Author Topic: Hey TORONTO!  (Read 3835 times)

A.M. Thomas

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« on: June 14, 2009, 05:35:57 PM »
So I'm currently living/working on an organic farm in upstate New York.  I'm relatively close to Toronto and was thinking of making the trip and staying a few nights.

What should I see?

Where should I go?

The only must on my list is Kensington Market.

I also need a cheap hostel or hotel to stay and park my car.

SUGGESTIONS WILL BE HELPFUL AND APPRECIATED.  I know at least one of you lives there (hi emma).

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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 08:10:24 PM »
i've never been to Toronto, but go to the  horseshoe and stalk andre ethier for me.


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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2009, 09:01:36 PM »
Hi there.
I would stay at the Gladstone Hotel.  All of the rooms were decorated by different artists and its in a great location.  My out of town friends usually stay there.

The Gladstone is on Queen street west which has a bunch of great bars and restaurants.
There is good nightlife around there as well as record stores and vintage shops.

I like the Cadillac Lounge, it has a really big patio that is fun to hang out on, that or the Rhino accross the street are where I go out for a drink most of the time.

Check out to see listings for rock shows and events. 

I would definitely check out Kensington, Queen West, Little Italy and Parkdale if you are in Toronto.

If you let me know what kind of things you are into, I can give you more specific ideas.


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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2009, 09:05:54 PM »
I was there last October. It's a great city. To echo one of Jeremy's suggestions, I would definitely go to Queen Street West. There are a ton of good record shops and restaurants there.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 09:08:12 PM by TRG »
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2009, 10:06:10 PM »
SUGGESTIONS WILL BE HELPFUL AND APPRECIATED.  I know at least one of you lives there (hi emma).


Okay so what kinds of things are you looking to do? Queen West is great, but even that has very different sections - the Gladstoney end (Roncesvalles - Ossington) is super hipsterish - lots of nice bars and galleries and food places and vintage clothes and art supply stores and etc (like Jeremy, I can give you more specific recommendations if you know what you're looking for). From Ossington on over to like University things get more and more mall-looking until you can't tell the difference between the Eaton Centre and the street. If you're looking for an Urban Outfitters, that is the place for you.

The Gladstone is lovely to stay in, but if it's too pricey for you I'd still recommend checking it out some evening. There used to be a big Gladstone vs. Drake Hotel debate (the Drake is a couple blocks East up queen) re: relative coolness, and I'd say the Drake is better for music, the Gladstone is better for readings and theatre type things or if you just want to go for a drink. Drake has the Sky Yard too, which is a great second-floor patio.

The new AGO is ridiculously beautiful, and I don't even like Frank Gehry. Plus it's free on Wednesdays from 6-8:30. If you're coming soon (i.e. while the weather is nice) I would recommend a day that starts on Queen st. with some friends, stops for a tetra pack of awful $10 Niagara wine at the Wine Rack near Bathurst, drinks same in the Grange park while people-watching and then stumbles around the AGO being amazed by the giant wall of Marcel Dzamas they have in the upstairs. But that's just one option.

Generally speaking:

-My favourite bookstore is Type on Queen:
-Rotate This is a big deal: though I like Criminal Records a lot too.
-The best brunch is at Aunties and Uncles on College if you don't mind waiting up to an hour in line on weekends:
-TINARS is fun, and you get to support Local People Doin' Their Thing:
-NXNE is coming up:
-Or you can just check out Now for that week:

Let me know/message me if you want more specific things!
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 10:19:54 PM by emma »

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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 12:20:53 AM »
take lots of pictures mate


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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 12:40:10 AM »
Jeremy and Emma's suggestions are all great; I'll just add that on the east side of town you can find a few cool things as well (though from what I can tell most self-respecting west-siders never set foot there). There's the Distillery, a small district of restored 19th century industrial buildings now housing a lot of nice restaurants, galleries and design-oriented shops. If you are staying somewhere in the Queen West area you can get there in 20-25 minutes on the Queen streetcar. And another 20 minutes east from there you hit the Beaches neighborhood, which is real nice in the summertime.


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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2009, 09:36:29 AM »
These guys have covered a lot of the suggestions I would make. But a few more ideas:

Hit one of the caribbean roti shops on Queen St. for a cheap and delicious lunch.
Bar Italia on College St. has great food at reasonable prices.
Korean food on Bloor and Christie!!!
The Golden Turtle on Ossington for Vietnamese food.

Soundscapes on College St. (near Manning) is a great great store (CDs only, but well worth it if you're in the neighbourhood).
Balfour Books is almost directly across the street from Soundscapes and is one of the best used bookstores in the city.
Utopia (also College St.) is a good veggie-friendly hipster pub-type restaurant.

Ossington St. has become the newest fashionable eating and drinking area. It's happened since I left Toronto, so I can't really make any specific reccomendations.

If you're there on a Saturday (they're only open Saturdays) PLEASE go to the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation. It is a small gallery owned and run by the biggest modern art collector in Canada. It always has really cool stuff there. Art Metropole, which sells artist's books, is practically next door. There are also many nice galleries along Queen St. around Ossington. (I reccomend Katherine Mulherin's galleries, especially.)

I think Crumbum's right about the East end. I almost never ventured that way even though I lived in Toronto for 10 years, but did find some good records out that way.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2009, 10:55:23 AM by Bryan »


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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2009, 09:47:34 AM »
This is the cheapest/best located hotel I know of. It's not nice by any stretch of the imagination, but it's close to just about everything mentioned in this thread, it's clean and they have parking.

I dunno anything about hostels in Toronto, except this one has been there forever and is in a good location.


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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2009, 10:41:05 AM »
Canada's most renowned religious site:
The Ontario Science Centre is in need of serious investment, but is still worth checking out (though it's a bit of a trek).
King's Cafe in Kensington, Sadie's near the Skydome, and M&B Yummy on Queen W. are rather nice vegetarian eats.
High Park can be swell.  I haven't been there in a while, though I remember a nice petting zoo: (and this wiki page has a helpful group of links at the bottom of the page).
World's Biggest Bookstore is great, despite its oppressive corporate ownership.  I'm still waiting for them to replace Wilfred Owen books w/ scented candles, but it hasn't happened yet.  I too think Balfour is great.  Atticus and Ten Editions also pretty solid.
The neighbourhood around UofT is (mostly) quite nice, and some of the school's older buildings are among the loveliest here.
Show listings and inanity:


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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2009, 02:42:35 PM »
I want to go to Toronto just to visit here:

Toronto's most idiosyncratic secondhand bookshop,
specializing in uncommon scholarly and out-of-print books;
ephemera & images; manual typewriters; biological specimens.


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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2009, 05:55:55 PM »
Just in case a hostel could be yr thing, I wanna recommend this one:
I use to go to Toronto once every few months and usually stayed here because it's very, very cheap and pretty nice as far as hostels go. Plus it's pretty close to lots of stuff, perhaps even Kensington Market, if I remember correctly. Other than that, I second all the Queen West recommendations.
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2009, 08:11:40 AM »
Did you go? How was it? Garbage strike? Weather? Pictures? I am apparently unable to type full-sentence questions.


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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 05:48:08 PM »

Senora and I are going to Toronto on the weekend of June 10-13. Any new suggestions for this thread, especially vegetarian restaurants? Any place to go see comedy in the vein of UCB? Translation: without a two-drink minimum and $15 cover.

Thank you, Friends of Tom that live in the city of Emma From (now in Montreal)!

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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 08:29:14 PM »
Are you going to the Luminato Festival? Go see the thing I worked on, it's free! Sadly I won't be there because I'm doing a really awesome thing that I should be able to announce in a week or so.
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