Whether you’re showing off Toronto’s trendiest spots to visiting colleagues or exploring the city on your own, ELLE Canada presents the ultimate insider guide for the stylish business traveller. Your only job? Enjoy!
For designer finds: Rac Boutique brings a cool-kid vibe to upscale Yorkville, offering in-the-know labels sourced from around the globe: Rodebjer from Sweden, Sass & Bide from Australia, and Canadian design favourites such as Greta Constantine, Ashley Rowe and Jenny Bird.
For indie chic: Whimsical and welcoming, Bicyclette on Queen West feels like your cool best friend’s bedroom, complete with sweet dresses by MinkPink, skinny James Jeans and vintage vanities dressed up with baubles by Biko and hot hues from It nail line Butter London.
For curated vintage: A jewel-box shop on Ossington, I Miss You (416-916-7021) showcases the kind of high-end vintage that expense accounts are made for—scarves by Hermès, jewellery by Chanel and mint-condition frocks by Lanvin and YSL.
For up-to-the-minute trends: In the chic enclave of Yorkville, TNT offers the city’s best denim selection, and is the stylish shopper’s go-to destination for hot new labels such as Almost Plain (a luxe scarf line) and modern classics including Helmut Lang and Parisian It girl Isabel Marant.
For an uptown splurge: The Energy Facial at the five-star Hazelton Hotel’s Spa aims high: To leave your skin as rejuvenated as if you’ve just finished a glacier hike. (Bottom line: You’ll glow.) If you prefer body work, book the signature massage and ask for Nael. Trust.
For a downtown treat: Housed in a 19th century converted chocolate factory, Sweetgrass Spa offers a spa menu by George (one of Toronto’s top restos) and signature treatments such as the Hawaiian-inspired Lomi Lomi massage. In between meetings? The one-hour express mani-pedi is among the best in town.
Toronto’s trendiest restaurants and nightlife spots on the next page…
For inventive comfort cuisine: In the heart of the Financial District, Gabardine offers sophisticated takes on perennial faves such as mac ‘n’ cheese and chicken pot pie. The Bay Street regulars might be discussing mergers and acquisitions or dessert: The burnt marshmallow ice cream sandwich versus the chocolate whoopie pie with dulce de leche cream and cinnamon sugar peanuts. Talk about win-win.
For modern Italian: Chef Matthew Sullivan recently took over the kitchen at Maléna on Avenue Road, and the revamped menu—including squid ink tortellini with lobster and mascarpone—is attracting the city’s most discerning foodies, including local celeb chefs. Insider tip: Every Tuesday, the wine list is half price.
For Parisian flair: A top-notch Bloor Street brasserie, La Société also boasts the city’s most beautiful décor with cozy curving booths and a handcrafted stained glass ceiling. Flapper frock, optional; ordering oysters and champagne, essential.
For an exclusive experience: Sure, you have to make same-day reservations at Goodnight!, but there’s nothing pretentious about this sexy speakeasy-style haunt, located in an alley off Richmond Street.
For curated cocktails: The style set has claimed Hotel Ocho, a charming 12-room boutique hotel housed in a circa 1902 building on Spadina Avenue. The cocktail list features classics such as the Sidecar and reclaims sidelined—but surprisingly delicious—sips like the Blue Lagoon, made here with vodka, blue curaçao and homemade lemonade.
For hipster ping pong: Billing itself as a “ping pong social club,” SPiN Toronto recently opened in a 12,000 sq. ft. space on King West. Book a table and practice your skills, or kick back with The Stamos, a rum cocktail inspired by actor—and ping pong aficionado—John Stamos.