Rosedale-Summerhill Guide: 23 need-to-know places along Yonge Street’s poshest stretch
Yonge Street’s poshest stretch, from Ramsden Park up to the Summerhill LCBO, has two strong suits: food and decor. Locals from the tree-lined side streets keep the shops going during the week, while the weekend brings floods of shoppers from further afield. Here, our list of 23 essential restaurants, food shops, furniture stores, clothing boutiques and beauty parlours along tony Toronto’s main drag.
Black Camel View »
4 Crescent Rd., 416-929‑7518
The Drake Hotel General Store View »
1011 Yonge St., 416-966-0553
The Rebel House View »
1068 Yonge St., 416-927-0704
Hollace Cluny View »
1070 Yonge St., 416-968-7894
Gee Beauty View »
2 Roxborough St. W, 416-486-0080
Olliffe View »
1097A Yonge St., 416‑928‑0296
All The Best Fine Foods View »
1101 Yonge St., 416-928-3330
Putti Fine Furnishings View »
1104 Yonge St., 416-972-7652
Le Petit Castor View »
1118 Yonge St., 416-968-7366
Patachou View »
1120 Yonge St., 416-927-1105
AT Design Group View »
5 Macpherson Ave., 416-323-0323
M Beauty Boutique View »
1134 Yonge St., 416-972-7546
Petite Thuet View »
1162 Yonge St., 416-924‑2777
Rosedale Diner View »
1164 Yonge St., 416-923-3122
Pastis View »
1158 Yonge St., 416-928-2212
Boo Boo and Lefty View »
1198 Yonge St., 416-929-2223
Advice from a Caterpillar View »
8 Price St. 416-960-2223
The Narwhal View »
8 Price St., Suite 101, 647-351-5011
LCBO View »
10 Scrivener Square, 416-922-0403
L’Atelier View »
1224 Yonge St., 416-966-0200
Department of Interiors View »
1234 Yonge St., 416-322-7277
Absolutely North View »
1236 Yonge St., 416-922-6784
Summerhill Market View »
446 Summerhill Ave., 416-921-2714
The lunch-time lineup out the door of this small, bright shop is easily explained by the five straightforward sandwich options: freshly baked white buns come piled with pulled pork, seared steak, beef brisket, roast chicken or vegetables and can be topped with all manner of condiments, like house-made charamoula mayo and chili-roasted onions. Sellouts are frequent, but devotees can check the Camel’s Twitter feed (@black_camel) for updates on the bun supply.
4 Crescent Rd., 416-929‑7518.
The Drake Hotel General Store
The Drake Hotel’s Rosedale satellite adds a welcome dash of humour to the strip with its kitschy Canadiana bits and bobs—Mountie napkins or totem pole salt and pepper shakers, say. This branch of the growing General Store empire focuses more on home stuff, whimsical toys and trendy cookbooks.
1011 Yonge St., 416-966-0553.
The Rebel House
With its worn wood trimmings, rough brick and stucco walls and cramped interior, the Rebel House sticks out in Rosedale like a beat-up Chrysler in a lot full of Porsches. However, the 18-year-old local is beloved in the neighbourhood, particularly for its killer mason-jar caesars, the 18 Canadian microbrews on tap, the tasty pub food and a back patio that’s whimsically shaded, in the summer, by a giant nylon parachute.
1068 Yonge St., 416-927-0704.
The minimalist interior offers a refreshing break from the opulent, packed-to-the-rafters antique shops that line the street. This is the only store in the area where mid-century masters are king. The Knoll design stable—Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Jens Risom, Harry Bertoia—is proudly displayed.
1070 Yonge St., 416-968-7894.
This one-stop beautification shop grooms Rosedalers young and old, ensuring that they’re as impeccably turned out as the polished women who staff the salon. The burgeoning cosmetic empire has expanded three times since it opened, now occupying the better part of a block. Three makeup artists on staff offer in-studio and on-site bridal services using Gee’s extensive line of cosmetics. The owners plan to roll out the Gee skincare line this fall. In the meantime, they offer Dermalogica and Nude, a line made from 98 per cent natural ingredients.
2 Roxborough St. W, 416-486-0080.
With an exquisite, bistro-style interior (exposed brick walls, stylized butchery diagrams), Olliffe screams quality, as do the price tags. Herb-marinated chicken breasts, from naturally raised chickens, are covered in a garden’s worth of parsley, tarragon, rosemary and chives and are moist and flavourful throughout when cooked. An essential stop for the area’s carnivores.
1097A Yonge St., 416‑928‑0296.
All The Best Fine Foods
A favourite among epicures citywide, All the Best Fine Foods is part bakery, part cheese room, part upscale general store. Folks too busy to cook stock up on the award-winning chicken pot pies and prepared meals that are Local Food Plus certified. The store’s welcoming new digs, a long time coming, still showcase hard-to-find brands, but also make room for a coffee counter, curated cookbooks, curios and rotating tasting stations.
1101 Yonge St., 416-928-3330.
Putti Fine Furnishings
The back nook will bring out the inner six-year-old girl in even the most sophisticated decor addict: it’s all pinks, with a butterfly-print teepee set up for a children’s tea party. The entrance is dripping with crystal chandeliers, and the furniture is almost all white. There’s also a large selection of antique linens, crystal glassware, soaps and gift-wrap. Last summer, a white tent sheltering a grand outdoor sofa evoked the British Raj.
1104 Yonge St., 416-972-7652.
Le Petit Castor
This perennially packed resto-bar specializes in comfort food with a cozy atmosphere. The decor is upscale Canadiana, with rounded banquettes in the front and table seating in the larger room beyond the bar. In December there was a complete overhaul in the front and back of house; the refurbished menu was put together by chef Kait Peake, who comes by way of Crush Wine Bar and Atlantic. Selections include beef stew with root vegetables and fresh bread, and a mushroom risotto with parmesan for vegetarians. Sunday brunch is also a new addition. A younger crowd arrives after dinner to sip on cocktails like the Pink Panther, which is made from a secret recipe and arrives in a giant goblet.
1118 Yonge St., 416-968-7366.
There’s a reason many Rosedale families can’t imagine Saturday morning brunch without one of Patachou’s legendary almond croissants: the pastry is flaky and delectably buttery, with a rich almond-filled centre and flakes of nut sprinkled on top. The house-made jams and preserves also shine: the deep red plum variety is good on toast but should really be eaten out of the jar with a spoon.
1120 Yonge St., 416-927-1105.
AT Design Group
Wedding and shower guests come to this cute-as-can-be gift shop for Jonathan Adler tableware and serving pieces from New York artist Michael Aram’s pod collection. The French carafe and glass set ($40) is often picked up in multiples by shoppers stocking up on hostess gifts.
5 Macpherson Ave., 416-323-0323.
M Beauty Boutique
Rejuvenation and privacy are the priorities at Marilyn Sang’s intimate spa. News of her facials (the collagen-boosting light pulsation treatment, $180, has a loyal following) travels by word of mouth from happy customers who prize the one-on-one experience with Sang, a former Holt Renfrew skin care expert. By appointment only.
1134 Yonge St., 416-972-7546.
The Yonge Street outpost of chef Marc Thuet’s bakery chain is chock full of temptations: brightly coloured macarons, chocolate beignets, loaves of brioche, tarts and some of the best croissants around. Wild raspberry jam, at $33 for a 250 mL jar, is possibly the city’s priciest preserve, but it’ll garner you points with a discerning host. Sandwiches offer much better value: the turkey, for example, comes with brie, apricot jam, and slices of oven-roasted white meat piled generously between two thick pieces of Thuet’s hearty multi-grain bread.
1162 Yonge St., 416-924‑2777.
Restaurant Makeover replaced the kitschy decor with a more sedate vibe about six years ago, yet this 32-year-old diner is still all about regulars—many mature Rosedalians included—enjoying comfort food. The menu jumps from Israel to France to Asia, but sometimes the simplest options are the best: handmade burgers served on pita bread.
1164 Yonge St., 416-923-3122.
A reservation is almost always necessary at this welcoming French bistro. Patrons from the neighbourhood fill the tables during the week, and visitors from farther-flung areas of the city stream in on weekends. Owner George Gurnon describes the cheerful decor as “chocolate and lemon,” but, he says, the emphasis here is on the food. Classic bistro fare, from chef Joyce Shim, is accented with a few welcome exceptions like fish and chips, veal scallopini and hand-cut tagliatelle.
1158 Yonge St., 416-928-2212.
Boo Boo and Lefty
The imitation antique harvest table, antler chandelier and overstuffed linen-covered sofa are gorgeous, but the framed prints—charming botanicals, butterflies, birds and equestrian scenes—scattered throughout this home decor store are the real finds.
1198 Yonge St., 416-929-2223.
Advice from a Caterpillar
This charming shop seeks to provide a more enduring alternative to the usual disposable clothing and toys at children’s stores. At the front of the store is a dish filled with tiny rubber horses that are doled out to children as they enter (repeat visitors can build their own menagerie, as the type of animal changes periodically). An installation in the window has hand-made silk crane mobiles suspended from tree branches, and a mural at the back of the store depicts Alice in Wonderland. (The caterpillar in question is the hookah-smoking larva from Lewis Carroll’s book.) Quirky stuffed animals like emus and armadillos are artfully jumbled on a shelf under a table shrewdly built to child’s height.
8 Price St. 416-960-2223.
Marisa Buchkowsky’s experience in fashion and Sydney Wills’ background in interior design mean every detail—from the sunglasses displayed on a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk to the whale logo on the tags and totes—is carefully chosen at this artful boutique. The two young women got together and opened the store in September, blending uptown posh with downtown cool-kid lines, while somehow maintaining a welcoming vibe. Brands range from reasonably priced Dolce Vita shoes to more expensive lines by Acne and Helmut Lang.
8 Price St., Suite 101, 647-351-5011.
The serene Summerhill LCBO location is a sort of mecca for Ontario drinkers, who don’t imbibe lightly. In addition to a massive selection of vintage wines, aged single malts and seasonal beers, the store offers cooking classes, wine tastings and even the occasional design seminar. The former train station was restored in 2003, and a quartet of lions on the Canadian Pacific Railway coats of arms still look down on customers as they enter through the stone courtyard.
10 Scrivener Square, 416-922-0403.
A stroll through this decor shop feels like touring the estate of an eccentric wealthy aunt who’s retired to the French countryside and filled her home with keepsakes from her world travels. Best of all: in warmer months, the outdoor back terrace features a long marble table stylishly and haphazardly set with silverware and dishes—it looks like the remnants of last night’s fabulous dinner party.
1224 Yonge St., 416-966-0200.
Department of Interiors
Don’t look for generic geometric prints to decorate a teen’s bedroom at this fabric wonderland. It’s only the finest silk dupionis, velvets, rich-hued cottons, sophisticated toiles, stripes and embroidery here (from about $20 to over $475 a yard). Leopard print and cutesy florals are hidden in the downstairs clearance section.
1234 Yonge St., 416-322-7277.
The two Absolutely shops that bookend this chi-chi strip are filled with eclectic treasures. The northern boutique has such vintage curios as 1940s rowing oars, antique canes and crystal bar stools. An accessories cabinet is a trove of vintage Gucci and Bottega Veneta handbags and unique costume jewellery.
1236 Yonge St., 416-922-6784.
A little ways off the Yonge Street strip, this food emporium emphasizes high-quality prepared foods (made in-house) that make life easier: carrots come pre-cut, cheese is pre-portioned and salmon poached. Among the signature dishes are the quiches and meat pies, to which an entire section of the store is devoted. More than 30 soups are made from scratch daily, and the AAA or prime cuts offered at the full-service meat counter are aged in-house. Popular selections at the deli include the salmon Wellington and the French potato salad.
446 Summerhill Ave., 416-921-2714.