As its sobriquet, the “mink mile,” suggests, Yorkville is home to the swankiest shopping in Toronto. Located in midtown, it is easily accessible by both subway and car. Beware, though: once here, you may have to idle in traffic as the streets tend to be chock full of Ferraris.
Fun fact: Yorkville started off as Potter’s Field and, in the 1960s, was deemed the ultimate hippie hangout. Things have changed, huh?
Toronto is the birthplace of the Four Seasons Hotel brand and its shiny flagship on Yorkville Avenue rises to expectations as the ultimate luxury stay in town. From the outsize floral bouquets in the lobby area to the art installation designed to look like an oversized dandelion that hovers over front desk, from the sublime spa to the awesome swimming pool, the hotel offers chic sensory overload… and then some. Make sure to sip on a Yorkville Affair while scoping out the scene at the hotel’s D Bar.
Chabrol is a postage stamp-sized restaurant serving authentic French bistro fare. Sit at the bar and watch the chefs prepare toro white fish en papillote or the puy lentils and parsnip dish: it’s literally poetry in motion. The restaurant also happens to spill out onto a sunny terrace surrounded by designer shops that will have you reach for your credit card in no time.
Sorry Coffee Bar, inside the Yorkville outpost of Canadian fashion brand Kit and Ace, is the perfect place to rest throughout your retail workouts. Run by Dylan Wu, of the city’s renowned De Mello Palheta Coffee roasters, the spot serves strong espressos in an elegantly designed space complete with black walls and a marble bar.
Milk mile is also known as museum mile and for good reason. Visit the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and pay particular attention to the controversial art by architect Daniel Libeskind. What is inside the space is perhaps more enticing, albeit equally eclectic: expect a permanent exhibit of over 2,500 exceptional artifacts that shed light on Chinese culture through the ages in addition to cutting-edge temporary exhibitions devoted to the works of, among others, fashion legend Christian Dior.
If you’ve done your rounds at ROM, opt to visit the nearby Gardiner Museums for charming cerebral exhibits about modern and ancient ceramics or the Bata Shoe museum, a cultural destination dedicated entirely to shoes, the people who design them and those who wear them.
If you do just one thing…
Visit Philosopher’s Walk, a scenic footpath abutting the ROM and the Royal Conservatory of Music that offers a quiet reprieve from the hustle-and-bustle of the city. Step through the path’s Queen Alexandra Gate, with its splendid wrought iron lamps with griffins holding up glass shades in their mouths, and it’ll feel like the beginning of a stroll back in time.