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10 Hidden Gems

FILM BUFFS From documentaries to animation, Mediatheque has something for everyone with more than 30,000 films to rent, buy, or watch in 14 custom-designed personal viewing stations. Hot new releases can be seen in an intimate 79-seat theatre. Open daily.

WORLD CLASS COLLECTION Curator Ydessa Hendeles’ innovative groupings of items at the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation have influenced how some major museums around the world approach exhibits. The gallery showcases her personal collection and is Canada’s only privately funded exhibition space for contemporary art.

STORED TREASURES A treasure chest of eclectic styles and designer labels, Trove is a gallery-cum-fashion boutique that blends into the artsy vibe of the Annex. Find accessories, clothing and footwear from renowned local and international labels such as House of Spy, Wonderlust, El Naturalista and Frye.

MUSIC NOTES One of the hottest record stores, Soundscapes caters to discerning audiophiles eager to add to their ever-expanding collection of indie music. A diverse range of genres runs the gamut from Jean Claude Vannier’s orchestral music to electro-pop by Hot Chips. Special orders taken.

SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM! Purveyors of ice-creamy goodness, Dutch Dreams (78 Vaughn St., 416-656-6959) has 40 flavours of ice cream, 45 flavours of frozen yogurt and homemade waffle cones to wrap them in. Familiar offerings like chocolate chip cookie dough are served alongside such decadent flavours as wild berry cheesecake, and the unusual “moose droppings” (vanilla ice cream with chocolate clusters). Regular cones start at $3.13.

PROUDLY CANADIAN Model Citizen/Georgie Bolesworth stocks edgy accessories and clothing lines that honour Canadian fashion designers. Chic labels for gals include Mercy, as well as eco-friendly Passenger Pigeon, which uses recyclable materials. Guys can choose from the house line by Julian Finkel as well as Sydney’s Custom and AKA. Also find vintage-inspired fashions such as Carol Grave’s reworked cuffs and Brit Boutique’s belts.

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS Kicking around since 1919, the facade of the Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth Ave., 416-978-7989) belies the complexity and diversity of the music within. Spanning rock and roll, jazz, ethnic dance and everything in between, some of the world’s top-billed talents have played the stage here, including Oasis’s Noel Gallagher, Blue Rodeo, Molly Johnson and The Killers. This was also the set for such films as Chicago and 54.

HOME SWEET HOME Ma-Zone Home Decor carries contemporary home accessories inspired by bold designs of years past. Quirky novelty items include origami-influenced hand juicers, rabbit ear serving tongs and Ritzenhoff porcelain piggy banks that are chubby with attitude.

BRANDING POWER Swipe Books on Advertising and Design is a stronghold for books on specialty genres such as copyright, branding, typography and graphic design. A modern industrial interior forms a surprisingly cozy backdrop for well stocked shelves that include first editions.

MORNING GLORY Something of a misnomer, the ’60s kitsch Le Petit Déjeuner isn’t your usual breakfast nook. This popular restaurant also serves home-style lunches and dinners but is best known for its heady weekend brunches, where the house specialty of Belgian waffles is so popular that there is a limit of two per table. Entrées: $8.50-$22. Prix fixe: $30.

Get the insider scoop on one of Toronto’s hidden nabes in Summerhill in the City—Gaya Arasaratnam

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