The Annex near Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue is one of Toronto’s most sought after neighbourhoods. From lattes at the Green Beanery to all-you-can-eat sushi to froyo overload at Menchies, the neighbourhood comes alive with its passionate residents and University of Toronto students. While most Torontonians know the typical hot spots in the Annex, we’ve uncovered five hidden gems that you need to discover right now.
1. There’s a local farmers market in a parking lot.
The parking lot at Borden Street near Bloor transforms into a local farmers market every Wednesday from June to October. The MyMarket location features dozens of vendors offering locally grown produce, organic veggies, artisanal cheeses and homemade butter tarts (that are seriously delicious!). Other highlights include the Bio Vision Farm’s beef truck (sausage anyone?), organic peaches (with samples!), and the Fiddlehead Farm which sells…well… fiddleheads. When the winter ends, check out this amazing farmers market in the parking lot.
2. Bagels! Bagels! Bagels!
New to the area is Schmaltz, a small appetizing store on Dupont Street filled with cream cheese, lox, and the mighty bagel. Owned by Chef Anthony Rose (of Rose and Sons, and the salivating BBQ joint, Big Crow), the Jewish shop offers delicacies like gefilte fish, chopped liver, and egg and tuna. Chef Rose has (finally) brought Kiva’s Bagels south of St. Clair, leaving the neighbourhood cheering while picking poppy seeds out of their teeth.
3. Central Tech has a free indoor pool.
Did you know that Central Tech High School offers free indoor swim for the community? This secret indoor pool at Bathurst and Harbord Street is open on weekends and generally not very busy. Other paid indoor pools in the area include a saltwater pool at the Jewish Community Centre on Spadina and the University of Toronto’s fitness arena.
4. The $5.00 restaurant.
Everything on the menu at the new El Furniture Warehouse is $5.00. We’re not kidding. From burgers and fries to a plate of spaghetti, the meal prices are just $4.95 (and portion sizes are generous). The restaurant on Bloor near Brunswick Avenue is already a favourite destination for those starving University of Toronto students and locals searching for cheap eats and good food. Other fun restaurants nearby include Guu Sakabar (the staff applauds as you enter) and Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria (family friendly and free homemade gelato with every kids meal).
5. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema shows cult classics.
Formerly the Bloor Street Cinema, the revitalized Bloor Hot Docs offers more than just daily documentaries—you can still catch cult classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night. Here’s another bonus: the cinema is fully licensed serving Ontario wine and beer!
If you are interested to see what homes are for sale in The Annex you can find them here: Annex Homes for Sale