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Yorkville: Your Magnetic, Sleek, Seductive Neighbourhood and… Former Hippie Hangout?

 

Yorkville

Toronto’s answer to Rodeo Drive

Yorkville At a Glance

Eat incredibly fresh sushi at Sushi Inn. It’s always top quality and the presentation is immaculate (in true Yorkville spirit). For a sweet fix, you must try a dark chocolate crepe at Crepes a GoGo.

Drink a cocktail or beer on the rooftop patio at Remy’s – casual, spacious, and bodacious.

Shop everywhere. This is the Toronto’s own Rodeo Drive… with maple trees instead of palm trees.

Lounge on “The Rock,” a 600-ton fragment of Canada’s glacial shield – amongst all the other big rocks in Yorkville.

A postal code with expensive tastes

Yorkville isn’t just one of the priciest ‘hoods in the GTA – try North America. The area reeks of high-flyers and diamonds, where Gucci, Prada and Chanel are standard retail options (think Rodeo Drive North). And as for wheels, it’s not uncommon to see Ferraris and Maseratis barreling down Avenue Road (think Fifth Avenue without four lanes of yellow cabbies). Swanky hotels like the Four Seasons and Hazelton are renowned hot spots for celebrity stalking spotting and perfect outlets to taste the newest gastronomic innovation pre-Food Network. While the locale is open to every walk of life to eat, shop and stroll (Louis Vuitton has its regular customers and window shoppers), the area’s real estate reflects its posh surroundings and airs on the side of luxury.

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Back in the day

The village of Yorkville was incorporated in 1853 and annexed by the city of Toronto in 1883. In the early 20th century, Yorkville was a quiet residential area defined by large Victorian homes. Although the streets are lined with bustling commercial spaces today, some of the modern developments are designed to appreciate Yorkville’s architectural past – like the brick façade on the 35 Hazelton boutique condo residences.

But Yorkville hasn’t always been synonymous with high-end consumerism – in the ‘60s the neighbourhood was ironically the epicenter for the Bohemian movement in Toronto. Progressive artists like Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot and Margaret Atwood were stationed here, busily crafting revolutionary messages into music and literature. However, the political and economic landscape of Yorkville changed with the construction of the Yonge subway line, and real estate prices soared. Then came the upscale boutiques, specialty shops, fancy restaurants and trendy art galleries, and before you knew it Yorkville had transformed into the posh postal code it is today, home to some of the GTA’s most exquisite condo residences like The Regency Yorkville.

Yorkville

Perfect people-watching patios

Entertainment for all

Sure, the neighbourhood doesn’t hold back from flaunting its high-end goods – but when it comes to having a good time, Yorkville’s entertainment outlets don’t discriminate. Many well-known restaurant and nightlife hotspots are reasonably priced and perfect for a night out on the town. Remy’s and Hemingways are ideal spots for a casual drink and bite, while Café Di Portici, Joso’s and Caren’s Wine and Cheese Bar will all tantalize your palette and satisfy your patio and people-watching hankerings at the same time. If you have a sweet tooth – Dessert Lady Bakery is said to have the best cookies in town. As for nightlife, if you are in the mood for some spicy salsa dancing, Babaluu will satisfy your hunger for Latin beats.

 

Take a stroll

Yorkville

Posh Park

Yorkville is a pedestrian haven, with amenities like Yorkville Park – and its uniquely designed gardens, fountains and plenty of places to sit down and take a coffee/shopping break. In the summer, the space lights up with the Summer Music in the Park event, featuring everything from flamenco performances to jazz sets. The neighbourhood is also completely accessible from the TTC’s Bay Station with exits on Cumberland and Bay.

So what do you think of Yorkville? Would you rather it return to its bohemian roots or do you like to lavish in its current state of luxury? Where are your favourite Yorkville hangouts and places to browse?

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