Defrosting the District: Your guide for springing into better weather

POSTED ON April 23, 2018 BY Justine Smith

Strange Love Coffee_Entertainment District

With warmer weather on the horizon, it is time to dust off your dancing shoes and mingle like any aspiring socialite should. Here is a list of out of the ordinary spots in the Entertainment District to wake you out of your winter blues.

Work it

Warmer days seem to be around the corner so it’s time to get grooving and nail down summertimes moves at the Underground Dance Centre. I’m not saying you will look like Beyoncé, but feeling like her is no stretch after popping in for any one of its beginner drop-in dance classes.

Looking for a whole new bootcamp experience? A Hollywood favourite, Barry’s Bootcamp recently touched down in The 6ix! Immersive is an understatement when pumped-up music and dim red lighting draw people into each workout. Before you know it 1000 calories are burned, and you’re one step closer to body goals.

Barry's Bootcamp_Toronto Entertainment District

Stroll the streets

Balling on a budget? Strangelove is the curated coffee joint sourcing fair trade coffee from small batch craft farmers and showcasing the variety of flavour profiles between award-roasters. Don’t let the impressive details fool you! The reasonably priced Lover’s Latte uses the Tonka bean which tastes like caramel-honey and gives a regular vanilla latte a run for its money. Not your cup of coffee? Strangelove has a seriously rich Chai Latte and recently began serving its Honest Brunch, cooking up mindfully sourced, in-house morning favourites like fried egg sandwiches and specialty made jams.High 5_Toronto Entertainment DistrictTake your warm bevvy on a stroll to 401 Richmond, a cultural hub home to over 140 artists, micro enterprises, festivals, galleries and shops! Pop in and tour many of the free gallery spaces.

An Entertainment District favourite is Tangled Art + Disability, an inviting gallery space enhancing opportunities for artists with disabilities. Don’t be afraid of having to tiptoe around delicate pieces of art, the gallery space is unintimidating and a fun way to experience Toronto’s art scene by offering multi-sensory ways to interact with its pieces. Tangled Art + Disability provides a professional platform for artists who are typically underserved.

Afterwards pick-up fresh dinner ingredients at High5, The Fifth’s new café and curated convenience store. The shop is designed to function similarly to the charming corner stores in Europe, offering residents quality food at competitive prices.  Next time you go hunting for fresh organic turmeric all over the city, know it can be found just off Duncan St.Play catch-up

If you have been cooped up all winter hibernating, sometimes all that’s needed is a solid conversation with old friends. Start day-dreaming over summer nights and exchange gossip at Ricarda’s, an Insta-worthy restaurant, bakery and café located at 134 Richmond St. The European-style space is massive and accommodates 170 guests, reducing the probability of waiting around for a table whilst drooling over someone else’s Lobster Linguini. I recommend treating yourself to a seasonal donut or better yet its #QOTD (Quiche of the day)!

Fun Fact: Ricarda’s is located in the QRC building, a crossbreed of modern and heritage design built in 1910, once operating as a biscuit factory running 24 hours a day to accommodate Toronto’s high demand.Take your board games outside of the family room at Watson’s, where it provides the drinks and you bring the fun! The bar encourages you to bring any fun board games and eats from local eateries around the district in exchange for one of the many premium cocktails! Brighten up your cocktail rotation by sipping on London Calling, a bright drink using Hayman’s gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice and ginger beer.

Date Night

Get out of the monotony of a standard date night and show your partner a fun and maybe competitive side! The Rec Room is a date night pulled straight from a modern romantic comedy with over 40,000 sq. feet of arcade games, virtual reality and live entertainment.Rec Room_Toronto Entertainment DistrictIf your date is seeking a more eclectic adventure, check out CineCycle located within 401 Richmond for a different kind of movie night. Its creator began showing Sunday night film screenings from a Bathurst St gallery/bike shop in the early 70s, officially opening as an underground cinema and bicycle repair shop in 1991. Today, guests are welcome to attend Friday night screenings of lesser known, thought-provoking films.

Take your moves to Odd Thomas, a beer-driven social club with the best tunes. The music at Odd Thomas will drive you to switch Shazam on or at least boogie all night long. It comes as no surprise since the bar brings in some of Toronto’s best DJs like Conor Cutz or DJ Big Jacks who is known for curating Aritzia’s instore playlists.

Relax and Unwind

Tired from poor nights of sleep in unwelcoming AirBnbs? It is time for an upgrade at The Templar, a hidden modern escape located centrally, in plain sight! The under the radar hotel offers ultimate service with private parking lots, oversized soaker tubs and efficient and attentive staff. The Adelaide St. hotel is surrounded by Toronto Entertainment District favourites like Kiin and Figo and often attracts local businesses like TIFF and Rudsak to host extraordinary events.

Templar Hotel_Toronto Entertainment District