A neighbourhood tradition for 11 years, Wanderlust is returning once again to celebrate all things Leslieville.
The neighbourhood's marquee festival will feature over 220 local businesses — the shops, restaurants, galleries and other merchants who call Leslieville home — in an event designed to showcase the best the east end has to offer.
Wanderlust has reinvented itself for 2017. Two days have been unified to one stacked day of programming and this year's edition will usher in the fall season rather than its usual holiday setting.
But the focus remains the same: To get out and embrace Leslieville’s vibe, experience its inspired shopping and taste its food and drink.
The Leslieville Wanderlust — with free admission for all ages — runs noon till 6 p.m. on Sept. 30. Here are five things to know:
SHOP TILL YOU DROP
At its core, Wanderlust is about customer appreciation and nowhere will that be more visible than in the shops and boutiques of the neighbourhood. Leslieville retailers will feature in-store specials, discounts and giveaways, plus music, cocktails and more. Wanderlust ambassadors will be giving out shopping bags with invitations to go online to a coupon book with even more promotions.
Whether you’re hungry for a bite, on a mission for a perfect gift or just want to amble aimlessly, 11 blocks of Queen East will dedicated to Wanderlust, and ambassadors will be on-hand to help navigate. When you get tired of wandering, pedi-cabs will be offering free rides from one end of the strip to the other.
The streets of Leslieville will be animated with five themed hubs featuring live music, food and drink and kids activities. Bounce between street parties at Booth Ave., Pape Ave., Leslie Grove Park, Leslie St. and Vancouver Ave., that will come alive with 15 local bands, 15 artists creating ‘en plein air’ pieces, plus local craft beer and plenty of tasty eats. Finished art will be auctioned later the day of the event with proceeds going to local charities, Red Door Shelter and Creative Works Studio.
FUN FOR ALL AGES
With the eclectic nature of the neighbourhood put on display, Leslieville Wanderlust really has a little something for everyone. If you like to shop, there are sales and specials. If you’re an art lover, there are galleries to explore. If you're a foodie, the area is known throughout the city for its culinary scene. If you're a mom or dad, brother, sister, aunt or uncle, there is plenty of family fun.
PARTY ON, LESLIEVILLE
Wanderlust winds down at 6 p.m. but the PhilanthroPub will keep the party going strong through till 2 a.m. The pop-up bar and patio will feature drinks, live music and food trucks all in support of The Red Door Family Shelter. The one-off event will be held at 1001 Queen St. E
Leslieville Wanderlust is sponsored by Castlepoint Numa, Chartwell Avondale Retirement Residence, and the PhilanthroPub by 33 Developments among others.