EXPLORING YORKVILLE TORONTO
Yorkville is a neighbourhood of influence, high fashion, glitz, and glamour and is certainly one of the must-visits when planning your visit to Toronto. From boutique shops to luxury brands, fine dining to cute cafes, and new architecture blended with the Victorian, there's so much to explore. Stay awhile with your visit to Yorkville by grabbing a meal, taking a walking tour, and perhaps pampering yourself in a 5-star hotel. Hey you never know, you might even spot a celebrity or two. It's hard to believe but Yorkville started off as an independent village and was officially named Yorkville Bloor. In an age of horse-drawn carriages, this part of Toronto was considered to be in the fringes of the city. While most of the commerce happened closer to the waterfront in the 1800's, influential citizens opted to live in their Victorian homes "uptown" and soon a new form of transit was formed with carriages to allow for commuting into the city. The historic village has certainly evolved over the past few century and continues to do so. As you walk through the neighbourhood, you'll start noticing the fascinating juxtaposition of the old with the new. Urban development is ever-so present and Tours does an excellent walking tour. Here are the main sights that you'll want to pay attention to as you walk through that give you a glimpse into what is Yorkville's past, present, and future.Originally a parking lot, this is now an urban park that was designed to reflect the Canadian landscape coast to coast. That explains why there's such an eclectic mix of conifers, deciduous trees, marsh lands, giant rock boulders, strings of water, and prairie fields.Million dollar homes are featured here and is a fun street to walk through if not just to peek into the different homes here that are modernized versions of the Victorian houses that once stood here.Inspired by Le Corbusier's Unite d'Habitation in Paris and designed by Gerald Robinson, this is a perfect example of one of the first mixed-use building in Toronto. This tower represented a new type of architecture in the city at the time where post-war downtown development only consisted of single-use towers that were abandoned at night. In the carpenter gothic revival style, this is home to the Helconian Club which supports women in the arts and is also a great music venue and art gallery. Built in 1875, it was originally opened as the Olivet Congregational Church.Hidden behind Hazelton are the Mira Godard Gallery and Ingram Gallery and if you take a secret small alleyway between James Perse and Mira Godard Gallery, you’ll discover a number of metal sculptures on display that normal passerby’s won’t be able to see. The path leads into the Yorkville Village mall.This is Toronto Public Library’s oldest library. It dates back to June of 1907 when it was then the northern end of Toronto. It was made possible thanks to a $350,000 grant made by Andrew Carnegie. An impressive hotel and luxury condominium rental that features a stunning lobby, award-worthy restaurant in Café Boulud, and one of the few 5-star spas in the city.Newly re-opened in 2018, this Yorkville institution received a complete SoHo-inspired facelift to bring back to life. Located at the intersection of Cumberland and Bellair Streets, Sassafraz has been a mainstay in Yorkville for 20 years and features the creations of executive Chef Geoff Webb.The reinvention of restaurant allowed Chef Geoff to fully overhaul the menu with a few favourites coming back. With a focus on healthier options, what’s impressive is that all dishes are created using local fresh ingredients where possible. When it comes to things like butters and oils, care is taken to make sure the health conscious decision is made which you don’t hear too much from top tier restaurants.