Tibetan restaurants

Toronto is unique in that you can find almost any cuisine in this city. One of the more unusual (and tastiest!) cuisines you can try is Tibetan.

Below is a set of Tibetan restaurants that are all located near each other. I used to live nearby, and remember that Himalayan Kitchen was good. But that was many years ago so take a look at current reviews. Things to try: momos (either fried or steamed large dumplings), blood sausage (very spicy, you might also know this dish as “black pudding”), tripe (also very spicy).

Royal Ontario Museum

The only things that the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) excels at are the collection of minerals, the dinosaur exhibit and the fantastic new Burgess Shale exhibit. Head straight for those and skip everything else.

If you purchased a “Presto” card to ride TTC transit, present the card at admission to get a discount on your tickets.

Here is more on how the items in the ROM’s Burgess Shale exhibit were made by Objex Unlimited [archive link]. It also looks like some of the 3D-printed plastic creatures were cast in bronze.

The Mineral exhibit at the ROM. Photo credit to Daniel MacDonald.

Graffiti Alley

Graffiti Alley is an alleyway with some of Toronto’s best graffiti murals. It starts near Queen & Spadina and ends around Richmond & Niagara.

You can use Google Streetview to preview the kind of artwork you’ll see. Keep it mind that the art constantly changes. This is an actual alley at the back of working restaurants and shops, so it might get smelly.

The ravine system

One of the most unique features of Toronto is the ravine system. Ravines are gullies and riverbeds that are found throughout the city. They function as a way to control stormwater/flooding. Ravines usually have a walking path, a beautiful stream and lots of plants – they’re a great way of escaping the bustle of the city and cooling down in the summer.

Below is the system of interconnected ravines that I’m most familiar with. I’ve marked several entry/exit branches that you can use to shorten or lengthen your walk. This whole path is a bit too intense for a single walk, so pick and choose which segments appeal to you. I recommend that you spend some time at Evergreen Brickworks – a place with many ponds, turtles, frogs and herons. The 28 bus goes between there and Davisville Station.

Photo of the pond platforms at Evergreen Brickworks, by Norman Maddeaux.

In North York

North York is an area of Toronto that used to be it’s own city. The liveliest part is on Yonge street, between Sheppard and Finch (reachable through Sheppard, North York Centre or Finch subway stations).

LUNA BAKERY – good coffee (yeah, I’m a DeMello bootlicker). If you are a fan of velvety mochi textures, try the mugwort cubes dusted in soy powder. If you like delicate rice flavours with an odd cakey texture, try the “ricecake cakes” – they look like squares that are about 5 inches on each side.

Kin-Kin Bakery – in the basement of the mall at Yonge & Sheppard. Great Chinese buns with filling, and the best-textured mochi in town.

Pacific Mall

If you find yourself at the Northern end of the city, around Steeles and Victoria Park, make sure to visit Pacific Mall – possibly the largest Asian shopping mall in the western world. It is organized in a very unusual way, with stores occupying transparent glass cubicles.
Located at 4300 Steeles Ave E, Markham.

I recommend the BBQ duck food stall upstairs (yes, the owners are incredibly grumpy but the duck is worth it). There are vendors selling unusual candy, good K-Pop merchandise, and an infinite number of cellphone covers & accessories.

Go across to Splendid China Mall (a fantastic dilapidated mall) and eat at Graceful Vegetarian. This is a vegetarian dim-sum place, with very delicately flavoured dishes. Get the fresh Chinese donut, the turnip & mock beef dish, and trio of mock meats.

To be added later:

Okonomi house

ontario science centre, get an Afghan bread, park across the road. Oomomo and snacks at C&C. Don’t be too proud: eat that greasy stuff!

Rich people: Rosedale, great kids’ park, yorkville, rooster/camel, tea shop


Chinatown, the bakery I like, restaurants,

Kensington Market + Fahrenheit coffee

St. Lawrence Market

Walk along Queen’s Quay – make sure to take the streetcar there from Union. There’s a trick to finding it.

Riverdale Farm + Cabbagetown

Scarborough: Bluffers Park + Guildwood

UofT old buildings / Victoria book sale