We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

chicago
Level Contributor
16 posts
Save Topic
Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

Hello,

Two frends and I will be heading to Toronto in two days and I wanted to see if anyone had any "off the beaten path" suggestions for our trip. We're in our mid to late 20's and pretty adventurous.

Also, could somone recommend a couple of lounges for the weekends? We'd rather not do the loud club music scene but do like trendy lounges...

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
Level Contributor
4,212 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

CP;

Any particular areas of interest that might guide our suggestions- sporting, culture, food, shopping, etc?

toronto
Level Contributor
3,252 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

Check out the discussions lately about Queen West. The area around the Drake and Gladstone hotels is about the hippest in town -- you'll find art galleries, local clothing designers, cool bars and cafes, etc. That may also qualify as "off the beaten path." Get off the streetcar at Bathurst, and keep walking west. Past the Gladstone and the railroad tracks, you get into Parkdale, a formerly down-and-out area that's now waking up from a long slumber. When you get to Roncesvalles, turn right, and you'll soon end up in the Polish neighbourhood (wait - you're from Chicago - you probably don't need any more of that).

Other non-tourist-trap suggestions: Little India, Kensington Market...

Lounge-wise, if you'd like something a little more mainstream and dressed-up than the Drake, King St. between Spadina and Bathurst is the place to go: Brassaii, Brant House, etc.

chicago
Level Contributor
16 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Some of our interests would include viewing art, reading, we like to try different ethnic foods, and we like checking out different neighborhoods. We're simply three gals looking to experience and see the beauty of Toronto. Is there something about or in Toronto that you consider beautiful or breathtaking? If so, I'm curious to know what it is.

Thanks again! I know we'll have a fabulous time.

Sewickley
Level Contributor
200 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

Here's a website that focuses on Toronto neighborhoods:

http://www.boldts.net/Toronto.shtml

toronto
Level Contributor
3,252 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

Check out the TripAdvisor Inside Page on Toronto neighbourhoods:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g155019-s204/Toronto:…

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
Level Contributor
4,212 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

CP;

Take a look as well at blogto.com, an "insider" blog site that covers a lot of what's hot and happening. There's a section on neighbourhood profiles that's selective but good.

Some fave eating places of ours are:

Kensington Market: BigFat Burrito at Augusta at Oxford (I believe); Jumbo Empanada on Augusta north of Baldwin (both of these are lunchy); La Palette at dinner, often mentioned here

Chinatown: Pho Hung Vietnamese pho at Spadina & St. Andrews St. (lunch)

Leslieville: Gio Rana's at Queen St. E & Leslie (dinner)- see a review of this place & many others at torontolife.com

College Street W- Biarrada (1000 College W?) (dinner) This place is really only exceptional if the weather's warm enough that you can sit outdoors in the restaurant's back yard at wooden picnic tables & eat the pig they've just roasted!

Queen St W- Coca (dinner) which does Catalan tapas- make sure you order the house's own olive mix!

Best cheeseburger in town (breakfast, lunch, closed for dinner)- Patrician Grill on King St E between Frederic St & Sherbourne St. Close to St. Lawrence market, a large European style market hall.

I could go on all night LOL!!

B

Toronto, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
4,028 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

Welcome to Toronto, Chicago.

We Torontonians tend to forget that there is a wealth of worlds outside of the downtown core. You mentioned art as an interest, and ethnic foods...if you have access to a car, there are two art galleries outside of Toronto core that may prove to be of interest.

In Unionville, up in Markham (Highway 7 and 404), there's the Varley Art Gallery (as in Fred Varley, the portrait specialist of Canada's iconic Group of 7). www.markham.ca/Markham/Attractions/Gallery/

Unionville itself is a charming little "village", with a slew of small pub and local dining restaurants. Nothing earthshattering quality wise, but serviceable after a walk through the town and after seeing the show on at the Gallery. Up in that area is a very culturally diverse area of our citizenry. About 10 minutes away you'll find the Pacific Mall, which I think is about as close to what I experienced in Tokyo as anything I've seen here. All Asian, shops slotted into "streets" within the mall, and on the 2nd level you will find a food court with some of the best, and best-priced, Asian food in Toronto. http://www.pacificmalltoronto.com/

At the other end of our city, at Major MacKenzie & Islington, in the village of Kleinburg is the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, www.mcmichael.com, a gallery devoted to the entire Group of Seven. Personally I think that Kleinburg is not as interesting as Unionville, but it's still up there in the "quaint" department.

In Kleinburg, behind the gallery, you'll find some wonderful walking paths, if hiking and nature trails are of interest. Down the road a bit you'll find the Kortright Centre for Conservation. http://www.kortright.org/; again this is more of a nature oriented stop.

Hope that's enough off the path to work with!!

northern Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Quebec City
Level Contributor
5,108 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

Hello.

Just a few things to add...if you like to shop there are some pretty nice women's clothing stores with trendy fashions and reasonable prices in Bloor West Village. If you like different items for the home check out the Danforth area. There are several unique stores there, that I keep going back to.

If you like vintage clothes check out Queen Street West and Kensington Market.

Also, I noticed you like reading. There is a huge bookstore in downtown Toronto called the World's Biggest Bookstore. The outside of the store is not the most attractive, but once inside it is quite interesting. It has a very large magazine section that could keep you busy for hours. There are books on every subject you can think of ...and lots of them. I go to this bookstore several times a year and always leave happy with what I have found.

You mentioned you are adventurous....what about a hot air balloon ride. Or a helicopter tour of Toronto.

If you have the time, Niagara on the Lake is a gorgeous town and not all that far from Toronto. There is a beautiful main street with boutiques and an art gallery and there are also several wineries in the area.The drive from Niagara Falls to Niagara on the Lake is one of the prettiest drives ever.

Hope you all have a great time!!

Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
917 posts
189 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

How about some of the less visited museum and galleries instead of the Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario? The "major minors" are the Bata Shoe Museum and the Gardiner ceramics museum. But as well there is the Textile Museum, the Design Exchange and the University of Toronto's art gallery. Also, the Provincial Legislature (locally "Queen's Park") is architecturally interesting and has some respectable art hanging on the walls.

Of course if you really want to be "adventurous" there is the nude beach at Hanlon's Point on the the Island.

Have a great visit.

Toronto, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
4,028 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

<lol> just read CanProf...just wanna make sure you don't equate the nude beach with a museum...of any sort!