Toronto Photowalk: Distillery, Kensington, Spadina, Queen Street West


Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 — 10:06am PST
Comments 6

Following my speaking engagement this past weekend in Toronto I had some spare time before my flight back to Vancouver. It was warm and sunny, showing signs that winter was a thing of the city’s past, so I decided that a photowalk was in order. The best (and most friendly) photographer I could think of in Toronto is Rannie Turingan, whom I first met in 2008 when we were on CBC’s Test the Nation. A few Twitter direct message exchanges later and we were on our way to brunch in the Distillery District.


Toronto Photowalk

Transformed brick warehouses and industrial buildings are now home to studios, brew pubs, and artisan shops. We meandered along an aging brick pedestrian mall, surrounded by shiny new condos, and ducked into SOMA for some chocolate.

SOMA Chocolatier

This is a magical chocolate boutique that is also a chocolate factory, lab, and gelato shop during the warmer months. I couldn’t resist picking up some English Toffee and a bar of the Aleppo Pepper Bar (dark Peruvian chocolate laced with Aleppo Pepper and Maldon Salt).

SOMA Chocolatier SOMA Chocolatier

SOMA Chocolatier

SOMA Chocolatier SOMA Chocolatier

We then headed West toward Kensington Market, which is actually a stretch of a one-way neighbourhood road flanked by houses that double as markets, restaurants and shops. It reminded me of a much more narrow and compact Commercial Drive but with the same cultural flare.

Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk

Gardening the Green Roof Toronto Photowalk

No Parking

Lucky Moose

Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk

Walking down through Chinatown and across Queen Street West, Rannie told me we had to check out Graffiti Alley. In Vancouver we have our own alley in Gastown that is covered in impressive and colourful spraypaintings however Toronto’s version spans several blocks, turns around corners, and I swear it’s where Rick Mercer’s done a rant or two.

Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk Toronto Photowalk
Toronto Photowalk Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk

Toronto Photowalk

Now Rannie must be a pretty popular guy because we were stopped at least four times on the street by friends, Twitter friends, and people that recognized him. We even had someone send out a tweet with a photo of us from afar.

Toronto Photowalk

It was this connection and the exploration of quaint and diverse neighbourhoods that actually made Toronto feel more like a community to me for the first time since I started visiting in 1999.

Toronto Photowalk

There is no Miss416 per se, however Toronto’s top blog (in my opinion and probably many others’ as well) is BlogTo. Check it out for events, history, and much more happening around the city if you’re in town. You can view the rest of my photos from the walk on Flickr.

Current contests on Miss604.com

6 comments

  1. Great pics! I haven’t been back to TO since I lived there over 10 years ago. It’s a fun city.

  2. Trudy says:

    Great Photos! I like To. it’s a great place to take tweens and teens, so many quirky and cool things to see and do.

  3. Paul Henman says:

    Wow, a real whistle-stop tour of some of Toronto’s highlights! I can easily spend hours at any one of those places but you got some great shots!

  4. The Distillery District offers great restaurants and fun. I really love it as it has a rich vibe, full of history and great lofts! Definitively a great spot to visit while visiting Toronto.

  5. […] Miss 604 was visiting Toronto, So I decided to show her one of out Graffiti Alleys. […]

  6. Rannie says:

    Was happy to show you around, next time you are in Toronto, I can show you a whole lot more.

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