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A Perfect Day In Parkdale & West Queen West

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. If you spent one day in each section of town it would seem as though each one was a different city. Here’s a perfect day in Parkdale/West Queen West.

Capital Espresso

Start the day off with a cortado and mixed berry muffin at this sunny Parkdale coffee shop. Bring a book or grab a seat near the front window and people watch.

High Park Zoo

Escape the concrete and visit the High Park Zoo. This isn’t technically Parkdale or West Queen West, but it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away and provides a great escape from the busy city streets. The zoo is open year round from 7am til dusk. Expect to see bison, deer, llamas, and peacocks.

Grand Electric

Toronto’s famed taco eatery is open at 11:30 am for lunch. That means you can munch on crispy cauliflower tacos and chug bourbon cocktails without having to wait in the cold for a table until 10:00 pm. Tell your friends. But be selective with who you tell. We wouldn’t want line-ups at lunchtime too, now would we?


This small and cozy plant and textile store does double duty as a rotating pop up shop for local jewelry and clothing designers. Pick up a beautiful succulent, which is easy to care for all year long.

Stephen Bulger Gallery & CAMERA

There are lots of galleries to chose from on Queen Street and you should try to pop into all of them, but there’s only one gallery on the strip that is a bookstore and screening room as well. Stephen Bulger Gallery & CAMERA host free screenings every Saturday at 3:00 pm. The films they show are selected as they relate to whatever is on exhibit at the time.

Sorauren Park Farmers’ Market

Take a stroll through the quiet residential neighbourhood north of Queen and make your way to Sorauren Ave. and Wabash Ave. where the West End Food Coop Farmers’ Market is on every Monday year-round. Grab some local produce or snack on something from one of the many prepared food vendors while you watch puppies play at the dog park nearby.

TYPE Books

TYPE is well known for it’s curiously curated collection of books, magazines and gifts. Browsing can give book loving adults the feeling of being a kid in a candy shop. Even if you just pause on the sidewalk, you’ll be filled with wonder by their amazing crafted window displays, created by Kalpna Patel. You can keep track of her work around the city by following her on Instagram @ghostfaceknitta.

Sud Forno

Have a quick, light dinner at Sud Forno, Terroni’s newest incarnation: the modern Italian bakery. Grab a panino on house-baked bread. You can take your meal upstairs at their huge high top harvest table and look out the window at snowy Queen Street below.


Since you didn’t splurge on dinner, go all out on drinks. Robin Goodfellow is truly one of Toronto’s best bartenders with almost as many accolades as tattoos. Goodfellow, brings the restaurant’s farm to table philosophy to the bar with his homemade infusions and signature drinks. Start with his original: The Dirty Gentleman. A smoky, citrusy whisky drink that goes down deliciously strong. The best seat is at the bar in front of the window that runs the full length of the front of the restaurant. You can sip and watch the neighbourhood pass you by all night long.

All images were sourced from businesses’ social media channels.

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