Exploring Toronto’s West End
Published: October 2009
By Karen Burshtein
Once a dowdy working-class strip, the West End’s Ossington Avenue has been transformed into a high-style hub for galleries, shops, and restaurants.
You may have to wait 30 minutes for a table, but the slices are worth it—even the classic margherita, made with San Marzano tomatoes, fior de latte mozzarella, and basil.
Dinner for two $50.
Former Helmut Lang accessories designer Virginia Johnson silk-screens travel-inspired prints onto paper-thin merino wool shawls, colorful canvas bags, and cotton dresses. Best find: totes with whimsical camel motifs.
Mad Men’s Don Draper would fit in perfectly at this retro yet intimate cocktail lounge and restaurant, where the music lineup switches from dinner-hour crooning to late-night up-tempo beats.
Toronto native Jason MacIsaac curates offbeat exhibitions (say, the work of a Parisian sticker maker) and sells one-of-a-kind pieces by design companies such as Established & Sons at his 2,300-square-foot shop.
Although owner Teo Paul’s new restaurant is French-inspired (open for café au lait and croissants in the morning, then nonstop till closing), the food is local—elk sliders, roasted Red Bro chicken.
Dinner for two $89.
At this men’s and women’s clothing boutique, the parquet is newly bleached, the space airy, and the hip credentials impeccable: APC, Acne jeans, and Isabel Marant are just a few of the labels you’ll find.