TORONTO | WHERE TO STAY

Hotel X

Hotel X

Bisha Hotel

Bisha Hotel

The Drake

The Drake

The St. Regis

The St. Regis

Hotel X
111 Princes' Boulevard
+1 647 943 9300
If you’re the type of traveler who likes to get a sweat session in to keep you energized during your holiday, then Hotel X is the place for you. Why? Because it’s got the largest hotel gym in all of Canada. I mean, seriously what could be more memorable than the chance to get your namaste on at Hotel X’s bikram yoga studio as you stare out to the iconic CN Tower? Inside the property’s 400 rooms expect contemporary interiors lined with vibrant art by landscape photographer Neil Dankoff.

Bisha Hotel & Residence 
80 Blue Jays Way
+1 416 551 2800
The Bisha in two words? Dramatic Decor. Think a lobby that features crushed velvet chairs, black marble walls and moody lighting. Of course, the beautiful people sipping martinis at The Bisha’s Mr. C lobby bar are pretty easy on the eyes as well. And yet, the hotel’s real claim to fame is its 7th floor, which was designed by none other than rockstar and full-time badass Lenny Kravitz. If you’re in town during the summer months, be sure to check out Bisha’s rooftop where light Baja bites are served up at KOST with a side of sensational city views from the hotel’s wraparound sun deck. 

The Drake 
1150 Queen St W
+1 416 531 5042
With zero affiliation to the rapper, the Drake has made a name for itself on its own accord. Since opening in 2004, the boutique property (19 rooms) has become the ultimate hub for creative types looking for a place to rest their heads in Toronto. And bonus: the hotel has a rotating calendar of screenings and concerts to keep culturally curious Canadians as well as out-of-towners satisfied. 

The St. Regis 
325 Bay St
+1 416 306 5800
Big news: The St. Regis is scheduled to open its first property in Canada at the end of November. Oh, and it’s right smack in the center of Canada’s financial capital — one of the most desirable addresses in the city. Translation? A stay here promises *endless* layers of luxury, from butlers and a heated saltwater lap pool to nightly champagne saberings in the hotel’s lobby.

TORONTO | WHERE TO EAT

Saks Food Hall

Saks Food Hall

Don Alfonso 1890

Don Alfonso 1890

La Palma

La Palma

The Drake Commisary

The Drake Commisary

Saks Food Hall by Pusateri's 
176 Yonge S
+1 416 365 3130

Trust us, this isn’t just any food hall. Nope it’s 25,000 square feet of amazing. Filled with aisle after aisle of the world’s most delicious delicacies, it gets extra points for having a champagne bar, as well as the fact that you can fuel up on whatever your heart desires  before heading upstairs to shop.

Don Alfonso 1890
19 Toronto Street 
+1 416 214 5888 

What should you expect from renowned Michelin Star Chefs Alfonso and Ernesto Laccarino? Everything. And you’ll get it! With incredible decor in a setting that can’t be missed (this new restaurant is located inside an historic building featuring soaring ceilings, moldings from the 1850 and artwork by Philippe Pasqua) and two Mediterranean tasting menus that will literally blow you away.

La Palma 
849 Dundas St
+1 416 368 4567
Being the new kid on the block isn’t easy, but La Palma has managed to fit right in. With amazing Northern Italian fare and a gorgeous ambiance, it’s well worth the carbs - we swear. Sweet potato agnolotti and fig pizza with tuscan kale and honey are just a few of the menu items being served inside the pastel-doused dining room. Oh, and the cocktails are just as dreamy with their signature La Palma featuring Montenegro, Aperol, orange, lime, egg whites, fresh mint and housemade bitters. 

The Drake Commissary 
128 Sterling Rd
+1 416 432 2922
Located next to MOCA in Toronto’s otherwise sparse Junction Triangle is the Drake Commissary. This creative culinary hub (in a past life the building was a pickle factory) now functions as a multipurpose space that boasts a restaurant, a bakery, a bar and a general store. Let Chef Jonas Grupiljonas, whose name you might recognize from his brief stint at San Fran’s Tartine Bakery, tempt you with everything from fresh sourdough to house-cured charcuterie and gelato prepared from scratch. 

TORONTO | WHAT TO DO

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Museum of Illusions 
132 Front St E
+1 416 889 2285
Thanks to the Museum of Illusions, we can all live out our Instagram dreams. This is a place where photography is not only encouraged, but it’s a key part of the exhibition. With 14 locations around the world, each has the same goal: To play with ideas of imagination, the mind and the human sense of perception. 

MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)
158 Sterling Rd
+1 416 530 2500
Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art recently moved from the city’s west and to its new home inside a former aluminum factory, and its curatorial range, spread across five floors, has expanded from a sole focus on Canadian artists to a more international roster. The inaugural group show, BELIEVE, featured pieces from up-and-comers like photographer Awol Erizku, who shot Beyoncé when she was pregnant with her twins. 

TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival) 
Not new but noteworthy nonetheless, is the annual Toronto International Film Festival, which brings a flurry of screenings, parties and celebrities into the city. Want in? The next festival comes to town on September 5th 2019. 

TORONTO | WHAT TO BUY

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The Dot photo courtesy of @dylangracetravels.JPG
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CXBO Chocolates 
193 Baldwin St
+1 416-588-2926
Brandon Olsen and Sarah Keenlyside’s handcrafted chocolate confections are truly a work of art. We’re talking hand-painted jewel-like bonbons with insane flavors like cinnamon brown butter and lime, ginger, and black pepper. For something really gram-worthy pick up CXBO’s signature ‘ Ziggy Stardust ‘Disco Egg’ made up of a colorful chocolate shell filled with shattered chunks of white and milk chocolate. 

The Dot 
687 Bloor W
+1 416 780 9099
We stumbled upon this women’s clothing store while traipsing through Koreatown. A minimalist’s dream….inside the sparsely decorated space staple pieces such as cozy sweaters, faux fur bags, and delicate jewelry from up-and-coming designers around the world make it one of the coolest shopping destinations in Toronto. 

House of Anansi Press and Groundwood Books
Lower Level, 128 Sterling Rd
+1 416 363 4343
After lunch at the Drake Commissary head to this adorable neighboring bookstore to peruse the best in Canadian literature. Although you’ll find books for all ages available for sale, Groundwood’s selection of children’s books is really something special as the publisher specializes in creating books that focus on underrepresented children around the world. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly so don’t be surprised if you find yourself unable to pull away from this little literary haven.