Parks: High Park & Trinity Bellwooods
High park is a bit further out of the downtown, but much larger and more beautiful than Trinity. Trinity is more of a downtown spot, where you’ll find groups of friends camping out on summer days. Both are home to the cherry blossom tree’s, where people will flock to in later April & early May, for the perfect spring time Insta.
A beautiful green house, with stunning glass architecture from the outside and gorgeous blossoms on the inside. A great spot to spend a weekend, especially during those cold Toronto months, where we lack the ability to stroll outside and we’re all in need of some fresh air, Allan Gardens can breathe some life into the city, when it feels like we’re living in black and white. My favourite is the cacti room and of course the hydrangea haven, with all the beautiful colours, my all-time favourite bloom!
Sugar Beach is an adorable little man-made beach, full of permanent pastel-pink umbrella’s. A great spot for pictures in the city.
In-Studio at The Walter Carson Centre
My dance studio. The Walter Carson Centre is actually where the company dancers of the National Ballet of Canada train and rehearse. Because of this, you will sometimes have the pleasure of dancing next to the set and several company dancers actually teach the classes! The studios are beautiful and expansive for across the floor combinations and baby grand pianos sit in the corner of each one allowing for live-musicians! The Walter Carson is located on Queens Quay, right next to the water front. I love having a stroll along the water, sipping my morning coffee and admiring the docked ships following a Saturday morning class.
My ideal night out involves a performance from The National Ballet of Canada, or the Canadian Opera Company at Toronto’s Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts. Our ballet company is fantastic and Toronto is incredibly blessed to have Karen Kain as the creative director. My boyfriend and I recently attended my favourite opera, Mozart’s The Magic Flute. As well, the DanceBreak and Opera Under 30 initiatives allow those between the ages of 18-29 to enjoy performances at reduced cost. I describe in detail this opportunity in my post Down the Rabbit Hole.
Toronto’s answer to Fifth Avenue. Yorkville is a small neighbourhood above Bloor Street, housing Toronto’s high-end boutiques, designer clothes and fine dining. The small cobbled streets give the area a European flair, personally I wish they would turn the district into a pedestrian square. I love spending a weekend day in Yorkville, wandering in and out of shops, including Canada’s high-end department store Holt Renfrew. Surrounding Yorkville is some of Toronto’s best real-estate, including old family homes. A bit of a dreamer, one of my favourite pass-times is enjoying beautiful neighbourhoods and architecture. Though you wouldn’t know it to see it today, in the sixties Yorkville was Toronto’s bohemian neighbourhood, drawing comparisons to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. It’s no wonder I feel at home here!
A little shop housing beautiful glass terrariums, cacti and succulents. There is a small one on Queen West near Trinity Bellwoods and a second (pink!) location on Queen West near the Drake. I have some beautiful pink ceramic pots, which I’ll be bringing in to have some new cacti planted…I managed to kill the majority of my cacti babies from last year. The arrangements make for wonderful gifts. I got my mother-in-law one of their cacti gardens for her salon and my boyfriend got my mom a terrarium for Christmas!
I make no secret of my love of French confections. Nadège is an adorable patisserie, filled with pastel coloured macarons and raspberry tarts and possibly the worlds prettiest cake: The Marie Antoinette, covered in miniature macarons. Every time I walk by I have to pick up a tart of the same namesake.
One of the most unique spots in the entire city! A tiny little macaron shop, housed inside of a shipping container! I found this place on Instagram and actually walked by it my first time there. I adore the beautiful boxes and the macarons are amazing. I would say they are comparable to those at Ladurée and I am a huge Ladurée fan. Not only are they soft (so many places can’t attain the chewy macaron), but the flavours are unique and incredible…I like the HK Milk Tea (tastes exactly how it sounds!), Royal Pistachio (a classic), the Lemon Lavender (how ethereal!), the Vanilla Rose and the Peach Blossom.
Favourite Brunch Spots
My absolute favourite pastime on Sunday is brunch. Hot coffee, fizzy mimosas and hollandaise, spent with good company. Be it a summer day on a patio, or a cold winter morning in Toronto, there’s nowhere I’d rather be at 11am on a Sunday than one of my top brunch spots, huddled in the corner with my boyfriend, or catching up with friends. As such, I’ve decided I would conclude the post of my favourite Toronto spots with my top brunch spots!
I have always adored the story of Peter Pan and the interior decor is really cute, with 3D paisley tapestries of faux taxidermy. The food is all prepared in house, including the ketchup, which is actually more of a tomato purée than the sweet condiment we’re accustomed to. I typically go for my go-to eggs benedict with lox and I like to start with their scones with homemade jam for the table. I also love Peter Pan for dinner, you must have the madeleines with lemon lavender cream for desert!
This is my and my boyfriend’s favourite pick for Sunday brunch. Once a bit of a dive bar it ahas recently been renovated and has taken on a classier, more minimalistic aesthetic. We always go for the same item: eggs (I like mine poached), toasted rye, tater tots, arugula salad and they always substitute avocado in place of sausage, or bacon for us.
One of my favourite patios in the city, a great place to keep the mimosas coming on a beautiful Sunday in the city.
To be fair I love Calii Love for both brunch and lunch/dinner. Calii Love is a Hawaiian restaurant serving acai Bowls for brunch and pokée for lunch/dinner. In the past year I discovered both of these bowls and I am in love. I enjoy making my own poké bowl.
What are your favourite spots in Toronto? Share below! If you’re not from Toronto, perhaps this will inspire you to go out and experience your own city!