Toronto is basically the New York City of Canada, just a lot cleaner and much friendlier people! And, if you’re from the U.S., everything is 30% off! See a play, catch a game, or just spend your time wandering around this metropolis filled with pockets of countless food, beverage and boutique retail. We might just consider ourselves from “The North” from now on…
9:30 am | Even if you’re not staying in this uber-trendy boutique hotel, definitely make a plan to visit The Drake Hotel for a meal. We started our trip right by fueling up early morning for breakfast. How can you go wrong with a deli style bagel + lox plate and a side of thick toast? Extra jam necessary. Pro Tip : Ask for a bottle of the house hot sauce, it has a hint of mango in it, which definitely does not dull the punch of heat.
1150 Queen St W
11:00 am | We almost don’t want to give too much detail on the Funhouse. Not knowing what to expect is almost the best part. But, since there is only a few more months of the temporary installation, we’ll cave. This interactive exhibit allows you to be very hands on with the work on display and even incorporates augmented reality through your phone. Seriously one of the coolest experiences we’ve had.
101 Lisgar St, Queen West
12:30 pm | If you’re not in town for one of these pop-ups, the AGO, or the Art Gallery of Ontario, is an absolute must. (Frankly, you should go even if there is an installment). This ever-changing staple is worth getting lost in for a few hours as you take in all of the gorgeous natural lighting and unnatural creations that have been assembled by famous and emerging artists alike.
317 Dundas Street West
2:00 pm | The Annex Hotel was unlike any place we’ve stayed on our trips. It was minimal yet extremely comprehensive and progressive. For example, there really is no “check-in” desk. You’re greeted at the door by someone holding an iPad asking your name. Waitstaff is available by text message (no phones in the rooms) and extra pillows and blankets are in the lobby closets. The lobby is part-coffee-shop part-bar with an open workspace to sit and enjoy whatever it is you’re sipping on. The area is perfect for strolling around to explore. Spend some time getting lost in what feels like endless storefronts of unique retail offerings paired with fun bars and restaurants.
296 Brunswick Ave
3:30 pm | Coffee, Oysters and Champagne. Simple. Pair an oyster selection that changes daily with the largest selection of sparkling wine in the city, it's easy to make an excuse to feel boujee on the regular. They’ve taken our three favorite things and put them under one roof in the heart of the entertainment district.
214 King St W
5:00 pm | Named the second coolest neighborhood in the world for good reason. The trendy Queen Street strip between Bathurst and Gladstone is home to some of the city’s most unique boutique offerings among the creative art galleries and lively bars and restaurants. You can be sure that the street style around these parts will be as intriguing as what’s in the stores.
7:00 pm | The Woodlot is a local gem is known for everything they truly embody. The completely open kitchen (seriously- they store all of the dry goods throughout the dining area) makes you feel like you’re sitting in your friend’s home for supper. We had an all- around amazing experience and would 13/10 recommend the mushrooms.
293 Palmerston Ave, Toronto.
8:00 pm | OK, hear us out. We get it, ice cream is supposed to be just that- frozen dairy. But have you ever tried vegan ice cream that ACTUALLY tastes better than the real thing?! After going to Not Your Mother Creamery, we can say we have. I’d dare all of you non-believers to try out Not Your Mother creamery. Try literally anything off of their menu- a milkshake, soft serve or a plain scoop and we you may never go back to the dairy side. Pro Tip: Get creative with the toppings, they have some pretty fun offerings- starlight mint dust or candy popcorn, anyone?
1346 Queen Street West
9:30 pm | Pretty Ugly is a perfect spot to end your evening, grab a seat at the open-air bar in the front and watch the tiny kitchen operations or head to one of the back booths surrounded by the quirky decor. The drinks are shaken to perfection. There’s something for everyone on the menu and if there’s not, ask the bartender to whip you up something based on your tastes. If you liked this spot, head to one of their sister bars, Tennessee Tavern for a nightcap.
1237 Queen St W
9:00 am | In Sweden, Fika means “coffee break” which is obviously fitting for this Swedish-inspired cafe. The logo of Fika Cafe is the Dala horse, a symbol of Sweden, and they keep true to the traditional sweet treat offerings of the culture. You can’t go wrong with a cardamom spiced latte, cinnamon bun and a backyard hammock. Pro Tip: The area the cafe sits in, Kensington Market, was one of our favorite areas to explore. Definitely take a moment to walk around and soak it up.
28 Kensington Ave
11:00 am | The CN Tower, or “The Needle” the tallest free-standing structure in the western Hemisphere, and is the signature icon of Toronto’s skyline. With an interior 360 restaurant, glass floors you can look down from the top through, and an edge-walk (not for the faint of hearts!) you could spend the day exploring through the structure. Definitely something worth checking out while you’re in the city. We visited the aquarium while we were at it, since the combo tickets were to good to pass up!
301 Front St W
3:00 pm | If your fear of heights prohibited you from having lunch at the top of the CN, head to Kupfert and Kim on Spadina Ave. This wheatless/meatless gem is sure to impress. We ordered way too much and got way too full, but were very okay with that. Pro Tip: Don’t sleep on the baked goods.
4:30 pm | Head back to the Annex for a relax and refresh before your evening begins. May we suggest playing a few records the room has to offer? Then grab a drink at the lobby bar or one of the many the surrounding area has to offer!
6:30 pm | Quantum over quantity, people. Grab some java at Quantum Coffee before you hit the town from this minimalistic coffee shop right downtown. We were obsessed with our iced pour-overs with oat milk, thank you very much. Pro Tip: Catch some of the best people watching out of the corner windows.
7:00 pm | A place that boasts “vibrant, feel-good vegan Mexican cuisine” and really hits the nail on the head in every department. Rosalinda is carefully curated and absolutely adorable. You almost feel like you’ve walked into a greenhouse in the middle of a bustling financial district. Dish after dish that came out continued to impress us with flavor and presentation. The menu changes, so ask your server for their faves, but always, ALWAYS get the churros. Pro Tip: if you’re checking out the Canadian Opera, show your ticket for a secret “performing arts” menu!
133 Richmond St W
9:30 pm | After-dinner drinks are a must, it is your last night after all! head over to Pray Tell for a nightcap and to reminisce in your weekend memories. Pro Tip: Catch their live DJ every Friday & Saturday starting at 9:30p!
838 College St.
8:00 am | Up & at ‘em, it’s sadly time to head home. But not without sustenance! Greenhouse Juice gave us all the feels as we pulled up to what is actually a small glass house. We loved everything about this aesthetic but their true colors shined through the smoothies and juices. Grab some salads to-go and you’ll be good for your journey home.
Thank you to the teams of: The Annex, Rosalinda, Greenhouse Juice, Fika, The Drake Hotel, Funhouse and The Woodlot for hosting us these past 48 hours.
Onto the next city!