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Great Spaces: Take tours of four of Toronto’s boldest, boxiest new homes

Torontonians are finally rejecting fussy Victorian architecture and going bold. In almost every neighbourhood, there’s a house or two that stands out. They’re tall, modern and boxy—the new Toronto aesthetic. Here, a look inside some of our favourites

Great Spaces: Take tours of four of Toronto's boldest, boxiest new homes

See the first house »

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The Goods

Stores

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Five pop-up shops land on the east end of Danforth Avenue for the summer

Inside the Krystle Lee pop-up (Image: Krystle Lee)

Residents of the East Danforth—an area long euphemistically dubbed “in transition”—are banking on a series of pop-up shops to help increase its vibrancy. Copying a model that has proved successful in Newcastle, Australia, the local community association convinced four clothing stores and a bakery to take on summer-long leases in previously empty storefronts, with the possibility of staying permanently. Over the weekend, all five pop-ups launched on the stretch between Monarch Park Avenue and Woodbine: Krystle Lee, a clothing store with image consulting services; In This Closet, a women’s apparel thrift store; e-closeta women’s accessories and apparel shop; Cheap Thrills, a shop selling samples and seconds for men, women, and kids; and Yummy Stuff, a bakery specialising in cookies, cakes and cupcakes.

Krystle Lee, 1517 Danforth Ave., 1 647 284 5154, krystle.ca
In This Closet, 1765 Danforth Ave.
E-closet, 1801 Danforth Ave., 647-207-0494, ecloset.ca
Cheap Thrills, 1811 Danforth Ave.
Yummy Stuff, 1938 Danforth Ave.,  416 531 9732, yummystuff.ca

The Dish

Drinks

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The Beer Store is giving four stores a boutique makeover

(Image: The Beer Store)

The Ontario beer chain owned by Labatt, Molson and Sleeman’s is completely revamping four GTA locations—College and Bathurst, Parliament and Winchester, Danforth and Greenwood and Hopedale Mall in Oakville—as part of a pilot program to test a new, more modern appeal.

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The Dish

Deathwatch

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Aravind calls it quits on The Danforth

(Image: Jon Sufrin)

After just over two years on the Danforth, Aravind, which had earned a reputation for serving some of the most sophisticated Indian food in the city, has closed. Owner Aravind Kozhikott previously worked under Marc Thuet at Conviction and Bistro Bakery Thuet. His father Raj Kozhikott told The Grid that the restaurant’s east-side location wasn’t making sense, since most of their patrons came from further west. Indeed, Kozhikott said he’s currently scouting for a more appropriate spot, and hopes to reopen in the next few months. Meanwhile, Aravind’s Danforth space is being taken over by the brand-new Namaste Nepal Restaurant and Bar. [The Grid]

The Dish

Licious

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Winterlicious 2013: Toronto Life’s two picks east of the DVP

WINTERLICIOUS 2013 | EAST

Winterlicious and Summerlicious are never particularly kind to the east end of the city, but this year’s selection is worse than ever. Despite the recent slew of promising openings in Leslieville and Riverside, we can only recommend a pair of restaurants in the area for Winterlicious 2013.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Slider Revolution, Toronto’s first restaurant devoted to tiny burgers

Introducing: Slider Revolution

Slider Revolution owner Rich Lee (Image: Megan Leahy)

With gourmet tacos, fancy hot dogs and “better burgers” popping up all over the city, Rich Lee saw a niche that was as yet untapped: sliders. Lee, whose background is in sales and finance, had noticed the surge in fun, hand-held foods, but was surprised that the mini-burgers that tend to fly off the plates at catered events were so hard to come by in a Toronto restaurant. That difficulty led him to open Slider Revolution, which takes over the space previously home to Three’s Company, the popular Danforth and Pape brunch spot and catering business.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Slider Revolution hopes to bring an uprising of tiny burgers to the Danforth

Sliders, those tiny little burgers on their tiny little buns, have long been a fixture of catering menus in Toronto, but they haven’t really made their mark in restaurants. Richard Lee hopes to change that with his upcoming Danforth restaurant Slider Revolution. Lee, whose background is in sales and finance rather than food, worked on the ill-fated project to bring Wolfgang Puck to Toronto (there have been rumours and rumblings of a Puck outpost here for years, but a restaurant never materialized). Given that a new burger joint seems to open about every five minutes in Toronto (here are the best 25), Lee tells us, “Hell, yeah, I think we need a slider restaurant.” Instead of simply serving tiny patties of ground chuck, Lee will be offering fillings like pulled pork, chicken, meatball and veggies, in barbecue, jerk, bulgogi, Italian and other flavours. The restaurant is slated to be open for business sometime in October.

Slider Revolution, 673 Danforth Ave., sliderrevolution.com

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: 417, the Danforth’s newest resto-lounge (from a longtime Greektown family)

Introducing: 417

(Image: Rouzbeh Heydari)

After running the Danforth Foodland grocery store for 30 years, the Pavlou family began to notice the decline of their neighbourhood. Restaurants were shuttering, and the strip was losing its night-time vibrancy—which is why when Eleni Gountanos (née Pavlou) noticed that Davos (formerly Myth) had closed, she decided to take a stab at injecting some vigour back into the Greek quarter that she grew up in. “I want to make the Danforth a destination,” she exclaims over the thumping soundtrack at the opening party for 417, the Danforth’s newest resto-lounge.

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for July 2 to July 8

Farmer’s market season has arrived (Image: Kevin Ho)

Monday, July 2

  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Check out a double bill at the at the Drake Lounge. First, a throw-down for the ultimate hangover cure: the Bloody Mary versus the Caesar. Second, a watermelon-eating contest. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: A weekly aperitivo italiano with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »

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The Dish

Licious

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Summerlicious 2012: our food editor picks the top 10 offerings from this year’s Licious list

Summerlicious-2012

One of Colborne Lane’s innovative concoctions (Image: Renée Suen)

Ten years in, Toronto’s loved (and loathed) bacchanalia of affordable dining is larger than ever, with 181 restaurants offering three-course prix fixe menus for $25, $35 or $45 from July 6-22. Despite common complaints—packed rooms, harried dining and more salmon and chicken than a buffet wedding—an ineluctable truth remains: Summerlicious is a good opportunity to sample new restaurants on the cheap. To that end, we’ve sifted through the overwhelming list of participants to find the most interesting dishes and the very best value. Start making your reservations now.

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for May 28 to June 3

El Gastrónomo Vagabundo is hosting a viewing party for their appearance on Eat. St. on Wednesday

Monday, May 28

  • Jamie Kennedy’s Spring Feast: A Local Food Movement dinner featuring hors d’oevres and a four-course meal of seasonal goodness. Gilead Cafe, 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680. Find out more »
  • 86’D with Ivy Knight: Launch of the Ontario Culinary Adventure Guide with special guest Rebecca LeHeup. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Raw Essentials Workshop: Learn the basics of raw food preparation with Marni Wasserman.  Marni’s Kitchen, 26 Lauderdale Dr., 647-477-8131. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »
  • Sorauren Farmers’ Market: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the field house at Sorauren Park. 50 Wabash Ave. Find out more »

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for May 21 to 27

Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market are back on May 27 (Image: Min)

Monday, May 21

  • 86’D: Join Ivy Knight for a tea party in honour of Queen Victoria. Featuring Victoria Gin tea cocktails and dainty tea sandwiches from Fresh City Farms. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Queen Victoria’s Secret: The launch of Brewer’s Backyard, a new craft beer series at the Brick Works. This time around: beer by Great Lakes Brewing of Toronto and sandwiches from Fidel Gastro. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »
  • Sorauren Farmers’ Market: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the field house at Sorauren Park. 50 Wabash Ave. Find out more »

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: The Fuzz Box, a new Danforth restaurant serving classic East Coast donairs

The view from the Danforth (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

What, exactly, is it about Haligonian donairs that always has Maritimers waxing rhapsodic? “The trick,” says Neil Dominey, owner of The Fuzz Box, “is that there should be so much sauce that it runs down your elbows!” After being disappointed time and time again by this city’s ubiquitous shawarmas, Dominey decided to take on the problem himself with his new eatery on the Danforth—home, he says, to a surprising number of Nova Scotians.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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New Reviews: Don Don Izakaya, Pachuco Modmex and Hopgood’s Foodliner

A Japanese izakaya to rival Guu Maritime comfort food and more haute tacos

DON DON IZAKAYA star
130 Dundas St. W., 416-492-5292

Just opened: Don Don IzakayaTaiko drums and a chorus of Japanese greetings welcome diners as they walk into Toronto’s latest izakaya. Don Don is great fun, if you can get in—on weekends, wait times soar to 45 minutes or longer. Chef and co-owner Daisuke Izutsu, whose restaurant Kaiseki Sakura closed last year, works the floor with charisma, chatting with diners at the long communal tables opposite the open kitchen. His menu is fantastically adventurous and confident. For example, Hopetta-Yaki—mashed potatoes topped with chicken confit, gremolata, pickled ginger, shaved bonito, salty-sweet bulldog sauce and a squiggle of mayonnaise—is as addictive as it is unusual. Mackerel sashimi, charred tableside by a blowtorch-wielding showman of a server, is smoky and delicate. Desserts include velvety caramel flan and intense green tea mousse. Over 70 sakes are available, as well as 13 shochu cocktails. Small plates $5–$8.

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The Informer

Politics

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NDP holds on to Jack Layton’s former seat (despite all of Justin Trudeau’s efforts)

Late NDP leader Jack Layton (Image: Matt Jiggins)

Not even Justin Trudeau’s impassioned video plea for the Liberals could stop the NDP from cruising to an easy win in Toronto-Danforth. NDP candidate Craig Scott won a federal by-election last night for Jack Layton’s former seat, netting nearly 60 per cent of the vote, which is almost as good as Layton’s result in the 2011 election. That’s encouraging news for a party looking to honour the legacy of its late leader (though whether that’s a good thing is a matter of opinion). With the by-election settled, party members can now move on to choosing a new leader this Saturday—a race that may be just as predictable. Read the entire story [National Post]»

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