Hallowed performance halls are the main attraction on this strip, but a variety of shops and restaurants entice visitors to stick around regardless of show time.
GEAR UP! A supply haven for almost every outdoor activity, Vancouver’s Mountain Equipment Co-Op has been in Toronto since 1985. The member-owned retailer sells gear for climbing, hiking, camping and more, plus ruggedly stylish apparel for men and women. The company also taps into community spirit by offering courses and events for active-living enthusiasts.
LOCAL FLAIR Sporting the motto “Inspired by Italy, made in Canada,” Paese combines its dual roots in dishes with a true sense of place. Pizzas, pastas and mains like veal scaloppini are given a homegrown twist, while the restaurant’s location makes it a preferred spot for a pre- or post-show meal.
SCREENING ROOMS After opening last September, the TIFF Bell Lightbox immediately became a hot spot for movie lovers to call their own. Serving as the year-round headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival, the building houses five cinemas, public galleries and two restaurants—the casual O&B Canteen and upscale Luma. It all makes for an ideal venue for indulgence in the cinematic arts.
MAGNET FOR VINTAGE Like the century-old Royal Alexandra Theatre just to its east, Toronto Antiques on King is a jewel box of the past. This 6,000-square-foot space features a large assemblage of estate jewellery from noted collector Cynthia Findlay, as well as other dealers of fine china, sterling silver, decorative glass, objets d’art and more.
NICE AND EASY The “West Coast casual” vibe of Earls sets the tone for a congenial dining experience, whether you’re on a date, with the family, or just socializing with friends and colleagues. The menu offers a bit of everything—from a juicy Bronx burger to Los Cabos chicken tacos—though the use of high-quality, fresh ingredients defines each dish.
STORES GALORE The sky-scraper known as First Canadian Place houses a number of top businesses within its 72 storeys; at its base, it boasts an impressive retail concourse. More than 120 stores occupy the upscale shopping space, including men’s clothier Harry Rosen and Birks jewellers. First Canadian Place proves to be all-inclusive for diners, too, with a food court plus respected restaurants including Vertical and Reds Bistro.