CLASSIC PLAY You won’t be bored after sundown—some top performance venues are found in this neighbourhood. The holiday spirit fills The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts where the popular musical Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, makes its Canadian stage debut. This beloved classic runs to January 5. 1 Front St. E., 416-393-7469.
SHOWS LITTLE AND BIG Music fills the air at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Until December 15, catch the Canadian Stage Company’s production of the comic musical Little Shop of Horrors. Also on December 15, the Toronto All-Star Big Band performs A Christmas Special, featuring musical performers between 15 and 22 years old. 27 Front St. E., 416-366-1656.
DESIGNER DISCOUNTS Grab a fashionable bargain at the city’s newest location of Winners. Here, you’ll find a large selection of brand-name and designer fashions, accessories, home-decor items and giftware, all at discount prices. Sharpen your elbows: the competition for cheap duds can be fierce. 35 to 45 Front St. E., 416-362-0213.
BRIT LIT Bookish types will take great pleasure in the discovery of Nicholas Hoare. The tweedy setting—dark-wood shelves line the walls and elegant coffee tables display books—is fitting. The store is unabashedly Anglophile: well-curated offerings include a mix of British fiction, history, biography, design and travel. 45 Front St. E., 416-777-2665.
GOURMET GOLDMINE Dining options abound in this lively district. Swanky Lucien is a new addition. It’s a hot spot among Bay Street’s after-work drinks-and-dinner crew, especially since getting glowing reviews from top food critics. 36 Wellington St. E., 416-504-9990.
GEAR TO GO If you lose your way, stop by travel-accessories shop Europe Bound for a hand-held GPS system. Or snag a pair of comfortable walking boots and a cozy fleece to brave the chilly December temperature. 47 Front St. E., 416-601-1990.
THE FULL BELLY The Sultan’s Tent & Café Moroc get full marks for enlivening the post-theatre meal. Live belly dancing takes place each night (call for specific times), including an 11 p.m. show on Fridays and Saturdays, while diners enjoy such Moroccan-inspired fare as chicken Marrakesh. 49 Front St. E., 416-961-0601.
PHOTO OP Its distinctive wedge shape and Gothic-Romanesque design makes The Gooderham Building, popularly called the Flatiron Building (pictured top), hard to miss. Built in 1892, it’s the first flatiron ever constructed. The site originally housed the offices of financier and liquor merchant George Gooderham (of the Gooderham & Worts Distillery). Don’t miss the back of the building—a playful trompe l’oeil mural by Canadian artist Derek Besant adorns it. 49 Wellington St. E.
To get to the Gooderham Building area, take the Yonge-University subway line to Union Station at Front and Bay streets; from there, walk east on Front to Church Street. To explore further, continue east on Front or wander up Church to King Street East and over to Jarvis Street.