Neighbourhood Spotlight: Yonge Lawrence Village
Welcome to Yonge Lawrence Village! This family-centric uptown shopping destination is earning its reputation as a happening, tight-knit community with a diverse offering of culture, food and fun. It’s time we prove to the “downtown” crowd that “uptown” does not mean "uptight"! The Toronto Neighbourhood Guide team has been busy doing our research - We’ve talked to the locals and walked around the neighbourhoods tasting the food, speaking to the patrons and business owners alike.
If you live in the Bedford Park, Lawrence Park, Teddington Park or Wanless Park neighbourhoods these spots might not be news to you, but we want to spread the word and let people know it’s worth the trip to this neighbourhood.
Here’s what we’ve come up with.
Burger’s Priest - 3397 Yonge Street - http://www.theburgerspriest.com
Known for its cult following at the original Beach location and for its steady line out the door, this infamous burger joint has opened a second location for us Uptowners and we couldn’t be more ecstatic! The burgers are just as tasty at their bigger and brighter North spot. We are fans of the ridiculously tasty veggie burger, a deep fried mushroom stuffed with gooey cheese. Plus, only at this location, they’re blending up tantalizing malts and shakes - so be sure to save room!
Neighbour’s Tip: If you’re not part of the clergy and haven’t yet learned their secret menu, be sure to search for it online.
Belly Buster Submarine - 3447 Yonge Street
Ask anyone in the neighbourhood and they’ll tell you it’s the best sub they’ve ever eaten. Yes, the décor is reminiscent of the ‘70s, with a bright orange and yellow color scheme, but as soon as you smell the pounds of bacon sizzling, you’ll feel right at home. Their super soft bread, thinly hand-sliced cold cuts, and fresh selection of toppings make this family-run joint a must-try. There’s usually a line to the end of the shop at lunch, dinner and then again at about 2am, but don’t turn around when you see it – it goes quickly and it’s well worth the wait.
Neighbour’s Tip: Order your sub, but don’t tell them what toppings you want until they ask – trust me!
The Abbot Pub - 3367 Yonge Street - http://theabbot.ca/
This dimly lit and cozy pub is dishing out all the classics and we know you’ll be pleasantly surprised when your food exceeds expectations. They make everything from scratch with the freshest ingredients and bring some life to traditional pub fare. Their “Ploughmans Lunch”, which is a smorgasbord of sharp cheddar cheese, house pate, pickles and a hard-boiled egg, is delicious and a fun change from the norm. And, the shepherd’s pie might even taste better than Mom’s. This is the kind of place every neighbourhood needs!
Neighbour’s Tip: They welcome families and love kids, but before and after prime dinner hour it’s also a great spot to grab a beer with a friend at the bar.
Kristapsons Salmon - 3248 Yonge Street - http://kristapsons.com/
Kristapsons smokes salmon that is legendary. It has been around since 1953 and is consistently voted the city’s “Best Smoked Salmon”. Kristapsons uses a “cold-smoking” technique over hardwood for nearly 24 hours, and the result is something truly special. You can find Kristapsons finest at a few different specialty stores, but we suggest going straight to the source!
Neighbour’s Tip: Totally unassuming, this little storefront is easy to miss so look carefully.
Robyn’s Cookies - 3215 Yonge Street - http://www.robynscookies.com/
Robyn’s Cookies is every little girl’s dream! To enter the store you walk through Melonheads and out their back door (and don’t feel bad, they’re used to it!). The little space is colorful, comfy and totally cool! It has a wraparound window seat with tons of pillows, pink string lights hanging, a pink chandelier and bright artwork. Interior design aside, their cookies are excellent! They bake a handful of classic and exciting variations that can’t be resisted and they’re always served up with a smile. We recommend “Junk in the Trunk” - shortbread with smashed up chocolate bar pieces inside.
Neighbour’s Tip: Robyn’s Cookies hosts birthday parties and they do a great job! If your little one has a sweet tooth, contact them about their cookie decorating parties. They’re loads of fun! *Tell them Lily sent you for one FREE cookie!
Butter Avenue - 3467 Yonge Street - http://www.butteravenue.com/
Their macarons can’t be beat! This little patisserie opened up only a couple months ago, but it feels like they’ve been in the neighbourhood forever! It’s owned by brother/sister combo – sister, Tina, handcrafts the heavenly macarons and cakelets, while brother, Calvin, charms and delights visitors who seem to enjoy chatting with him as much as indulging in the delicious pastries. The café is light and bright, the tea and coffee are superb and the tasty sandwiches, served on freshly baked baguettes, are all great reasons to stop in.
Neighbour’s Tip: They take orders for large events and parties, so if you’re looking for a fun dessert or party favor for your soiree, ask them how they can help!
The Coop Ink. - 3287 Yonge Street - http://www.coopink.com/
If a man cave and Bergdorf Goodman had a baby, it would probably be The Coop. This neighbourhood icon has a beautifully designed new three-story location with a selection that can turn even the most hesitant man-shopper into a “repeat offender”. The owners and staff are totally committed to giving their customers a wonderful shopping experience. Whether it’s casual, business or formalwear that you’re looking for, you’ll probably find exactly what you were after. Did we mention they are responsible for tailoring Don Cherry’s suits? Don’t let this scare you.
Neighbour’s Tip: Don’t overlook the made to measure department – they do some of the best tailoring in the city.
Paradise Comic Books - 3278 Yonge Street - http://paradisecomics.com/
Paradise Comics has been in Yonge Lawrence Village for over 20 years and it is one of the last standing comic book stores in the city. I walked in looking for a specific comic book that I’ve not been able to find in all my years living in L.A. and Toronto, and after a quick trip into the basement, the owner emerged with my issue. The store, a blast from the past, carries an impressive stock of collectables and is constantly getting in new arrivals.
Neighbour’s Tip: Whether you’re a collector or not, it’s fun to browse and reminisce. Don’t forget to bring the kids to remind them what things were like before the iPad!
Melmira Bra and Swimsuits - 3319 Yonge Street - http://www.melmira.com
Melmira takes pride in fitting bras and swimsuits for each unique customer that walks in their store. They have made it their mission to help women find the garment that best flatters their figure and who wouldn’t want to jump on that! Of course you can just walk-in, but because of their personalized service it’s best to call ahead and set up a fitting! Whether you’re shopping for bras, swimsuits, bridal lingerie or maternity garments, the staff at Melmira will make it a fun and comfortable experience.
Neighbour’s Tip: Melmira also offers private consultations for post-surgical garment fittings, for those who have had procedures such as mastectomy or breast augmentation. You should feel relaxed knowing you’re in good hands.
Getoutside - 3456 Yonge Street - http://www.getoutsideshoes.com/
The Queen Street hub that we all know and love has a second location that is even more spacious (4000 square feet!) and very well stocked. So, now there’s no need to head downtown. Check out their selection of shoes for whole family, with ample space for the kids to test out their kicks. Whether you’re looking for Sperry’s, Hunter’s, Sorel’s, Frye’s, Converse, Tom’s, or Birkenstocks, in the latest style of the season, they’ve got ‘em.
Neighbour’s Tip: They always have great sales – something you never see at their downtown location. Check out the bargain bins outside the store, you can usually find an awesome pair of shoes for $20!
Neighbourhood Guide’s Tried, Tested and True Services
A neighbourhood spotlight wouldn’t be complete without suggestions for excellent essential services. Whether you live in the neighbourhood or are in need of a trustworthy recommendation, the following services are tried, tested and true.
- Hudson Shoe Repair – 6 Snowdon Avenue
Leave your soles in good hands at Hudson, because great shoe repair can be hard to find.
- Dick Young - 3180 Yonge Street
One of the first markets of it’s type in Toronto, Dick Young is an affordable and friendly place to buy produce and beautiful flower arrangements.
- Ashtanga Yoga - 3215A Yonge Street - http://www.ashtangatoronto.com/
Home to Canada’s largest Mysore yoga program, this studio offers a selection of classes for all levels, with great instructors.
- Corallo’s Hair Care - 3195 Yonge Street
Generation upon generation have enjoyed personalized service at this traditional barber shop, which has been serving Yonge Lawrence Village for over 50 years.
- Melonhead Children’s Hair Care – 3215 Yonge Street - http://www.melonhead.ca/
Take the kids to get their haircut in a fun and upbeat atmosphere with patient and caring stylists.
- Dave Snider Music Centre – 3225 Yonge Street - http://www.snidermusic.com/
For over 50 years they’ve been teaching music to students of all levels, while also selling the essential gear and accessories all musicians need.