Ice Cream, milkshakes, floats, sodas, sundaes, pies, pastries, delicious coffee...need I say more? Honestly, if you live in Toronto, you must go here. Husband and wife team Brennan and Leizel Anderson have created the cutest, most fun, "retro-era" little shop on Harbord Street. This place is so charming, you'll just want to stay all day. Everything from the decor, to the food, to the awesome staff will make you smile from ear to ear.
When my shoots include playing with adorable dogs, I'm a happy camper. I stumbled upon Fetch a few months ago while walking on Roncesvalles, but the shop recently moved to a beautiful new location on Dundas West. When you walk through the doors, you are immediately welcomed by a pack of awesome dogs, and their wonderful owner, Nadia. What started off as a small dog walking business is now a great shop where you'll find quality products and healthy snacks for your pup.
After working at some of the top restaurants in Toronto, Ashley Jacot De Boinod decided to pursue her dreams of opening up a space of her own. Ashley's love of doughy-fried goodness kick started the idea of Glory Hole Doughnuts. She opened the shop in Parkdale about three years ago and since then, it has become a neighbourhood fixture.
Ashley has quite a selection of hand made, mouthwatering treats, including some vegan options too! So, for those craving something incredibly sweet and delicious (the Cookies N' Cream is my favourite!), you've come to the right place.
This awesome little shop on Roncesvalles is a place where fitness and fashion blend perfectly. The wonderful Miranda has created a space where women can find versatile and unique clothing and accessories that can take them to the gym, yoga, running etc. and then into the rest of their day.
Fitness is a huge part of Miranda's life, and her dream for Ardith (which is named after her grandmother), was to create this lovely space where she could carefully and thoughtfully curate items that are both beautiful and functional.
I was told recently that I absolutely must visit Float Toronto and make it part of the series, I'm SO happy I did. Jesse and Sean happily walked me through their amazing space where you go to find peace, tranquility and experience a whole lot of other health benefits as well.
When you visit Float, you experience something called floatation therapy. This consists of lying in a salt water solution in a large tank in a beautiful, private room. The salt water allows you to float effortlessly. The tank is also sound proof and completely dark once you close the door resulting in sensory deprivation. Once you're comfortable, this environment allows you to fully relax and de-stress. I'm confident most of us would benefit from an hour of relaxation from time to time.
Check out their site float-toronto.com!
These two ladies are just so awesome. I could have stayed chatting with them all afternoon. Not only are they savvy business partners (both having backgrounds in advertising), they are also best friends who seem to spend the entire day laughing. Definitely my kind of people.
The Goods provides healthy, delicious salad bowls and smoothies to those looking to make a positive change in their diet. Both Lisa and Catharine are firm believers in eating whole foods and educating others on the amazing impact this type of eating can have on the body. You can pop in to their Dundas West location or have their products delivered!
Next on the list is Atlas Machinery. To say that I am out of my element in this place would be an understatement. Need a power tool? I'm pretty sure they'll have what you're looking for here. Shawn (who also happens to be my lovely friend's husband) is awesome and showed me around the space. I got to play with a couple of cute pups too!
Another Kensington Market space (I can't get enough of this neighbourhood). This delightful shop specializes in mixing "old gems and new materials, creating one-of-a-kind jewellery". Shop owner and artist Brittany Hopkins creates such beautiful and unique pieces. You'll find new treasures each time you visit Anice. She also holds jewellery making workshops for those interested in learning more about the creative process. Be sure to stop in next time you're in the Kensington hood, Brittany would love to see you!
Lorena is owner and head cobbler of this awesome little shoe repair shop in Parkdale (other location in Kensington Market). She is super creative and insanely talented at her craft. In my short time visiting Lorena at Sole Survivor, I could see how devoted and passionate she is about her growing business. I look forward to visiting again soon with a shoe repair emergency or better yet, a new design idea!
This amazing little Kensington Market shop is full of wonderful vintage treasures. Each time you visit Jodee at A Homerun, you're sure to spot something unique and special. He is constantly scouting the city for new finds from colourful vintage clothing to quirky home decor in order to keep this space fresh and fun. Next time you're in the Kensington area, be sure to pop in and say hi!
Taking a stroll on the Ossington Strip? This funky little bridal shop offers much more than wedding gowns (even though their gowns are stunning). Check out this dreamy space and meet the wonderful ladies of LoversLand.
If you're in the neighbourhood, drop in, take a class and meet the lovely Amber J and her wonderful group of misfits. Experience the beauty and charm of this Queen West pilates.yoga.movement studio. This place is truly special, definitely one of a kind. Misfitstudio.com
For a while now, I had this idea of bringing to life a portrait series that could better connect me with the city I've called home for the last 30 years. I wanted to explore different neighbourhoods and visit the little shops, businesses, studios and spaces that make Toronto light up. As I'm sure is true for many of us, I tend to gravitate to the same places week after week. I buy my produce at the little shop around the corner, drive the same route to work every day, practice yoga at the same studio, and while a little routine is great, it can be so refreshing to add a sprinkle of something new.
So begins my journey.
Over the next few months, I will share an image or two each week of an inspiring someone. The idea is to get to know Toronto through the people who live and work here. Those unique individuals who had a vision, a dream, an idea, a passion and decided to go for it. These images will take us through the doors of some really special places in our city and introduce the amazing people who open shop for us every day.
I hope you all enjoy this fun exploration, I can't wait to start sharing.