The many families in this re-gentrifying residential neighbourhood flock to its main strip, Queen Street East, for an assortment of independent shops, cafés and more.
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MORNING GLORY Get cozy at Lady Marmalade, an eclectic café that serves up all-day breakfast and lunch options to a dedicated clientele. Comfortably retro—like a grandmother’s kitchen—this eatery delights with market-fresh local fare including organic breads and fair-trade coffee, waffles, and signature “bennies” made with free-run eggs.
IMBIBE IN STYLE One of Leslieville’s real hidden gems, Swirl is a vintage-chic wine bar in a converted apartment above a pet supply store. There’s no kitchen; instead you’ll find delectable preserves, cheeses and charcuterie-style options like duck rillettes—shredded duck confit with garlic, Cointreau and brandy—best enjoyed, of course, with a few glasses from the succinct yet sophisticated list of wines.
TOT SPOT A no-fuss, all-natural early-years boutique with an urban sensibility, Baby on the Hip has made a name for itself with organic clothing—in materials like bamboo and soybean fibre—BPA-free toys and accessories, and even packaging that’s mindful of the user and environment. It’s a one-stop shop for both parents and gift givers in a family-friendly pocket of Toronto.
DRESS IT UP Vintage-style frocks ranging in style from daywear to cocktail-party flair are showcased at Doll Factory by Damzels. The Queen East boutique’s house brand features a rock ‘n’ roll flavour with feminine touches. Labels like Betty Page and Pin Up Couture also find space on the colourful racks, along with handbags, hats and 1970s-and ‘80s-inspired memorabilia.
UNIQUE GRAPHICS Pop into gallery-like shop Telegramme Prints and Custom Framing to ogle the handcrafted lithographs produced using antique presses, just as they were during the golden age of poster art. Pick out a classic fine-art print preserved on museum-quality paper, or admire modern screenprints by artists like Shinzi Katoh and Charley Harper. These vibrant pieces will stand out on your walls for years to come.
FABULOUS FINDS A long-standing neighbourhood treasure trove, Gadabout is a near-infinite source for anything and everything one could imagine from the world of fashion and accessories. Buttons, beads, bracelets and broaches are among the thousands of items squeezed between designer couture that could date to the late 19th century.