Why we like it.
Officially named “Greektown” in 1993, the Danforth has long been home to one of the largest Greek populations outside of their native country. Given the Greek’s love of food, drink and having a great time with friends and family, it’s no surprise that this area is packed with restaurants, lounges, markets, butchers and patios, and packed with locals out enjoying themselves seven days a week.
Don’t let the nightlife fool you though; this is also a very family friendly area. Steps from Danforth Ave. you will find streets lined with well-kept homes on lush green lots, friendly neighbours, and schools and playgrounds for the little ones. This neighbourhood really does have something for everyone!
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More than just souvlaki and calamari, the Danforth boasts a wide range of fantastic restaurants – from Sushi to Thai to Ethiopian on the Eastern edge. You’ll never have to cook again!
Hands down the best souvlaki on the strip, the retro orange and white sign announces that the gentlemen behind the counter have been doing things the same way for a long, long time. Regular line-ups are a clue to the popularity of this greasy spoon, with their generous portions of souvlaki and homemade burgers flying out the door.
The Auld Spot
Casual and cosy, the Auld Spot can be relied on for delicious gastro-pub food, an interesting assortment of libations and a friendly, neighbourhood vibe.
Great BBQ, decadent desserts and live music. This east end joint hits all the right spots with long smoking times, kitchy Americana decor and bacon infused cocktails. We love that they aren’t strictly carnivores, with smoked veggies and a number of vegan dishes on the menu!
The perfect blend of hipster and Old West, the Wren’s charms are many and immediate. We’ve tried a few times to just “have a salad”, but there are too many tempting things on the menu to be that well behaved!
At the far end of the neighbourhood is a delightful sushi shop that we love for their fresh fish and friendly service. Definitely a hidden gem in the area.
Patisserie La Cigone
Thierry Schmitt is a French master pastry chef who opened his authentic Alastian patisserie in 2003, much to the delight of Torontonians who are serious about their pastries. Offering everything from the perfect croissant to cake masterpieces crafted from butter and chocolate this is the perfect spot to stop in and treat yourself.
Light and airy, this is the perfect respite from the crowds on Danforth. Escape and enjoy an espresso and croissant before tackling the rest of your errands, or pull up an outlet and get some work done while you caffeinate.
Why do we love Red Rocket? Let us count the ways – rotating feature coffee blends, Hot Chocolates decorated with cookie crumbs and gummi worms, colabs with breweries, comedians and authors are just a few of the things that keep us coming back to this East End gem.
The One in the Only
Connected to the Only by patio and attitude, this sister location is the perfect spot to sit, unwind with a book or laptop and while away the day. Pleasantly rough around the edges, the staff take the coffee seriously and have a wide selection of herbal teas if the bean is not your thing.
From chi-chi to dive-y there are many places along the Danforth to enjoy a drink with friends or a night out on the town. There is always a party going on somewhere, your job is to find your favourite!
One of Hilary’s favourite dive’s to hang out at, the Only has 24 taps and a number of obscure brews by the bottle. So cosy in the winter, you won’t notice the dark, cold night outside. Come summertime, you can stretch out on one of two (two!!) patios to soak up some vitamin D alongside your dose of hops and malt.
We have a soft spot for this family run market. Seeing multiple generations work side by side, it’s obvious they take pride in serving their customers fantastic produce, a wide selection of products (including gluten free), authentic Italian meats and cheeses. If you ask nicely at the deli counter they’ll even make you a sandwich for less than $5.
The Big Carrot
The Big Carrot has been doing organic since before most of us realized how important that was (they opened their doors in 1983), and have grown into include a naturopathic pharmacy and a lunch counter along with their grocery store. Their unique co-op model also ensures that the staff gets to decide how to run this democratic store, and customers know that their dollars are supporting their neighbourhood.
Fruit stands at Logan
The corner of Logan and Danforth is one of the best spots in the city to stock up on fruits and vegetables on the cheap. Three different stores spill out onto the street as they compete for customers and prices.
East Lynn Park Farmer’s Market
Between June and October head to East Lynn Park for a late afternoon snack and grocery shop while the kids are entertained with face painting and theatre sports.
One of the few independent bookstores in Toronto, Book City has been a mecca to readers since 1976. Their Danforth location (they have 3 others) is stocked with bestsellers, obscure titles and a huge kids section. Be warned though, once you go in, you’ll be in their for hours unearthing treasures and finding that title you’ve been dying to read!
Established in 1952, this Toronto institution has been styling the city’s fashionable men for over 60 years. Stocked with European labels and exclusive designs, this is the perfect spot for a new look. If you need something a bit more specific, their in-house tailor can create made-to-measure custom pieces.
This adorable boutique is home to ex-Chanel designer Jennifer Ziliotto’s locally made garments. If you prefer staple pieces and unique styling it’s worth a visit. The staff are very friendly and know what looks good on various frames, and love to help their customers find something that will make them shine.
Is it a gallery? Is it an adorable shop filled with covetable Canadian artisans? Is it a permanent pop-up in East Danforth? Yes!
No trip to the Danforth would be complete without a stop into IQ Living! Part uber-serious cook’s shop, part home decor, part kitchy knick-knacks, this store is full to bursting with the latest gadgets and tools. With over 5,000 product lines, if they don’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist.
The Music Hall
Built as a movie theatre in 1919, and recently renovated after sitting empty for a number of years, this historic theatre now hosts some of the biggest names in Canadian Music. We love catching a show at this intimate venue; it’s like being at a (really big) house party with bands we love.
Taste of the Danforth
Every summer the Danforth shuts down for a weekend of food, Hellenic entertainment and merrymaking. Over 1.5million visitors attended last year, making this Canada’s largest street festival
There are many yoga studios, parks and running groups to keep you in shape between all the shopping and dining.
Get fit while you get sweaty at Moksha Hot Yoga. Their combination of challenging poses, soothing mediation and intention setting will have you feeling better in no time – mind, body and soul.
Tucked into the area south of the Danforth between Greenwood and Coxwell is Monarch Park. A local favourite, the park boasts an outdoor pool, splash pad and kid’s playground along with a dog park, outdoor rink and stadium.
Rating 8.3 – Jackman Avenue Junior Public School
Rating 7.1 – Wilkinson Junior Public School
Rating 7 – Earl Haig Junior Public School
Rating 6 – Earl Beatty Junior and Senior Public School
Rating N/A – R H McGregor Public School
Rating 7.8 – Riverdale Collegiate Institute
Rating 7.3 – Monarch Park Collegiate Institute
Chester Station – Map
Pape Station – Map
Donlands Station – Map
Greenwood Station – Map
Coxwell Station – Map
Woodbine Station – Map
72 Pape – Map
83 Jones – Map
56 Leaside – Map
31 Greenwood – Map
22 Coxwell – Map
70 O’Connor – Map
91 Woodbine – Map
92 Woodbine S – Map
Time to Union Station by TTC: 22 Minutes
Time to Yonge and Bloor by TTC: 12 Minutes