The Danforth used to be known for one thing only: Greek food. Now it’s diversified but has remained amazingly local. It’s home to one of Canada’s first organic food emporiums, independent coffee shops, bookstores and a live music venue. And yes, of course, lots of Greek food.
Riverdale Perk Cafe
The best way to get to know a neighbourhood is to get off the beaten path. This local spot is tucked away on residential Logan Avenue. Enjoy your eggs benny and latte on their sunny patio – all the nicer for being a hidden gem.
The Big Carrot Natural Food Market
‘The Carrot’ is an all-natural, organic megastore, with local charm. Do some grocery shopping, browse natural beauty products, buy organic in bulk, grab a fresh juice or pick up homeopathic remedies at their wholistic dispensary. It’s Toronto’s eco-wonderland.
Circus Books & Music
Circus Books & Music offers a very well-curated collection of used books, records and DVDs. There’s the odd cd still hanging around the shop too, if you’re determined to consume your music a la 2001. Buy, sell or trade and receive 10% by showing off your wheels: bike, board, blades or chair.
Square Boy Drive In
This diner has been a mainstay on Danforth since the 1960s and it’s retained that old school vibe. Grab a square burger or some greasy Greek food, at prices that seem not to have budged since 1960 either.
Riverdale Park East
Whatever you’re into, Riverdale Park has it. Baseball diamonds? Yup. Soccer field? Check. Swimming pool? Got it. Playground? Sure, why not. There are also tennis courts, a running track and an outdoor hockey rink. If park chilling is more your thing, this park has great views of the city to gaze at too.
(Photo: City of Toronto)
Every Torontoian has a favourite Greek restaurant on the Danforth, and Ouzeri is definitely a popular choice. Why? They have a sunny patio, fiery saganacki, and a traditional Greek Salad (no lettuce). They also have an extensive list of sharables, including their delicious dip trio (hummus, tzazkiki and skordalia are best), so Ouzeri is great place to with a group.
Carter’s Ice Cream
Owner Tammy Wiseberg’s shop was the feel-good story of 2013. When the store’s power went out during the ice storm, Wiseberg, gave away ice cream to people who helped each other during the storm. Ice cream may be a strange gift during an ice storm but it’s still sweet.
Danforth Music Hall
Danforth Music Hall was originally built as a movie theater in 1919. It fell into a state of disrepair over the years until it was closed in 2004. Recently restored to it’s charming 20th century glory and upgraded with a wicked 21st century sound system, it is now one of Toronto’s best venues to see live music.
This place is fantastically old school. Invite your friends because this is a great low-key party spot, especially for birthdays. Who doesn’t want a do-over of their childhood bowling birthday party?