I try not to be interject when people talk about Parkdale, but I love my home so much, I find myself more often than not interrupting and spouting off a few interesting facts about my neighbourhood (or maybe they are interesting only to me). I’ve been situated in Parkdale for a while now, across from the hustle and liveliness of Parts & Labour, and I can see if Coriander Girl is open from my window, and I can hear, and feel, the streetcar every moment of the day. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not going to say Parkdale is the best neighbourhood in the world, but I mean, Vogue voted it #2 on their list, so it wouldn’t be a lie.
A local is a spot where you feel at home in a community setting, where you can stop by for a quick pint, or spend the evening with your friends. The Local Kitchen & Winebar does Italian properly, from their menu of exquisite dishes, to their vast wine list, and on Mondays, you can experience their four-course fixed menu with half price wine. As well, you can experience their pasta making classes with their executive chef, and the chef’s table option to your dining experience, The Local truly takes the challenge of becoming the local spot seriously.
One of the new kids in the neighbourhood, The Tempered Room is Parkdale’s new coffee joint, but it also has an unreal bakery. Fresh baked bread? Yep. Croque Monsieur with mushrooms? Why not. Chocolate croissants? Don’t mind if I do. Between their assortment of baked goods, as well as their delicious teas, The Tempered Spoon’s environment is a welcome addition to the hood.
At any given time, you can walk by the storefront of Community 54 and see something that boosts Parkdale, whether it is the Baitshop’s Parkdale pride pieces, or different piece of local clothing that pumps the area, Community 54 is proudly Parkdale. Besides that, the selection of shoes, shirts, pants, and all the accessories from a variety of local and international designers are second to none in the area. Their community lifestyle boutique brand, infused with local art and an urban streetwear feel, Commmunity 54 encompasses the new age of Parkdale.
Its self-explanatory title and easy demeanor, Food & Liquor is an easy favourite to spend an evening, sharing their small plates and drinking your way through their cocktail list. The food is simple but so delicious, and before you know it, you’ve downed five plates of dumplings and you’re ok with it. All their food & liquor is priced to sell, and the environment is a mixed between your best friend’s house and your neighbour’s backyard, with a closed in patio that hosts barbeques in the summer. If you let the server take the reigns, you will not be disappointed.
Celebrating its twentieth anniversary this fall, Sorauren Park is a common ground for those in Parkdale. With its dog park, playground and greenspace, the park delivers a home and a meeting place for everyone from Dufferin to Roncy and everyone in between. The first time I found it, I was pleasantly surprised this much green space came out of no where and it is situated in the middle of Parkdale, just a little piece of paradise downtown.