#ShopTheHood never looked this good!

Your Perfect Parkdale Day to #ShopTheHood

By Carolyn Grisold

Parkdale is a microcosm of Toronto: it’s where you’ll find almost every ethnicity represented, almost every language spoken, and almost every walk of life accounted for. That’s what makes it the perfect place to Shop The Neighbourhood – no matter what your style. What kind of day in Parkdale is perfect for you? From November 28th and throughout December tag us online in your perfect #ShopTheHood day in #Parkdale!

The Girly Girl

You’re a girly-girl, through and through. Femininity is your favourite style and spendingFullSizeRender (004) time with your girlfriends makes you smile. Start your perfect day getting your hair done at the delightfully eclectic Quinn West Salon. Then, head over to Sylvie and Shimmy for the prettiest shopping experience ever. You’ll love browsing the uber-feminine displays. Afterwards, take a little break at Kitten and The Bear’s tea room. Seated in a cozy window nook, indulge in house-made preserves, scones and tea served in beautiful pastel china or visit them online to learn more about their ‘pastel christmas tea party’ ideas and inspirations. Then finish off with a stop at charming floral boutique Coriander Girl, where you can pick up an artistic bouquet of fresh flowers or vintage vase to remember the occasion.

The Rock-and-Roller

A true rock-and-roller, your soul belongs in music. Start your perfect Parkdale day at a selection of vintage shops, including Stella Luna and The Public Butter, picking up FullSizeRender (008)some authentic duds from whatever era rocks loudest in your heart. Then head over to Playdead Cult for some unique art that will bring out your dark side, before lining your belly with an Easy Rider all-day breakfast at Easy Restaurant. Party away the rest of your perfect day at Stones Place or the Cadillac Lounge. They always have something going on – from trivia to karaoke and live bands.

The 6ix Styler

Drake is your god and you wear the 6ix style with pride. Kick off your day in Parkdale with a classic shave and a haircut at Lionel’s Barber Shop before stocking up on top FullSizeRender (00C)gear at Community 54. With headwear, tees & tanks, footwear and bags, this Parkdale style mecca has got you covered. Once you’re sufficiently decked out, saunter down the Milky Way Graffiti Alley to check out some cool street art. Afterwards, head over to the Parkdale Drink and dance the night away to old school ‘90s and R&B.

The Dapper Gentleman

The masculine version of the Girly-Girl, you’re a dapper gentleman and you only want to present your best. Parkdale has the perfect day for you and it starts at Elevator, a FullSizeRender (003)clothing and accessories shop with a classy and vintage feel. From brogues and Oxfords to ties and bow ties, everything you need for a polished persona can be found here. Then head over to the west end’s year-round indoor market, the Toronto Designers Market, to pick up some thoughtful holiday gifts. Finish off your day with a pan-Asian dinner at Miss Thing’s, followed by a nightcap at The Grand Trunk.

The Locavore

You shop the neighbourhood every day, and support local establishments whenever IMG_6966possible. Decked out in Canadiana cool from North Standard Trading Post, you pick up your organics at Good Catch General Store. Your perfect Parkdale day includes sipping on craft beer at Toronto beer baron Mike Duggan’s Brewery and chowing down on 100-mile Ontario beef. Then head down to appropriately named The Yukon for some oysters while you browse Worker Bee Supply Co.’s online shop for your next order of inspirational Prints from local artists.

The World Traveller

You get around, but you always come home. And when you’re home, you like to remember what it was like to be out travelling the world. In Parkdale this is easy to do – FullSizeRender (006)you can eat your way through Tibet, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Italy, India, Asia, Mexico, South America and more. Plus, there are so many shops featuring items from around the globe that you will feel like you’re still travelling. End your perfect Parkdale day at The Shameful Tiki Room. This brand new destination is the first Toronto outpost of a Vancouver favourite, and features wood totems inspired by Polynesian culture that are hand-carved by the bar’s owner.

The Hipster

Not that you want to admit you are one, but the Hipster is to Parkdale what the Yummy FullSizeRender (009)Mommy is to Leslieville: an integral icon. Your perfect day starts by picking up a cup of Sam James Coffee at The Tempered Room before your bike tune-up appointment at Metro Cycle TO and MacBook service at Garuda Tech. Grab some quality vintage duds at Three Fates or In Vintage We Trust, before heading to Parts & Labour for dinner. If you want to keep the night going, pop downstairs for some sweet DJ sets.

The Artiste

For the Artiste, Parkdale offers a myriad of antique shops to peruse like Captains Treasures and Black Pug DMK. The gallery selection here is just as vast, from the FullSizeRender (005)florescent strokes at Shawn Skeir Gallery, to the contemporary art at General Hardware and the cultural centre at Black Artists’ Network in Dialogue (B.A.N.D.). Parkdale is a hub of creativity; check out the exhibits at the non-profit Gallery 1313 or join the Poetry Circle at the Toronto Public Library’s Parkdale Branch. And when you’re all done, stop by the Rustic Cosmo Café for a coffee and a chat about your perfect day.

The Philanthropist

For the Philanthropist, a perfect day is not complete without a charitable component, and there’s many ways to give back in Parkdale. You can donate to less-advantaged youth at West Neighbourhood House, volunteer to serve lunch at St. Francis Table, or attend a fundraiser for one of Parkdale Intercultural Association’s many programs. Why not cap off your day by donating your gently used clothing to The Salvation Army’s Thrift Store or drop off baby/kids clothing at the Creating Together Family Resource Centre.

The Green Goddess

Green Goddesses love to create a holistic lifestyle that’s gentle on themselves and the environment. Parkdale is the perfect place to spend a healthy day for this health-FullSizeRender (007)conscious lady. Begin your morning with a Far Infrared Sauna at The Well of Alternative Medicine to release toxins and relax your body & mind. Afterwards, pick up an all-natural fresh fruit smoothie made with almond milk at Boreal Gelato. You’ll love the canning and cooking workshops at the West End Food Coop. And JR’s Natural Health and Bulk has all the organic ingredients you need for tonight’s vegan dinner. Stop by the Toronto Tool Library to pick up a hot glue gun for your weekend D.I.Y. project, before ending your perfect day with restorative yoga and meditation at Parkdale Prana Room.

Shop Local NOW Mag - 2015

Parkdale’s International Flair Makes for a Welcoming Tourist Destination

In two years, Toronto will host the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games. Held every four years, the world’s third largest international, multi-sport games will attract an influx of tourists, athletes and spectators to municipalities from Oshawa to Welland, giving Toronto—and Parkdale—the chance to demonstrate its hosting ability as a welcoming, world-class destination.

Nearby Exhibition Place will play home to Toronto Pan Am Park, the largest of the Games’ seven venue clusters. With events such as volleyball, rugby, gymnastics, weightlifting and triathlon, it will also be the starting and finishing lines for road cycling. Exact numbers of expected visitors vary, but for reference, the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, drew over 450,000 visitors, spending upwards of US $210 million. It’s clear that the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games offers an incredible opportunity for Parkdale businesses to generate revenue through tourist spend.

Recently, celebrated Toronto Star food writer Corey Mintz showcased Parkdale as a featured destination in Porter Airlines’ re:porter magazine. This exciting five-page spread highlighted Parkdale’s desirability and covered local businesses Porzia, Capital Espresso, Chantecler, Electric Mud BBQ, The Future of Frances Watson, Studio Brillantine, Hideaway Antiques, General Hardware Contemporary and The Workroom. Read the full article here > 

porter magazine 1

re:porter Words: Corey Mintz Photography: Dan Ehrenworth

In The Not-So-Wild West, Mintz credits Parkdale’s diverse community of artists and immigrants for what he calls a robust revival—but we know has been here all along. This dynamic neighbourhood’s international flair and inclusive atmosphere makes it the perfect destination for tourism. 

porter magazine 2

re:porter Words: Corey Mintz Photography: Dan Ehrenworth

Comprised of 41 countries in North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, the Pan/Parapan Am Games will create a varied group of travellers, each seeking new—and familiar—experiences. Southern Caribbean and Guyanese visitors can sample a bite of home at one of Parkdale’s many roti shops, such as Roti Lady, or explore new tastes at Om Tibetan Restaurant. Grand Electric provides Mexican fusion, and there are numerous affordable options for American tourists looking for a quick slice of pizza, or perhaps a more Canadian icy treat to cool them down from The Boreal Gelato Company

Beyond cuisine, the uniqueness of Parkdale Village BIA’s businesses provide both residents and visitors alike with a variety of shopping possibilities that would satisfy any fashionista or bargain hunter. From bustling antique markets like Passion for the Past, specialized boutiques, such as Sylvie and Shimmy, to contemporary art galleries like Shawn Skeir, this diverse community offers something for everyone.

And when the Games end and the sun sets, any one of Parkdale’s bustling bars, such as The Parkdale Drink or The Local Kitchen and Wine Bar, would make the perfect place to sip a cocktail and chat the night away with new friends!

porter magazine 3

re:porter Words: Corey Mintz Photography: Dan Ehrenworth

Parkdale has clearly undergone a renaissance, rediscovering its roots as a vibrant neighbourhood that delights and welcomes visitors. The presence of a large immigrant community and an influx of artists and young professionals have helped create the distinct personality that will entice tourists and enhance business for years to come.