If you read my posts somewhat regularly, you know that I write about anything that makes Toronto better, whether it’s restaurants, cafes, dog parks, events or noteworthy city developments. As a Realtor I spend a lot of my days driving around this city discovering Toronto neighbourhoods and some of the incredible spots that make this city so great, and I love sharing with everyone what Toronto has to offer. So, on this Valentine’s Day I thought I’d share some of my favourite place as I ask myself this question: If I had a day to myself, what would I do and where would I go in the city? If you had the whole day to yourself, where would you go? Feel free to share your thoughts.
My perfect day would not start without a visit to Jimmy’s Coffee on King West serving up one amazing cup of latte. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the first coffee of the day and possibly run into neighbourhood friends. For more information on Jimmy’s click here.
After coffee I would pick up Logan, my border collie, and head down to the West End for a walk in High Park. As Toronto’s largest public park, it offers everything from hiking trails, sports facilities, a beautiful lakefront and a dog park that is second to none. It’s one of the only parks where the dogs are not forced to run around in circles but actually walk freely beside you while you hike the trails. It’s a great way to enjoy nature and take in some fresh air regardless of the season, while your pup enjoys the day with you. For my full review click here.
All that fresh air can make a girl hungry, so why not a pizza lunch? Now, I’ve had my share of pizza in Toronto. I’ve tried all the trendy new spots that promised the best pizza in the city and the whole-in-the-wall places that served slices that only tasted good on the way home from the bar at 2:00am. None captured my heart like Pizzeria Libretto. When I vacationed on the Amalfi Coast a few years ago, I had pizza every single day, because…well, why not? When I returned home I longed for a simple, well made, thin crust pie and Pizzeria Libretto was there with their wood-burning oven built by a Neapolitan craftsman and their dedication to rigorous D.O.P. pizza making strictures. This is my favourite lunchtime spot with a $15 3-course lunch including a fresh caprese or arugula salad, pizza Margherita or Marinara that’s to die for, and a biscotti or coffee/cinnamon gelato to finish off the perfect meal.
All those pizza carbs have to be burned off and what better way to do it (other than an actual workout, I suppose) than a walk around the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)? Through out history the AGO has hosted and organized some of the world’s most renowned and significant exhibitions and continues to do so to this day. Recently renovated by renowned Toronto native Frank Gehry, the building alone is a work of art, with its open layout, sweeping staircases that link the floors together and extensive use of skylights that are adjusted every day to best display the works. There is so much to see – the European collection ranges from the 14th century to the French Impressionists and the strong Canadian compilation includes Inuit art dating back to 9000 B.C. to contemporary paintings. Whether you’ve studied art in school or know nothing on the subject, you can’t help but be in awe of this space and the incredible pieces of art work it holds.
Celebrating the end of the perfect day calls for a visit to Morton’s Steakhouse at the Hyatt in Yorkville for my usual filet mignon with the side of Chicago style horseradish mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, finished off with a slice of New York cheesecake or carrot cake (I don’t think they offer the cheesecake any longer). This place has been around for years and there’s a reason for that – impeccable service, understated decor and steaks thick enough to sink a small ship. It’s comfort food…not necessarily on a budget…but well worth the splurge. Happy Valentine’s Day Toronto!