For the third time within a year I am relocating to a new home. I have learned to deal with the scary and stressful aspects of moving, so it should be easy right? Incorrect. Minus the U-haul cargo vans, expensive moving guys and friends who are tired of helping me lift heavy boxes due to my “vagabond” ways, I am also leaving the hub of everything-green, everything-eco, and everything-organic. Although Kensington market will always be a quick streetcar ride away, it will never be just around the corner. So where’s a girl on the run going to find the perfectly ripe and inexpensive avocado? Panic mode on.
Before I completely sounded the alarm I decided to check out my new hood, just north of Christie Pits. What I discovered about the area, was surprising and utterly satisfying. First, something that may have been obvious to other people, but a discovery to me: Christie Pits wasn’t just a huge baseball diamond, but a great little niche in the middle of the city where dog-walkers, early morning runners, 6 am boot-campers, casual strollers and families took a second to get away from the daily grind.
Secondly I discovered an array of a different stores, cafes and cozy hangout spots, including a vegan restaurant that I cannot wait to try. So here is a basic roundup of everything amazing about my new neighborhood!
1) Fiesta Farms (200 Christie St, between Bloor St and Dupont St) : This place is truly a paradise for everyone who loves everything about organic and natural food, minus the health-store grind where the aisles are tiny and the people are numerous. The supermarket style grocery store and garden center (open seasonally) is perfect for the eco-conscious shopper. They support local farmers, the local community, carry fair-trade products, and have most of the items you’d find in a health store.
Here is their website http://fiestafarms.ca/
2) Live Food Bar (264 Dupont Street- North East corner of Dupont and Spadina): All vegan, 95% organic plus totally sustainable with a menu that will get you salivating (Think sun-dried tomato sesame sunshine wraps, “bacon cheeseburgers” , raw pizzas and a variety of grain and salad bowls). I only stopped by for a quick tour but a colleague has spoken highly of this place, so I cannot wait to try out how Live does vegan gourmet!
Here is their website: http://livefoodbar.com/
3) The Hub Coffee House and Locavorium (1028 Shaw Street -South of Dupont): Cradled on a residential street, I must have walked by this place at least twice before realizing that it was actually a cafe. This is what makes it so special and unique. The owners based their name on the term “locavore”. Enough said. They are organic, local, fair-trade. The decor is charming and the menu (although lacking a full vegan selection) is pretty approachable and affordable. I imagine I will be spending many hours on my laptop live from the Hub, and this excites me!
Here is their website: http://www.hubcoffeehouse.com/
4)Hare Krishna Centre (243 Avenue Road -Dupont and Avenue Rd): If you’re into meditation,Kirtan and looking to discover your spiritual side, this may be the place for you. The Hare Krishna Center holds monthly events, weekly gatherings, wellness and mindfulness seminars, Sangas, Bhakti yoga sessions, as well as weekly (and free) Sunday feasts. Excited yet?!
This is their website: http://iskcontoronto.blogspot.ca/
I’m sure this is only the beginning, and as I take my leisurely strolls this summer, I’m sure I will find the existence of many other wonderful hidden gems. So the moral of the story? Toronto is awesome, and a stressful re-location may be the beginning of new discoveries. So this Spring, its out with the old and in with the new! I will still always love Kensington Pedestrian Sundays, but it’s time to MOVE on!
Happy Moving and Rediscovering!!