Toronto’s Best Neighbourhoods, Deconstructed


Yorkville Village

‘Til You Drop

The newly rebranded Yorkville Village (formally Hazelton Lanes) has undergone a multi-million-dollar facelift, with a fresh food court, and new shops like Judith & Charles, Masca, Sarah Pacini, Ofélia, and Equinox fitness centre. Up the road, Rosedale favourite 6 By Gee Beauty, which started as a travel boutique, has evolved into a carefully curated, one-stop shop for chic accessories, perfume, and ready-to-wear. And you can always walk, browse, spend, and repeat on Bloor Street. Though, if you need some professional help, Holt Renfrew’s complimentary personal shoppers are experts in luxury style. – CM

Buca Yorkville

À la Carte

Buca Yorkville is the hottest seat in this section of the city, for celebs and locals alike. The uptown cousin of chef Rob Gentile’s Buca on King West turned the Italian enterprise into an empire. A-listers also frequent Café Boulud, which reopened last TIFF with a solid French menu. If you crave Parisian charm amplified by big flavours and flowing Burgundy, try Chabrol. Of course, Trattoria Nervosa and La Société remain Yorkville staples for their consistency, and with a recommended dress code (hint: upscale), steakhouse STK is readying its first Canadian foray in style at the new 155 Yorkville complex.
– CM

Caffeine Fix

When the black-tie-wearing baristas refuse to give you a cup to go, you know the coffee’s got to be good. Superior brew is the trademark at Nespresso Boutique Bar. The 14,000-square-foot contemporary café sits inside the former Cumberland Theatre (one of TIFF’s original cinemas), and now, instead of movie screens, 21 different coloured espresso capsules of varying intensities line the walls. For something more quaint and authentic, Zaza brings la cultura del caffe to Yorkville thanks to its cappuccinos and espressos made with beans imported from Italy. – CM


Hair Game Strong

This part of town’s go-to for cut and colour? None other than LAC + CO., where owner Tony Pham has styled a slew of socialites and celebs, including Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell. The salon also serves as a boutique, with a curated collection of goods from Dior, Céline, and Stella McCartney. – Jen Kirsch

Happy Hour

Nowhere captures the glamour and sophistication of Yorkville quite like the lively street-level lounge dbar. But if you want to be tucked above the concrete, try Kasa Moto’s rooftop patio and sample the yuzu, shiso, or sansho salt-infused Japanese cocktails. Newly opened (on the edge of Rosedale) is Clocktower Bar, the posh neighbourhood’s latest and most expertly crafted cocktail haunt. Yes, you deserved this one, Rosedale. – CM

Gallery Hop

Tucked away on Spadina Road, Lonsdale Gallery hosts an impressive collection of both local and international artists like Liz Pead and Patrice Charbonneau, whose works are on display this fall in an exhibition titled (un)Defined Spaces. And if you wander south a few blocks, you’ll find the Mira Godard Gallery, a mainstay of the Yorkville art scene, which showcases modern and contemporary artists from around the globe.
– William Huffman

Sandra Ainsley Gallery

Worth the Drive

There’s never been more Chihuly in Toronto. The Sandra Ainsley Gallery is the longest-standing dealer of American glass artist Dale Chihuly’s work in the world. The private show, which takes place at the warehouse gallery space in North York, is curated by Chihuly himself. A mix of never before seen works specially created for this exhibit will be on display and available for purchase, along with other classic pieces. The exhibition runs until November 12.

We Can’t Wait

Hermès is set to move its Canadian flagship a few doors down to the 10,000-square-foot, two-storey space that Williams-Sonoma called home for years, while the word on Mink Mile is that a beloved brand with a cat-loving creative director will decamp its Bloor Street shop entirely to re-open in Teatro Verde’s former stomping grounds. Across the street at 99 Yorkville Avenue is Christian Louboutin’s new two-storey boutique with beautifully dressed windows. And Planta—an eatery that caters exclusively to vegetarians and vegans—will be open in time for TIFF, as will Pantry, a new eatery by the Food Dudes, which takes over Rosedale’s departed (and beloved) Caffe Doria. – CM

The Windsor Arms Hotel plays host to one of the grand rites of the film fest—the annual InStyle/Hollywood Foreign Press party. It’s also a magnet for less-Tweetable gatherings. Quintessentially old-school. Discreetly fancy-pants.”

Shinan Govani, society writer
Shinan Govani