Close to the University of Toronto, this historic ‘hood has long been known as a place where students and professors mingle—its Bloor and Dupont street boundaries host diverse retail, culinary and cultural hot spots.
ARTSY AT HOME Pimlico Design Gallery is
a natural extension of owner Tatiana Velasevic’s work
as an interior designer. Her shop, anchoring a burgeoning design district, features a creatively curated selection of one-of-a-kind home accessories, such as lamps by Toronto-based Pakistani designer Tahir Mahmood, mugs by French line Pylones and hand-molded resin bowls by San Francisco-based Tina Frey.
MORE THAN SUSHI The second Toronto location of izakaya chain Guu opened last spring and has been busy ever since. Japanese-Korean tapas plates—which could include deep fried brie, kimchi udon and grilled mackerel with daikon—bring in the crowds, while an ebullient atmosphere and extensive drinks menu keep them coming back. Don’t be alarmed by the exuberant staff; it’s customary for them to shout as you enter and exit the tavern.
CHEAP CHIC Packed with character, history and inexpensive tchotchkes, Honest Ed’s is a landmark bargain store. Named for its original owner, the entrepreneur and showbiz impresario Ed Mirvish, the huge space is decorated from floor to ceiling with signed celebrity photos and theatrical signage, and offers discounts on everything from stationery and sandals to electronics, toiletries and even grocery items.
LOCAL ICON Indian Rice Factory has been serving authentic South Asian cuisine for more than 40 years. Original proprietor Amar Patel’s legacy lives on through her son, who continues to serve dishes such as tandoori sea bream, dry-spiced Cornish hen and “lamb Toronto.” Warm-weather meals are best enjoyed outside on the serene patio. 414 Dupont St., 416-961-3472; www.indianricefactory.com.
HISTORIC SCREEN One of Toronto’s oldest picture palaces, the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema has endured a century’s worth of owners and renovations and emerged more vital than ever; Hot Docs, the international documentary festival, took over the site’s management last year. Now it’s not only the primary venue for the annual non-fiction film extravaganza, it also offers a year-round slate of classic and modern docs on topics ranging from music to the environment.
FRESH AND TASTY A raw diet doesn’t limit you to carrot sticks and granola at every meal. Just ask the folks at Live Organic Food Bar, a vegan bistro that specializes in gluten-free, sugar-free food that doesn’t require cooking. The restaurant is
as vibrant as the dishes turned out in the open kitchen—caesar salads are sprinkled with eggplant “bacon,” noodles are made from kelp or zucchini, and cashews are a creative flour substitute for in the delicious desserts and cakes.