Where to shop for holiday gifts in Toronto's west end

Where to shop for holiday gifts in Toronto's west end

There are few feelings that rival the giving of a truly befitting and much appreciated gift. But for every perfect gift there are at least three more to be purchased that cause stress and anxiety. While there is no one-gift-fits-all, there are some safer bets that appeal to a wider audience. 

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Five takeaway spots to check out at Market 707 on Dundas West

Five takeaway spots to check out at Market 707 on Dundas West

On a nondescript stretch along Dundas West between Chinatown and Trinity Bellwoods you'll find Market 707. Despite the lack of vibrancy compared to its surrounding downtown destinations, the market has managed to thrive for the last six years, attracting people from throughout Toronto for its street food and retail.

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Where to brunch in the west end

  Photo:  Lakeview

Photo: Lakeview

In Toronto, brunch is the most important meal of the weekend. Is there anything better on a Saturday afternoon than a spicy Caesar and some simple — but delicious — bacon and eggs? Didn't think so. Brunch is the weekend's saving grace. It doesn't happen too early, it's a social event almost everyone enjoys and it offers just the right amount of indulgence. We've rounded up our go-to weekend spots in Toronto's west end  — from boozy to greasy spoon, high brow to Mexican-influenced, satisfying nearly every craving in the book.

THE LAKEVIEW

The Lakeview is a Toronto institution. Hanging around for almost a century, this restaurant is open 24 hours a day, serves $3 Mimosas and $4 Caesars and has a menu with no less than 10,000 items on it. With a list of credentials that lengthy, the long wait lines and often slow service can be forgiven. The Lakeview does nostalgia the way it’s supposed to be: Formica on every surface, a brown, beige and silver colour scheme and a really delicious carb-loaded and grease-heavy menu. 

1132 Dundas St. W
thelakeviewrestaurant.ca


DAKOTA TAVERN

It doesn’t really matter if you’re a fan of bluegrass, there’s something so befitting about bluegrass at brunch. It’s simple, relaxed and goes well with all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausages and eggs. At $18 per adult and $7 per child, a family vacation to the Midwest has never been so cheap. 

249 Ossington Ave.
thedakotatavern.com



MILDRED’S TEMPLE KITCHEN

Mildred’s is something of a Liberty Village staple having opened after the beloved Mildred Pierce closed back in 2007. The menu is small but flavourful with items such as Mildred’s flakey savoury tart ($12.95) and the huevos monty ($14.95). But a brunch at Mildred’s would be amiss without Mrs. Biederhof’s legendary light and fluffy blueberry buttermilk pancakes ($16). Choose your friends wisely, there's no room for fruit cup people here.    

85 Hanna Ave.
templekitchen.com


SCHOOL

If Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is the refined older sibling, then School is something of a wild child. A bit outgoing and a bit full on, this eatery is where you brunch if a bacon cheddar burger ($19) or super cheesy bacon French toast ($19) is what you need to cure your hangover. And rest assured, there are lots of hung over people at School.  

70 Fraser Ave.
schooltoronto.com


EASY RESTAURANT

All-day breakfast is arguably the most important form of dining in existence, and Easy Restaurant has mastered the art of it. The robust menu is full of Mexican staples such as the fan favourite huevos divorciados ($14.95) and breakfast tacos ($9.95 weekday special) with chorizo or chipotle chicken. The booths are cozy and the portions are hearty. The College Street location recently closed its doors but the Queen West location is going strong. Disfrutar! 

1645 Queen St. W
easyrestaurant.ca

A west end art crawl of some of Toronto's best murals

A west end art crawl of some of Toronto's best murals

Toronto has worked hard to cultivate a reputation as an arts and culture hub. With endless festivals, galleries, event series, workshops, you name it, the city constantly encourages participation and inclusivity in the arts and culture scene. And with all that’s going on, sometimes you need not look farther than our city's walls to be immersed in its treasures.

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