Every year, Canada’s National Trust publishes a “Worst Losses” list – a heartbreaking enumeration of historic buildings wiped from our landscape. From lighthouses to churches to architecturally and culturally significant houses, most are neglected beyond repair, then demolished – often for condo development. And as the only G7 country without laws in place to protect federal-government-owned historic properties, Canada continues to accumulate new losses every year.
We’re off to an early start to patio season in the city (yippee!) and as the weeks continue to hopefully heat up we want to take full advantage of being outdoors. Dining under the open skies is what we love best so here are a few great patios in the city where you can not just have fun with friends but you can also take your kids too. Slap on your shades and sunscreen and let’s go!
Charming heritage buildings, sun-soaked patios and fresh, international cuisine — that’s what you’ll find on the newly restored Market St. What was once a mundane alley nestled beside St. Lawrence Market, is now a street boasting with restaurants and cafes that reflect Toronto’s diverse culinary scene. From Spanish tapas and Italian fare to fresh seafood and modern Indian cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every palate. And for those who get hangry before, during or after a trip to the market (or all three like me), the foodie hub is a godsend. A refuge from the hustle and bustle of the busy market, it’s the perfect place to unwind and fuel up. Here’s a glimpse inside the vibrant establishments that line the street…
Celebrate spring and the launch of patio season with Marketlicious!! Join us April 16th through 30th for preset lunch menus highlighting some of Barsa Taberna, Bindia, Market Street Catch, Evolution Food Co. and Pastizza’s top dishes.
Building Toronto’s next great food district won’t happen over night, but a handful of eager restaurateurs hope that by summer’s end Market Street is as synonymous with the city’s foodie culture as The Distillery District or King West.
The heritage buildings that occupy the street to the west of Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market have sat dormant for a number of years, plagued by construction and revitalization projects, but as the dust settles a new generation of first-time restaurant owners are hoping to bring a new identity to the narrow brick paved street.
Until recently, the historic little street that runs parallel to the St. Lawrence Market on the west side looked for years like an old alleyway or a delivery drop-off zone.
Among its numerous incarnations dating back to the 1800s though, Market Street once housed Toronto’s Armoury Hotel — which eventually became a home for wounded World War II veterans — The Old Fish Market restaurant, RCMP horse stables, a fruit warehouse, an auto body shop and the LCBO’s vintage wine cellar.
Though it sits in the shadow of the giant food and vending behemoth, the newly restored Market Street has quietly become a vibrant hub for foodies that is as eclectic as the St. Lawrence Market and the city itself.
And guess what? We’ve got 6 and a half new restaurants for you to check out.
In honour of the late visionary developer, the new pedestrian Market Street strip has officially been named Paul Oberman Walk and the opening of these restaurants offers a refreshing facelift to the well-known historic area of the St. Lawrence Market.
Tastes of Market Street offer more than just patios, though. The food ranges drastically from place to place, allowing your taste buds a week’s worth of experience within a few hundred metres.
Evolution Food Co. is located midway down Market Street, neighboured by a row of burgeoning restaurants and the St. Lawrence Market. Owner Ian Paech, a former banker and triathlete, wanted to bring quick, clean eating to a neighbourhood where ready-to-eat foods tend be especially indulgent.
Designed by Solid Design and Build, the room consists of a take-away counter, assembly line and seating for 20 inside (double that on the patio). Done up in marble, subway tiles, salvaged woods and exposed brick, the space is outfitted with industrial fixtures and punctuated with sunny yellow accents.
Toronto’s Market Street boasts five cheerful restaurants, a bustling coffee emporium and a specialty food store. Its 150-year-old buildings are accented by outdoor patios, the entire street repaved with brick.
It’s a stunning transformation for a historic street along the west side of St. Lawrence Market that for years had been all but abandoned and considered expendable as a wave of redevelopment swept in from all sides.
Balzac’s has opened its eighth cafe in the burgeoning Market St. area. It’s a suitable place, with its cobblestones, wide patios and plenty of tourists and city dwellers hitting the St. Lawrence Market next door. Like the other locations, there’s a French cafe vibe, thanks to the beautiful tiles and wood, banquettes and cafe tables, and a few Balzac’s posters.
Now that the mini-empire has spent several years dominating Toronto’s cafe scene, they’ve got their branding down. Every square inch is curated, pristine and lovely, with Balzac-emblazoned cups, cards, and posters available for purchase.