City Guide: Toronto's Hidden Gems

Of the 21 countries I’ve travelled to, Toronto is one of my favorite cities. It’s known to be of the one most multicultural cities in the world, anyone and everyone fits in. It’s the perfect city size, not too big and impersonal, but not too small that everyone knows who you are. It has an endless amount of boutiques, districts, cafes to explore and especially in the summer, the patio sessions leave a lasting impression on your heart. It’s often said that “it’s the people that make a city” and Toronto just attracts all the right kinds.

Previous to my vacation during the summer, I lived in Toronto for 6 years, so I’ve learnt the hidden gems, nooks and crannies. Here are just some highlights from my trip that are well worth the visit!

Stationary and Design Things

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One of the most designerly stores I’ve ever set foot in, Mjolk features Scandinavian and Japanese design and is located at the up and coming neighbourhood of The Junction. The store is pleasing to the eyes, looking more like an art gallery but still functions as shop.

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My absolute favourite place in the whole of Toronto is The Paper Place down towards the end of West Queen West. It’s full of cute stationaries, quality paper goods, a heaven like place for me really (or any paper geek). Also right next door is the bookstore Type that carries some of the most aesthetically pleasing books.

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Kid Icarus is a two in one, part silk screen studio part store, based in the heart of Kensington Market. If you’re a stationary fiend this is definitely a place to visit. It’s always nice to walk in when they’re part way through printing something, and you get to experience the silk screening before your very eyes. They carry an array of stationary brands, but the most impressive are their own designs.

Places to Shop

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Make sure to visit the line of boutiques down the West Queen West district. You’ll find up and coming indie designers, vintage clothing, tattoo parlours, just pure awesomeness. This display of jewellery was found at Meg.

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The Distillery District was historically a whisky distillery, but the victorian-era buildings have now been restored into boutiques, cafes, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants. This district is a feast for the eyes, you’ll definitely get tones of gorgeous photos from it. If you’re looking for some good food and beer hit up Mill Street Brewery. This lovely store display was found at Jessica Rose.

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The Junction Flea Market is full of antique finds, second hand clothing and small start ups. Indie central indeed! I picked up this cute leather coin purse. If you’re there make sure to stop by my friends food truck, FeasTO selling delicious dumplings and noodles.

Places to Eat

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You think Chipotle or Burrito Boys is good? Not until you’ve tried Cantina. Cantina is a Mexican restaurant on The Junction. We had the most gigantic burrito with an egg on top. An egg! I’ve never had something like that before. It was so big that we shared it between the two of us. Sadly, the second time we went around they had just changed their menus and no longer are the portion sizes huge. Still delicious though.

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I’m not normal a fan of croissants but this place has definitely changed my mind about them. Le Neuf is this super cute Parisian cafe that carries coffee, pastries and sorts. It’s just steps away from the busy King Street, hidden away by the park. It has a small patio at the front, that’s always a plus.

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Trattoria Nervosa is an authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Toronto’s most exclusive shopping district, Yorkville. I was told that Jay Z and Beyonce ate there just the week before we did, that’s how good it is! I had a taste of small appetizers, the pasta, pizza, risotta, and tiramisu- all I can say is that every bite was worth it. It’s surprisingly not that pricey considering it’s prestigious surroundings. Oh also it has a great outdoor patio, go to the upstairs one!

Etc.

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This photo booth is 44 year old years and is definitely worth the visit. It’s in one of the trendiest hotels, The Drake Hotel. If you’re there you might as well visit their cafe and their awesome General Drake Store too!.

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Instead of going up the CN tower to see Toronto’s skyline, visit Panorama. It’s a pretty snazzy bar/restaurant on Bloor Street and you get the view for only the cost of a drink or meal. It’s a little pricey but well worth it to avoid crowds of tourist.

That’s just a few of the many places to visit in Toronto! If you’re a big eater, you’ll definitely find the authentic cuisine you’re looking for here. Travelling to Toronto or already live there already? Make sure to let me know what you think of them. Also if you have any questions about specifics don’t hesitate to message me. I intend to write more travel posts, I love travelling and exploring cities, so I might as well share them here!

Travel On! x. Bee