The SARS scare may have temporarily kept tourists away from Toronto, but now the comeback of the Canadian city known as Hollywood North is in full swing. Here, the current hits. WHERE TO STAY Right on the border of King Street West, the entertainment district, is Hôtel Le Germain (30 Mercer St.; 866/345-9501 or 416/345-9500; www.germaintoronto.com; doubles from $188), le best of the boutique hotels. Its 122 rooms are sizable and stylishly appointed: linens by Frette, photographs of tulips courtesy of local artist James Lahey. • The multimillion-dollar renovation of the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St. West; 416/531-5042; www.thedrakehotel.com; doubles from $89) is the talk of the town's fashionistas. Besides the restaurant and yoga studio, the smoky bar scene is a must-see. • Business travelers may prefer the more conservative 88-room SoHo Metropolitan Hotel (318 Wellington St. West; 416/599-8800; www.metropolitan.com/soho; doubles from $206), where the marble bathroom floors are heated and breakfast-on-the-go is presented at the first-floor Sen5es Bakery. WHERE TO EAT Le Germain's Luce (416/599-5823; dinner for two $128) is an Italian trattoria with rustic dishes such as Ravioli two ways, with espresso-chestnut and pumpkin-orange filling. • For sashimi, head to Blowfish Restaurant & Sake Bar (668 King St. West; 416/860-0606; dinner for two $60), a sushi den where Sofia Coppola was recently spotted. • Jamie Kennedy, the Rocco DiSpirito of Toronto, prepares his specialties, Yukon fries and flatbread, in an open-air kitchen at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar (9 Church St.; 416/362-5586; dinner for two $29). • In response to Daniel Boulud's infamous (and pricey) burger at DB Bistro Moderne in New York, Bymark (66 Wellington St. West; 416/777-1144; dinner for two $113) has created its own, topped with melted Brie, grilled porcini mushrooms, and fresh black truffle shavings, for $26. • Brassaii (461 King St. West; 416/598-4730; dinner for two $62) serves upscale comfort food such as beef short ribs and wok-fried omelettes in a loft setting. WHERE TO SHOP The Barneys-like department store Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor St. West; 416/922-2333) recently received a face-lift: the old-school design has been replaced by colorful lucite. A white-walled café occupies the top floor. AFTER DARK Ultra-trendy Lobby (192 Bloor St. West; 416/929-7169) was inspired by, yes, a hotel lobby. Thanks to a mirrored VIP champagne room, you won't be in any hurry to check out.
—James Patrick Herman
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