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Block Magazine

Creativity has its place
Issue 25

19 Duncan Street

 

BY: HELAENA PEZZANO

ILLUSTRATION BY: ADRIAN FORROW

Located at the nexus of Queen West and the historic fashion and entertainment districts, 19 Duncan Street in Toronto is surrounded by trendy cafés, restaurants and bars, unique boutiques and world-class entertainment venues. The area is also home to some of the most creative agencies and organizations in the city—many residing in nearby Allied buildings—making it a living cultural hub. It’s hard to turn a corner without feeling inspired by what you see or where you can go next. 

1. 401 RICHMOND

401 Richmond Street West

Originally a tin lithography factory at the turn of the 20th century, 401 Richmond is now a thriving arts centre. The heritage-designated building is home to a unique mix of galleries, microenterprises and boutiques. One of these, Spacing Store, is the go-to for authentic Toronto-centric merch, and bookstore Swipe Design focuses on indie design titles. Check their website for art openings, exhibitions, events, talks and more.

2. TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX

350 King Street West

Home to the Toronto International Film Festival, this five-storey cultural complex is a film lover’s paradise. Catch a foreign first-run film or retrospective, browse rotating art exhibitions, dine in the bistro among filmgoers or visit TIFF’s own Film Reference Library, which includes a non-circulating collection of videos, photographs, posters and other cinema-related artifacts.

3. SOMA CHOCOLATEMAKER

443 King Street West

See chocolate makers in action in the experimental kitchen of this boutique chocolate factory dubbed “truffle central” by its founders. Indulge in the handmade truffles (you won’t regret it!) or choose from a variety of “bean to bar” chocolate bars, cookies or gelato (available year-round).

4. THE PASTURE AT TORONTO-DOMINION CENTRE

66 Wellington Street West

When you need to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the downtown core, visit The Pasture—a public art display by Canadian sculptor Joe Fafard. Flanked by the Toronto-Dominion Centre towers, this grassy courtyard is the perfect setting to take in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s striking architecture while enjoying a shaded breather.

5. -9. DINER’S DELIGHTs

Start your day with a fresh brew—and a “world-famous” cookie—from Le Gourmand (5) or try the signature brunch at Peter Pan Bistro (6). Stop by Piccolo (7) for an aperitivo before dinner at La Carnita (8), a lively street-style Mexican hot spot. Cap off your night sipping bubbly in Coffee Oysters Champagne’s hidden speakeasy (9).

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