Introducing: The Boreal Gelato Company, Parkdale’s new place for a scoop and a seat
The Boreal Gelato Company, Parkdale’s laid-back new scoop shop and café, is a breath of cold, fresh air after the slew of recent hipster café openings along Queen West. Owner Melanie Clancy originally considered opening up shop over by Trinity Bellwoods Park, but found herself too smitten with her own hood to head further east. Not wanting to infringe on the business of her neighbourhood pals—like the crew from The Mascot across the street—and noting the absence of a family-friendly hangout spot, she decided a gelateria would be the perfect addition to the strip.
The airy space is outfitted with café-style tables and Wi-Fi, but the stools up-front are perfect for a Queen West people-watching break after a morning of vintage shopping. Rorschach-esque illustrations from a local artist hang on the walls, and an upright freezer is decorated with a graffiti-like illustration of a kid viciously devouring an ice cream cone. Clancy repurposed her grandma’s old dining room hutch as a waste disposal unit, and used a piece of reclaimed wood from a building at Queen and Dovercourt for the front of her main counter.
The gelato is all made from scratch in-house, with no more than five ingredients per flavor—“certainly nothing unpronounceable,” Clancy says. The selection rotates based on seasonal offerings and the owner’s whim. Her current favourites? Raspberry Sorbet (“it’s raspberry season!”), Triple Chocolate Crunch and Hazelnut Cookie Crunch. Waffle cones are the real deal—there are no flimsy paper-like bases here—and anti-cone-ites can rest easy thanks to biodegradable packaging.
Scoops start at $2.75 while 500 ml take-home tubs are $12. Vegans can enjoy the milk-free sorbet, and a sugar-free variant for diabetics is in the works. For those who cannot bear the thought of going without their caffeine fix, a fair-trade, organic Americano ($2.50) or latte ($3.50) is also available. An extra $1.50 will transform your espresso into an affogato with a scoop of vanilla on top.
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The Boreal Gelato Company, 1312 Queen St. W., 647-352-7717, borealgelato.ca.