Since January I’ve been desperately trying to plan and execute a weekend getaway for myself. I’ve been under the weather for months, and a recent break up, after dating my high school sweetheart for over 8 years, has left me down and quite honestly bored. I wanted to travel to find new thrills and inspirations, but bad timing this January and February made traveling, even if just for a weekend, impossible. Then I remembered my last anniversary, my ex and I couldn’t afford to take a lot of time off work, so we both took one day, booked a hotel downtown, and just spent the day wandering Queen St. West together. I had an amazing time people watching and looking at all the different buildings and shops. Got me a box of macaroons from Nedage and even tried some ‘exotic’ meats at a french restaurant for dinner that evening.
The city of Toronto is made up of so many different neighborhoods, each with different festivities, history, culture, food, and people. I often take this great city for granted and forget there’s so much to do and explore here.
A few weeks ago I decided to check out Queen St. East - Riverside and Leslieville for baked goods. My adventure begins at River and Queen St., and ends at Bobbette and Belle for macaroons, near Queen and Jones. I went to middle school in this neighborhood but haven’t frequented the area much since. Lately there's been a lot of bakeries, cafes, and brunch spots popping up so I was excited to see how this neighborhood's changed from all of these new additions.
The truss bridge over the Don Valley River. At the top of the bridge facing west it says, "This river I step in is not the river I stand in."
Truss bridge over the Don Valley River again. This time facing east. The 501 street cars run along Queen st.
First stop of the day is Mary MacLeod's Shortbread. The store smelled amazing and the cookies were yummy. No food photos. I don't make it a habit to take a picture of everything I eat when I'm out and about because I'm fairly picky when it comes to pictures (meaning it'll take me forever to get a perfect shot). Sometimes I just want to eat, or most of the time I'm with people and they just want to eat.
On the north west corner at Broadview is one of the oldest buildings in Toronto. It's Jilly's Strip Bar!
My second stop of the day, Desmond and Beatrice. I did manage to instagram my carrot cupcake while I was here. This little bake shop is really chic and cute.
This is the old Canadian Bank of Commerce Building which is now home to Stephan Caras Designs.
Another interesting building on Queen St. East is the Queen/Saulter Library.
Mercury Espresso Bar. A popular cafe spot.
This weird looking shop at the corner of Carlaw and Queen is pretty cool. Atomic ToyBot sells collectable designer toys and merchandise, but they also feature artists, and hosts weekly events. Part store, part art gallery. Definitely recommend you guys to check it out if you're into things like Tokidoki, or Kidrobot. Check out their website http://atomictoybot.com/wordpress/ for more information.
After passing many many brunch spots and antique stores, I finally made it to Bobbette and Belle!
The inside of this place is so beautiful. Everything looked picturesque and wedding inspired.
I grabbed a dozen macaroons to photograph at home. You can see the photos on my instagram (www.instagram.com/dfannie. They were delicious.
So Bobbette and Belle was supposed to be my last stop, but as I was walking back I noticed this neon turquoise shop that specialized in donuts and chicken. I just couldn't help myself from making one last stop! Paulette's Chicken and Donuts.
I got their Blueberry Balsamic donut. My sister and I both agreed it was weird, but we couldn't decide if it was good weird, or bad weird. Regardless, I'll definitely be back for more weird donuts, and to try some chicken.
All in all, on a typical grey and winter day in Toronto, my stroll along Queen Street East was fun and I'm excited to rediscover other neighborhoods in this city. When you're desperate for travel and new discovers try looking in your own backyard. Take a stroll in a different neighborhood, or check out a local event or festival!