Neighbourhood Feature: Ossington, Toronto
With a vast metropolitan area spanning nearly 650 kilometres, Toronto has countless neighbourhoods just waiting to be discovered. But with so many iconic spots amid its expanse of skyscrapers, how can you know where to start? While you probably already know about places like Chinatown and Yorkville’s Mink Mile shopping district, you may not have visited Ossington Village, if you’re an out-of-towner. This ever-changing neighbourhood has earned its reputation for cultural distinction through its shops and restaurants. Below, is an outline of some top spots so you can experience its dynamic culinary scene and fashion-forward boutiques for yourself.
849 Dundas Street West; lapalma.ca
While heading west from downtown, why not make a stop en route for your first meal of the day? Enter La Palma, an airy Italian establishment with a fresh, California-inspired menu. Between the stunning abstract wall art, inventive dishes, and sleek leather booths, you’re guaranteed to experience a brunch for the ages.
Must Try: Watermelon & Honeydew with Yogurt, Breakfast Pizza, or any pastry from the bakery.
The Grow Op
222 Ossington Ave; thegrowop.ca
This casual eatery is the perfect place to people watch while sipping a cold-pressed juice. Make sure to snag one of the tables by the window to document the bold label on your to-go cup or bottle.
Must Try: Vegan Reuben Sandwich, Peanut Butter Açai Bowl, Cold Brew Latte with Hemp Milk.
227 Ossington Ave; labanane.ca
All it takes is one look at the cheeky, Art Deco interior of La Banane to know you’re in for a memorable meal. The mood lighting complements stunning bites from the raw bar alongside contemporary French eats, all while listening to an impeccably-curated playlist. Don’t miss out on dessert—Chef Brandon Olsen also owns a line of chocolate shops and his truffles are out of this world.
Must Try: bouillabaisse en vol-au-vent, Dungeness crab, veal tenderloin au poivre, á-la-carte cheese plate.
135 Ossington Ave; pilotcoffeeroasters.com
Even in Ossington, a.k.a. coffee shop central, Crafted Coffee stands out. Within its sleek black facade, you’ll find coffee experiments extraordinaire, including their signature “Cold Drip Coffee” that takes six hours to prepare.
136 Ossington Ave; reposadobar.com
While traditional bars abound, Reposado breaks the mold by offering an exhaustive selection of top-shelf tequilas in a chic lounge setting. Make sure to try one of the many tequila flights featuring the eponymous reposado, which refers to tequila aged in an oak barrel.
Peruse the latest fashions at Jonathan+Olivia
49 Ossington Ave; jonathanandolivia.com
Jonathan+Olivia prides itself on providing a curated collection of streetwear, whether from established runway designers or up-and-coming brands. Be sure to drop by for local pop-ups where you can score more affordable pieces before they go viral.
Take a snapshot of local street art
Given its reputation as one of the artsiest neighbourhoods in Toronto, it should come as no surprise that there is a wealth of art across Ossington. Keep an eye out for smaller pops of graffiti on your way to the giant mural on the side of Queen West Self Storage.