There’s a lot of life in this sprawling neighbourhood, which encompasses the stretch of land up at the water’s edge from Port Lands over to Bathurst and then up to Queen Street. With a walking score of 92 this is one of Toronto’s communities most easily accessible by foot and while there is constant discussion about lake-front revitalization projects, there’s already plenty to take advantage of down at the water’s edge and in the surrounding pockets. Served largely by the 509 and 510 streetcars, it’s also a great place to bike along the pathways and gardens at the water’s edge.
A hub of culture and activity, the Harbourfront Centre offers all sorts of fun for all ages. From hosting the International Festival of Authors, contemporary dance performances to glass-blowing and jewellery-making classes indoors, there’s ice skating to canoeing and free outdoor movie screenings and ballroom classes outside, too.
235 Queen’s Quay West, www.harbourfrontcentre.com
Treasure Hunting C-08
St Lawrence Market has been around for 208 years and currently has 120 vendors selling everything from meat to grains to homemade mustards. There’s an additional farmers’ market on Saturdays, filled with juicy fresh produce and an antiques market on Sundays from dawn until 5 pm stocked with rare finds from silverware to records to a fur coats.
Here Victorian industrial buildings are re-imagined as restaurants, breweries, chocolate shops and galleries. Cobblestoned streets give an old European vibe, and there are outdoor performances and art installations in this buzzing hub just east of the downtown core. Opened in 2003 its 47 buildings known as the Gooderham & Worts Distillery provide a great place to spend the afternoon or take in a bite.
The accessibility to the island makes the perfect day trip more accessible from here than anywhere else in the city. Pack a picnic, hop on the ferry and hire a bike on the other end to wave the hustle and bustle goodbye and see the city from a unique vantage point. If you’d prefer to stick to the mainland, further east is Sugar beach, with its umbrellas and plaza, and you can grab a bite at Against the Grain, while looking out over the water. Further west you’ll stumble `across the Amsterdam Brewhouse, which also has an impressive waterfront patio and further west the Toronto Music Garden where free concerts take place throughout the summer.
Toronto Island Ferrydocks, 9 Queens Quay W.
Sugar Beach, Foot of Lower Jarvis Slip
Against the Grain, 25 Dockside Drive
Amsterdam Brewhouse, 245 Queens Quay