing on the corner of Queen and Ossington, the 1800-square-foot retail space is as attractive looking as its whips. – JK

misfit

Feel the Burn

Wearing ripped tights, and always with a sly smile on her face, Amber Joliat has made Misfit Studio one of the city’s top movement centres. She leads her classes through a musical medley that melds rock with majestic tunes, encouraging participants to dive deeper into their being. Be sure to check out the Fusion class, a mix of dance, yoga, and Pilates. Spotted in class: Josh Duhamel, Sarah Gadon, and plenty of local media personalities, socialites, and actors. – JK


À la Carte

With so much Italian on the menu in Toronto, it’s easy to forget that the city is also home to incredible Greek fare. At Mamakas, the kitchen prides itself on using only the highest quality ingredients, many imported from Greece. This spot is always buzzing with the who’s who of The Six. Also gaining attention from the city’s tastemakers is Alo, a fine dining experience tucked discreetly above Spadina Avenue. On the heels of Lamesa, the new Platito and Tito Ron’s are the latest in a wave of progressive Filipino joints slinging Pinoy soul food which aims to reimagine the often-misunderstood cultural cuisine of the Philippines. – CM

early bird

Caffeine Fix

East meets west at Constantinople Bakery and Coffee, the Turkish café and bakery. It goes without saying that you should order their stone-ground Turkish brew, which is boiled in a traditional copper coffee pot (a cezve), then served in authentic ceramics. It’s sit-in only, with the free wifi, seemingly unlimited power outlets, and impressive travel library making you happy to stay. Industrial bulbs and exposed brick at Early Bird Espresso & Brew Bar nail the distinct Queen West vibe. Using a brand of espresso machine handmade in Florence since 1927, every bean that runs through it comes out tasting like perfection. – CM


Sleep like a Baby

Before Drake the rapper, there was The Drake Hotel. Located in the city’s trendiest area, each room boasts its own unique décor scheme. If available, book the Salon Room. The bold pop art in this particular space is dreamy, as is the metallic brocade wallpaper—the ideal home away from home. – JK

stephen bulger

Gallery Hop

Home to some of the city’s most important artist-run galleries, 401 Richmond is a cultural hub that is often overlooked, despite being located inside a massive, turn-of-the-century factory building at Richmond and Spadina. Further west is the Stephen Bulger Gallery, a premier photography exhibition space, which is dedicated to displaying historical and contemporary artists. Currently in the spotlight is award-winning, mixed-media artists Clove Holden’s exhibition, Internet Mountains, which runs until October 15. – WH


Happy Hour

Apt. 200 is the latest instalment of residence-inspired lounges. It also happens to be the premier one. Even on Mondays, this locale is packed—sometimes with A-list stars like The Weeknd, the Toronto Raptors, or Selena Gomez taking up guest list spots. Modeled after an upscale house party, the bar mixes some of the best drinks in town using unique ingredients like lavender bitters and hibiscus vodka. Our signature move? Trying our luck with one of the ’90s arcade games, a pint of Ace Hill in hand. – CM

Cumbrae’s is one of my favourite retail food shops in the city. It goes without saying, but their dry-aged beef is in a class of its own. The meat has a flavoUr and smell so uniquely Cumbrae’s. Aside from the beef, it’s the perfect grab-and-go lunch joint. Try the rotisserie pork sandwich and endive citrus salad.”

– Cory Vitiello, chef
Cory Vitiello