Posts by: IB

Good Beer in Toronto

Toronto is one of the many North American cities experiencing a sort of Renaissance in quality beer, especially from local producers. A few suggestions of places to go to find it: Harbord House, Harbord Street (north side) between Brunswick and Major Streets. This is one of my favourite pubs. It occupies a two-story house on Harbord that was formerly occupied by a very mediocre frat pub called Rowers. The new occupants are a very different story — a genuinely good pub where you can get good food and beer for very reasonable prices. Their beer list is not ultra-long — […]

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Toronto’s High Park – and getting there

High Park is one of the great underrated pleasures of visiting Toronto … and half the fun is getting there. The efficient, but boring, way of getting to High Park is to take the Bloor-Danforth subway to High Park station, get off at the High Park Avenue exit, cross Bloor Street, and enter via the main entrance. But you’re in Toronto, and so you have no excuse for being boring … so try one of the alternative routes and see something of the city. The 506 College/Carlton streetcar will take you to High Park from downtown along College Street from […]

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Walking through urban Toronto: Part I

Toronto is a great city for walking, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to explore urban spaces. Here’s a suggestion for a leisurely exploration of some of the more interesting parts of the Toronto‘s eastern downtown, combined with a look at some of the up and coming transitional parts of the city. (Although Toronto is generally a very safe city, you will probably feel more comfortable on some parts of this walk during daylight hours.) You can start anywhere and end anywhere, but for ease of reference I’m going to start at Union Station right downtown, and […]

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Walking through urban Toronto: Part II

In Part I of this article, I took you from Union Station through the St. Lawrence neighbourhood to Toronto‘s Distillery District. Now that you’ve had your refreshments at the Distillery District, you’re ready for Part II. From the Distillery District, walk north up Trinity Street to King St. E. Now you’re right in the middle of Toronto‘s old Irish Corktown neighbourhood, one of Toronto‘s oldest neighbourhoods and now one of the interesting transitional neighbourhoods. It’s now in a sort of process of re-gentrification, as old workers’ cottages on side streets become converted into highly desirable small urban abodes. As you […]

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Wine Country Lunch in Niagara

Fine dining is sometimes a hit-and-miss experience in Niagara, especially around the popular Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake areas near the border. There are lots of tourists who need to eat somewhere, and who have lots of money to throw around, and so frankly the competition is not always fierce. So if you have the time and inclination, I suggest getting away from Niagara central to visit wine country west of St. Catherines, near the rural farming towns of Beamsville, Vineland, and the like. One of our best wine country lunch experiences in Niagara has been in this area, at the […]

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Where to eat before the opera

Starting with the 2006-2007 season, the Canadian Opera Company moved from its longtime home at what used to be the O’Keefe Centre near Union Station to a distinguished new building at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue. This opens up multiple possibilities for great food before or after the opera. A few recommendations: Nota Bene, 180 Queen St W. This new restaurant, a few doors west of University Avenue in the new federal courts building on the north side of Queen, is a new hot location for dining. Their usual dinner menu will set you back a […]

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