This northerly section of Yonge Street mixes name-brand and upscale-independent shops, restaurants and a bustling vibe that’s both urbane and neighbourly.
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NAME RECOGNITION The first and arguably most revered of top chef Mark McEwan’s four Toronto businesses, North 44° has been an uptown destination for more than 20 years. Longtime McEwan protégé Sash Simpson runs the kitchen at this refined restaurant, and dishes out contemporary classics like roasted squab, pan-seared Dover sole and herb-crusted ostrich.
LOCAL TREAT An alternative to the area’s abundant chain coffee shops is La Bohème Café Patisserie. Though relatively spacious, the room is often filled with patrons indulging in Te Aro coffee and fresh-made tarts, French pastries, and savoury snacks like sandwiches and quiches. If the weather is suitable, opt for a seat on the secluded back patio.
PUT ON THE RITZ The valets at Centro get a workout most evenings as the venerable restaurant attracts Toronto’s big spenders to its swanky space. Lately, chef Jason Carter has reinvigorated the menu with striking seasonal flavours—dishes range from mozzarella ravioli to a creamy lobster thermidor—while a long wine list has international vintages at many price points.
Pistachio (photo by Gizelle Lau)
GREEN GOODS Organic, sustainable, biodegradable—just a few of the adjectives that can be applied to the wares at eco-friendly gift boutique Pistachio. Here, environmentally aware consumers can peruse natural beauty products, small items for the home, children’s toys and more. A selection of social stationery and fair-trade chocolate treats help make your purchase complete.
HOME BREW Health- and flavour-conscious uptowners have made the Yonge Street location of David’s Tea a neighbourhood staple. Upon entry you’ll be offered a tea-of-the-day taste, but be sure to pick up a few sachets, too. The sheer variety—from delicate Bai Hao Yin Zhen white tea to delightful Cream of Earl Grey—can be overwhelming, but enthusiastic staff are always ready to offer up their favourites.
THE EYES HAVE IT Ladies look luxurious at Pretty in the City. The slim and trim beauty bar is known for its eyelash extensions—a signature treatment guaranteed to add movie-star glam—but also deals with hair elsewhere through shaping, tinting and waxing. Shellac and Gelish polishes are used for manicures and pedicures to ensure up to two weeks of non-chip colour.