Leslieville/Queen St. East:
Just east of downtown, this is an area focused along Queen Street East that is in transition with many new cafes and shops. I enjoyed my afternoon there exploring the neighborhood. They have various festivals throughout the year, including Summerlust in June, where the galleries, stores and restaurants are open with live music. Wanderlust happens in December.
At the suggestion of The Wall Street Journal, I had lunch at OK OK diner at 1120 Queen Street East. This is a local’s spot with a fun atmosphere. The Eggs Brunhilde were great!
There are many shops including the Holy Cow Warehouse at 1100 Queen Street East. They have a large selection of imported art, home accessories and furniture. Also check out Zig Zag Midcentury furnishings, at 985 Queen Street East, for mid-century furniture and accessories. Parts Gallery is a quality art gallery at 1142 Queen St. East.
Don’t miss Ed’s Real Scoop for homemade Ice Cream at 920 Queen Street East; it was perfect on a hot summer day. Nearby is Pilot Coffee Roasters, formerly Te Aro Coffee, at 983 Queen Street East, which is a good spot for a coffee or tea.
Further east on Queen St. East is an area with a boardwalk along Lake Ontario, parks, cottage style homes and a small downtown area with shops and restaurants that line Queen Street East. It is a great place to escape the city on a hot summer day.
Just north is Little India where, along Gerrard St., you can find some trendy and edgy stores and restaurants. Tea n Bannock is a small restaurant featuring native Canadian or indigenous dishes at 1294 Gerrard. The New York Times likes this plus The Swag Sisters for toys at 1511 Gerrard, Lazy Daisy’s Cafe at 1515 Gerrard, Flying Pony coffee house and gallery at 1481 Gerrard, and Gerrard Art Space, an artists’ collective, at 1390 Gerrard.