By: Norah Bradford
Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF) may be one of the highlights of the international film festival circuit every September but its host, the City of Toronto has twelve months’ worth of reasons to visit. Here we suggest some great hotels to visit as well as dining experiences to make for a fabulous weekend break.
HOW TO GET THERE
The easiest way to reach Toronto is via Porter Airlines flies daily from New York Newark airport (EWR) to the new Billy Bishop airport conveniently located only 15 minutes from downtown and offers fantastic views over the city.
For more information visit www.flyporter.com
WHERE TO SLEEP
For a room with a view, why not take in the sweeping views of the downtown Toronto cityscape and Lake Ontario from the Rooftop Lounge of the city’s only hotel rooftop lounge with a seasonal, 40-foot infinity swimming pool.
550 Wellington Street West, Toronto ON T:416.640.7778 www.thompsonhotels.com
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
55 stories tall at the heart of both Yorkville and the place where the Four Seasons brand was launched, downtown Toronto’s most glamorous shopping and restaurant quarter the Four Seasons Hotel would not look amiss in Manhattan. Blending warm sophistication with spectacular design, this stunning Toronto luxury hotel has made its mark in a vibrant international city as the only hotel in Canada to ever be awarded both the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ratings for 2014 and 2015.
60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON T:416.964.0411 www.fourseasons.com/toronto
WHERE TO PAMPER
It’s only befitting that a spa located on King Street would be called Her Majesty’s Pleasure, which is a beautiful mix of sensory experiences in the heart of King West Village; fusing an airy enchanting café, juice-bar, retail boutique and lounge bar with wellness and spa services. Socialize over drinks, manicures, pedicures, blowouts or just great coffee, desserts and tunes. One of Toronto’s best kept secrets!
Her Majesty’s Pleasure 556 King Street West, Toronto ON
T: 416-546-4991 www.hermajestyspleasure.ca
WHERE TO EAT
BLOOR STREET NEIGHBORHOOD
Bloor Street is a major east-west residential thoroughfare running through Toronto which is home to a number of must-experience dining experiences including La Societe Toronto, Jacques Bistro du Parc and Buca Osteria & Bar.
Led by Executive Chef John Horne and Chef de Cuisine Coulson Armstrong the Canoe aims to connect diners with Canada through Canadian cuisine – dishes inspired by Canada’s history, culture and landscape in an elegantly chic setting. This critically acclaimed restaurant is considered to be one of the best in Toronto and with its location atop the TD Bank Building it offers breathtaking 360 degree views over Downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario.
66 Wellington Street, Toronto, ON
T: 416.364.0054 www.canoerestaurant.com
THE CHASE FISH AND OYSTER
Enjoy rooftop dining with a casual ambiance to enjoy upscale dining with a range of international flavors making it a hotspot for people watching day and night. The Chase provides small plates with full flavors with a specialization in fish and seafood. Try the Diamond Platter consisting of East & West coast oysters, King Crab legs, Shrimp, Tuna and a fresh Chef’s daily selection.
10 Temperance Street, Toronto, ON
T: 647.348.7000 www.thechasetoronto.com
THE DISTILLERY DISTRICT
There is something for every taste at the historic Distillery District. Try from a range of dining experiences from Asian (Boku) to French Bistro (Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie) and modern Canadian in-between (Mill Street Brewery). This pedestrian only village is also home to many Canadian artisans where you can find unique handmade items and meet the artisans in their studios located in the various red brick Victorian era buildings. The best way to tour this historic district that was once the largest producer of liquor in the 1800s through the Prohibition Era, is with Go Tours Canada where knowledgeable guides will walk you through the history of this storied district.
55 Mill Street, Toronto, ON T: 416.364.1177 www.thedistillerydistrict.com
LUMA at TIFF BELL LIGHTHOUSE
Located in the central hub of TIFF this warm dining room designed with rich woods, leather and stone and outstanding floor to ceiling views of King Street West will be the epicenter of action during the festival. Take time between films to trip the light fantastic, experience modern cinema and sate your appetite by the efforts of Executive Chef Michael Wilson (formerly of Rhodes in the Square, London and Crillon le Brave in Provence). Paying homage to Toronto’s rich, cultural landscape, Luma’s menu showcases global and Canadian artisanal cuisine featuring the finest local and regional ingredients. Try the Chef’s Daily Brainstorm – enough said!
TIFF Bell Lightbox, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON T: 647.288.4175 www.lumarestaurant.com
Daniel Bouloud’s French style brasserie located in the Four Seasons Toronto feels straight out of Paris’ Left Bank featuring a seasonally changing menu created in the classically French way inspired by Boulud’s lush family dinners in Lyon combined with a contemporary flair. Time honored specialties of the house include his signature house made charcuterie platters, rotisserie slow roasted chicken, and of course the raw seafood tower. After undergoing a recent renovation, the dining room evokes a warm ambiance with a vintage feel that has been reimagined by renowned London based designer Martin Brudnizki who created a long brass and marble bar surrounded by sumptuous caramel leather banquettes with ambient lighting.
60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON T: 416-963-6000 www.cafeboulud.com/Toronto
In an egalitarian city like Toronto that shuns pretention, Lavelle is possibly the hottest and hardest lounge to get past the velvet ropes in Toronto with bouncers that could’ve been trained at The Boom Boom Room in NYC. With compulsory reservations to guarantee entrance, dress to impress to enter this swanky adult’s 16,000 square foot rooftop playground. Touting one of the longest rooftop pools in North America measuring a staggering 155 feet, this day to night hotspot features a garden, a chic French inspired restaurant, action packed indoor and outdoor bars, and forever views of Toronto.
627 King Street Toronto, ON
T: 647-347-9353 www.chezlavelle.com