north america · travel

There are warpholes in Toronto.

A walk down Main Street in Unionville is like a step back in time.

The Unionville bandstand.

Make sure that you’re with good company when visiting Unionville, as you’re in for one nostalgia trip. The clock slows down, as you bide your day wandering in and out homegrown shops, perhaps parking in one of the street-side restaurants to have coffee on the patio.

Nostalgic hearts sometimes come with rumbling stomachs, too.

You know the Christmas village scene that used to be on top of C.O.D.? Or think of the holiday village displays that adorn mall store windows or your mom’s shelf, for that matter. Unionville sorts of reminds me of that. I was half-expecting elves and Mrs. Claus to pop out bearing gifts.

Sign upon a building's brick wall. Yup thanks, I think I shall.



Another testament to Toronto’s eye for beauty in heritage is the much more known Distillery District. Once the site of Gooderham and Worts Distillery (founded 1832), the 14-acre property was revived as a favorite location for filmmakers (2nd largest outside of Hollywood) and a community for artists and restauranteurs. There is still a brewery on-site — you can drop by the Mill St. BrewPub to get a strong whiff of hops and a taste of any of their 13 beers on tap as well.

The Distillery District getting ready for Christmas.
Giant sculptures such as this one are greet you along the streets.

The Distillery District is closed off to traffic, making the brick-laden streets perfect for undisturbed strolling and window-shopping fun. Such a picturesque place is apt to house some of the most creative and whimsical specialty shops you’ll find. I was blown away by CubeWorks, a store that featured artworks out of Rubik’s cubes, so much that it deserved its own post. If you cross over to the side across CubeWorks, you’ll find more than a few art galleries — browse to your heart’s content.

Interesting handbags made out of books from the Distill Gallery.
Short of breath from all that walking? Plop down these artsy-fartsy chairs.

The masterpieces at the district don’t just stop at paintings and sculptures. Here, you’ll discover a lot of unique cafes, bakeries and restaurants, making the Distillery District the perfect art-lover’s hangout.

Busy day at Balzac's Coffee.
The fiery Mayan Hot Chocolate shot from Soma. Not for the faint-hearted!
Something's brewing on my kind of lab.
The Brick Street Bakery was still decked for Halloween when we first visited. Sweeney Todd might have fit right in.
An upscale alfresco resto, as a classic Victorian Industrial architecture eye-candy.

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