The Daily Commute is a weekly mini-series that introduces some great, affordable dining destinations, right of the TTC lines. From the morning coffee for the subway ride to the office, to post-work drinks right off your streetcar stop, we’ll be exploring some great spots to make your daily commute a tasty one.
We’re back on the commute this week, taking the Yonge-University-Spadina line through the stretch of Yonge between Eglinton and Rosedale. We move through the bustling uptown neighbourhoods of Yonge & Eglinton, Summerhill, and Rosedale, a few of Toronto’s wealthier communities, and home to a plethora of both high-end dining destinations and casual, local favourites. Populated by many prominent businesses, this stretch of the commute certainly is not lacking in working lunch or business dinner locales.
Whether it’s for morning coffee en route to the office, or a mid-afternoon sugar fix, La Bamboche, located a short walk south of the Eglinton subway station is your spot. A wide assortment of hot beverages, and beautiful selection of delectable pastries make this patisserie a local favourite. Try their famous carrot cake, and choose from a great selection of French macarons, all made fresh, in-house, daily.
www.labamboche.ca | 4 Manor Rd. E., Toronto
A sandwich isn’t just a sandwich in these here parts. Great bites in-between two hands can be found at a few great cafés and sandwich shops right along this strip. The Black Camel just north of the Rosedale subway station offers a fantastic pulled pork sandwich, but make sure to check before heading down- they are known to sell out fast, and often update their sandwich status to their customers via Twitter. And what don’t we love about Delica Kitchen, just south of the St. Clair subway station, with their great selection of fresh, house-made sandwiches, as well as soups, salads and other baked goods. The Artisan Baker, Delica’s neighbor across the street serves up a similar selection but adds a great variety of delicious pastas and entrées to their lunchtime menu.
www.blackcamel.ca | 4 Crescent Rd., Toronto
www.delicakitchen.ca | 1440 Yonge St., Toronto
www.theartisanbakers.com | 1423 Yonge St., Toronto
For that truly gluttonous experience that – let’s face it – we all crave, at some point, head down to Holy Chuck Burger, which is also just steps from the St. Clair subway station, in extremely close proximity to some of the great spots already mentioned. Made from aged high quality cuts of beef that are ground in-house hourly, Holy Chuck Burger serves up some of Toronto’s finest patties in their signature burgers like The Mad Cow, and The Holy Chuck. Gourmands will love The Holy Duck, a street-food-meets-fine-dining number that features a single beef patty with foie gras, truffle oil and fresh black truffles- fancy! Other favourites include a breakfast-type burger with a beef patty, pancetta and a fried egg in between two freshly baked croissants that come from their friends at The Artisan Baker across the street (how’s that for co-operative food business!), and a panko-crusted Portobello mushroom burger. Wash it all down with their vanilla milkshake, made with real Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean, and finish it off with one of their sweet-savoury desserts, because who doesn’t love cookie dough, ice cream and bacon? And for Holy Chuck fans a little further out, Chef Johnny Prassoulis let us in on some privy information regarding a second location opening in Woodbridge in July.
www.holychuckburgers.com | 1450 Yonge St., Toronto
Posted by Jenelle Antolin
Previously: The Daily Commute: The East End Part I
Follow @1LOVETO #TheDailyCommute
The incredible work and accomplishments of Street Haven at the Crossroads is nearly impossible to describe. However, we had the honour of catching a glimpse into their remarkable 47 years at their annual “Gala of Light”.
Street Haven, was founded by the late, Peggy Ann Walpole who worked as a nurse in Toronto in the 50’s. She saw many women come to St. Michaels Hospital to be treated for a variety of problems but felt an unsettling feeling watching them be discharged with no reassurance that they would be cared for or worse, go back to a dark place. So she opened up a small space with one table, four chairs and welcomed those who entered her doors.
Today Street Haven is undisputed anchor in the city, providing food, shelter, and most importantly, hope to women who need healing. They take in those who seek refuge from domestic abuse, substance abuse, women who are sick, homeless, leaving gang life or simply someone who feel as though they have no one in the world; they make it their mission to make a broken woman whole again. Gita Schwartz, Executive Director of Street Haven, says she hopes that more people become aware of the plight of many of the city’s women and understand that helping one woman, creates a domino effect of positivity and hope.
After providing over 43,000 fresh meals, providing support to 78 women in their addiction program, providing emergency shelter to 745 women for over 12,000 nights in just 2011 alone, guests from Toronto and all over the globe gathered at The Fifth Social, to mingle, dance and sip on cocktails in celebration and appreciation of Street Haven’s 47 years running.
Some of the highlights included an intimate performance by Divine Brown, a silent auction benefitting Street Haven and the flipbook station where attendees took home free flipbooks of themselves as a memento of the night. Guests included Cable Pulse 24 Anchor and Gala MC Melissa Grelo, Toronto born Singer/Songwriter Jesse LaBelle and Designer Elizabeth Victoria who all came out to show their support and recognize the life-changing efforts of Street Haven.
To learn how you can help or get help visit: streethaven.com
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
As young entrepreneurs we truly understand how important it is to support small businesses within our communities. We’ve always loved to find those one-of-a-kind neighbourhood gems, so we took the American Express pledge to #ShopSmall and visited 5 of our favourite shops in Toronto.
Our first stop was Magic Pony on Queen Street West. If you’ve never been there before, let’s just say it makes you feel like a kid again. They have everything from designer toys, cool housewares, giant poster art, plus some hard to find books and magazines. We bought “Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes” by Toronto artist Michael Cho, who we blogged about back in September of 2012.
We made our way down Queen Street West until we got to Spadina where we ate lunch at What A Bagel! We managed to get the last available table during their busy lunch hour rush and ordered the “Old School” and their vegetarian breakfast. If you get the chance to eat here, ask for the owners Ely or Isaac and tell them that we sent you!
Our 3rd stop was Another Story Bookshop located in Roncesvalles Village. One of the reasons why we love this independently owned bookstore is because they focus on literary themes such as social justice, equity and diversity. They also highlight local authors and hold book readings and launches for local talent.
After a long day of shopping we needed to relax and refuel, so we headed to Yorkville to visit our friends at Sotto Sotto for dinner. This famous Italian restaurant has played host to celebrities for years, including Brad Pitt, Oprah, Diddy, and of course our very own Drizzy Drake. If you’re looking for a small, private dinning experience, look no further, Sotto Sotto is perfect for date night. (pay attention fella’s)
Shout out to Angelo for always taking care of us!
We decided to end off our night with a few cocktails at SpiritHouse located at 487 Adelaide St W at Portland. This specialty “spirit” bar has over 400 bottles to choose from, including a small selection of local beer such as Mill Street Organic, Steamwhistle, Tankhouse and Amsterdam Blonde. Next time you’re looking to try a new drink, try the “Toronto Cocktail”.
American Express recently conducted a survey to see how Canadians feel about shopping small and “Word-of-mouth” was the #1 way we find out about small businesses in our neighbourhoods. Do you have a favourite Shop Small business? Get out there and spread the word! Show them some love by voting in the Neighbourhood Gems contest on Facebook. Each vote earns you an entry into a draw to win a $50 Amex Gift Card!
It’s hard growing up these days
And it’s so easy to get lost
Getting caught up in a place
You don’t belong.
VISA is at halfpence
Parents on your conscience
Boss needs some patience
–You’re looking for guidance.
But don’t despair, RISE Poetry, takes care.
It’s for everyone, not just budding Shakespeares;
Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere.
Idle mind, beware.
Creator, Randell Adjei, overflowing with love, started this club
As a step up for youth tryin’ to come up.
“Our movement believes in equality and fairness, a first come first served basis,
Learning something about themselves and their purpose.
I’ve been arrested, I’ve been robbed, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum”
RISE provides a space for thoughts and expression
Growth and protection
Love and acceptance
I heard David Delisca speak against racial profiling and felt a hum of rage.
Ifrah Hussein reminded us about social stereotypes, from gender to race.
You might even catch Poetic Justice preaching ‘Pac and his anguish,
“Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished”
Getting involved makes sense.
“We’re now looking for volunteers to help out with organizing future events”
Like feeding Toronto’s roaming homeless
“We’re looking for Writers, Web designers, Videographers, a couple of key components.”
April 22nd at Lula Lounge, RISE will celebrate one year!
A perfect night for your inner Poe or Plath to appear.
For more info follow @RisePoetry
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
Follow @1LOVETO #RISE
The lavender backdrop on the runway at the Stephan Caras show really set the stage for the models that glided out with modern bouffant buns on the very top of their heads and glossy red lips, while Adele’s “Skyfall” blared out of the speakers.The looks started out moderately casual and chic with an enlarged houndstooth print on jackets and pants with feather accents. The feather details on pockets and sleeves were extravagant and fun and just when you had your fix of houndstooth prints, the gowns took over. There were plenty of bridal dresses and some that were more toned down. The colour palette was simple; black, white and off-white. Thigh high slits, one shoulder details, lace and halters showed just enough skin. Twin embellished, strapless babydoll dresses in black and white simultaneously came down the runway adding even more drama. The last dress boasted a lace corset with a billowy white bottom. The show was immaculate and with the end came a well deserved and emotional standing ovation for the long-time designer.
For more info: stephancaras.com
Photos by George Pimentel
Posted by Jessica Franklin
Ceramics is one of those crafts that can be intimidating at first sight. Where do you get the materials? What techniques do you use? Do you have the space to make a mess? The Gardiner Museum offers an accessible introduction to ceramics with their drop in classes. Started 10 years ago, the Museum’s drop in classes have become widely popular and they are now held 3 times a week.
At first the class might seem overwhelming. There are endless possibilities to what you could do. Without formal instruction and left to our own devices, I just sat there with the clay for a good 10 minutes. And then you start to play. The instruction of 2 teachers is given intermittently, but you’re sure to receive enough attention and advice on how to manipulate the clay.
The highlight of the 2 hours session is the chance to use the potter’s wheel. Our instructor gave us a brief introduction and we were left to experiment. The class comes with an unlimited amount of clay and all the tools you might need to make your next masterpiece (or re-create your own Ghost moment for all the Patrick Swayze fans out there).
Already widely popular, tickets go on sale 30 minutes before class, but be sure to arrive early for tickets to use the pottery wheel.
For more info: gardinermuseum.on.ca
Posted by Tahnee Pantig
Love is always the underlying theme for us here @1LOVETO. So, it was a perfect fit when we were recently invited to the “Love Is Freedom” exhibit here in Toronto. Fay Ninon is a visual artist/painter from Montreal, with her strong ties Toronto she found a home for her work at a gorgeous untapped art gallery x sushi bar, House Of Moments located at 368 Carlaw Ave.
The paintings showcase the many functions of the heart, outbound and inbound. Reminding us through her paintings of the demand that is placed on the heart in every moment. The power of every beat when giving and receiving from struggle to victory and let us not forget the dreaded broken heart. Whether you are an expert in art or like myself, someone with simply an appreciation for great talent, colours and concept, you will love her work.
To see more of her work: fayninon.com.
We’ve always loved to support local artists, creators and business owners, which is why we’re so hyped about the new Amex #ShopSmall program. The program is designed to celebrate the significant role that small businesses play in driving Canada’s economy, while adding to the culture and diversity of each unique neighbourhood, and we’ve teamed up with our friends at American Express to help highlight some of our favourite neighbourhood businesses.
We encourage you to join us in taking the pledge to #ShopSmall by supporting your favourite local businesses. These businesses are owned and operated by people just like you, who help to make our communities a better place to live.
American Express is also looking for Toronto’s Neighbourhood Gem to help celebrate the role small businesses play in our community. Show some love and vote for your favourite Shop Small businesses in the “Neighbourhood Gems” contest!
HOW TO ENTER
- Visit the American Express Canada Facebook page and search for your favourite #ShopSmall business in Toronto
- Vote for your favourite Shop Small Merchant once a day from April 1-21 and you’ll automatically be entered into a daily draw for your chance to win a $50 Amex Gift Card
- The Top 5 businesses with the most votes will move on to the final round of voting
- You can vote from the Top 5 Shop Small Merchants from April 29 – May 5