Why we like it.
Over the years, Parkdale has been know for many things. In the 1800’s it was a resort area for Torontonians to enjoy the lake and “get away from the city”, posh residences for the city’s well-to-do in the early 1900’s, and an affordable area for newcomers and low-income families in the 2000’s. Over the past decade, it has attracted the creative class and is rapidly gentrifying as increasing rents in the core push artists westward. Known for the buzziest restaurants and most avant-garde art galleries, Parkdale is perfect for those looking for hidden gems and who love living in an exciting, vibrant neighbourhood.
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Parkdale is known for a high concentration of uber-cool restaurants, be prepared to go early or line up!
In a city lousy with Italian restaurants, Local stands out as a place that puts their heart and soul into making the best pasta and drinks you’ve ever had.
Chef Matty Matheson has become a local foodie celebrity, and the food at P&L makes it easy to see why. Inspired riffs on comfort food will leave you stuffed, happy and ready to go dance those calories off downstairs at The Shop.
Last of the old school greasy spoons on this stretch of West Queen West, the classic diner ambience is 100% authentic. It’s not fancy or ironic but it will cure your hangover.
One of the early taco joints in Toronto, Grand Electric has hipsters flocking to enjoy their indie playlist, addictive tacos and PBR.
Don’t let the name put you off, these folks are super serious about hand-crafting unbelievably decadent, over-the-top doughnuts that will make Tim Horton weep for what will never be. The flavours change often, but with combinations like Toast & Butter, Chai Brulée, and the Elvis how can you go wrong?
We all know hipsters love their coffee, and this neighbourhood doesn’t disappoint.
Bright, airy and cozy, this coffee shop is run by long-time baristas who know how to pull the perfect espresso and foam milk “just so” for cappuccinos.
Tucked away on Spencer Ave, this lovely neighbourhood cafe is a welcome addition to the area. Pastries are provided by another area insitution, the Lakeview, seeing as they have the same owners and all.
Mini-chain I Deal Coffee has a location on Sorauren, nestled in between Parkdale and Roncey. They are committed to honouring the unique voice of each neighbourhood, and as a roaster they have the freshest beans possible.
It’s time to take your medicine! Don’t let the original pharmacy sign fool you, the man behind the bar here (Toronto bar scene institution Chris Harper) is serious about great drinks with great people in a seriously cool space.
A bit light in the grocery department, you can find fruit and veg stands along Queen and two grocery stores – one at either end of the neighbourhood.
Dedicated to bringing food stability to the local area, the West End Food Co-op brings the farm to the city through their store, the Sorauren Farmer’s Market, the Community Cannery and the Food Hub. Anyone can shop at the store, or you can get involved by joining the co-op.
The No Frills is just that, a no-frills store for grocery shopping. The focus is on low prices, and a varied selection of products that will appeal to customers from diverse backgrounds.
Where there are hipsters, there are funky shops!
Well curated vintage, Common Sort has a wide selection of interesting things you’d actually WANT to wear! They’ve done the digging for you, so you can easily find the perfect tuxedo jacket (ladies) or Irish fisherman’s sweater (men).
Housing 20 independent jewellery designers, this boutique offers pieces that will appeal to a range of tastes and budgets. Looking for something special? They also can connect you with the perfect artisan to hand-craft a commissioned piece.
Grown-up toys and home products with whimsy, this super-fun store stocks unique brands like Barbapapa, Issey Miyake and Tintin. The perfect place to find a gift for that hard-to please friend.
A unique mixed-use property, the 13,000-square-foot building provides office spaces for community based not-for-profits, an artist-run gallery on the ground floor and nine artist live/work studios on upper floors. This is truly the centre of Parkdale, physically and spiritually.
For the traditionalist, the Prana Room offers yoga, reiki and meditation classes in a soothing space.
For those who love the water and the beach, Parkdale is minutes away from Sunnyside Park. On the east side of the park you will find Sunnyside Pavilion and Sunnyside Gus Ryder Pool and on the west Sir Casmir Gzowski Park with a great playground for the kids.
Rating 8.1 – Garden Avenue Junior Public School
Rating 7.1 – Fern Avenue Junior and Senior Public School
Rating 4.5 – Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School
Rating 4.5 – Queen Victoria Junior Public School
Rating 5.4 – Parkdale Collegiate Institute