In the Neighborhood: Your ultimate guide to Toronto’s Yorkville
Chic boutiques, world-class dining and a variety of fascinating museums make Yorkville one of Toronto’s most dynamic neighborhoods.
By Jim Byers | July 20, 2023
Once home to coffeehouses that attracted top folk and pop artists from Canada and the U.S., Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood now bustles with high-end retail and trendy restaurants — and popular coffeehouses, of course. To get a true experience of the area, explore on a warm summer’s night when locals and tourists alike come out to see and be seen.
From laid-back patios to Michelin-star restaurants, the Yorkville neighborhood has culinary options to satisfy the whims of even the fussiest foodie. Head to:
- Sushi Masaki Saito, where the fish arrives straight from Japan. The only restaurant in Toronto to win two stars in the city’s first Michelin guide, this popular eatery features a traditional Japanese-style omakase menu of curated seasonal specialties.
- Trattoria Nervosa, a popular neighborhood meeting spot for home-cooked Southern Italian food. Try the rigatoni with lamb ragu, or the seared arctic char with artichoke puree, sauteed baby spinach and black rice.
- Hemingway's Restaurant & Bar, a casual yet iconic Yorkville eatery that’s loved for its rooftop patio and dark-wood bar. From pop trivia nights to live music and sporting events, there’s always something happening at Hemingway’s.
Yorkville is home to some of Canada’s best museums and people-watching spots. Explore:
- The Village of Yorkville Park on Cumberland Street, which features a 700-tone granite outcrop from Northern Ontario and a rain curtain fountain. The park is a favorite spot for locals and visitors looking to catch their breath and admire landscaped trees and gardens.
- The Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest museum with 40 galleries and art spaces. Discover everything from fine Asian, North American and Egyptian art to delicate butterflies and soaring T-rex bones on-display. Take note of the building's dramatic modern extension dubbed the Crystal, now one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.
- The Bata Shoe Museum, to learn about the history, evolution and function of footwear. Highlights include footwear worn by rock stars and basketball legends, as well as the tiny slippers that Chinese Hakka women were once forced to wear to keep their feet small and dainty.
From high-end kids’ clothes to imported Italian shoes and fancy kitchen gear, you’ll find just about everything you need in Yorkville. Discover:
- The Mink Mile, Toronto’s main upscale shopping district where names such as Tiffany, Gucci and Chanel stretch out along Bloor Street West from Yonge Street to roughly Avenue Road.
- Advice from a Caterpillar, this family-owned retailer, is worth visiting if you love one-of-a-kind children’s clothing, wooden toys and Parisian candles.
- Yorkville Village, a small, covered shopping spot with several lovely stores. Unique home decor store Teatro Verde offers everything from pillows to pottery, while Maska has fashionable Italian women’s clothing.
From museums, galleries and parks to fine dining and upscale retail, Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood enthralls everyone with its chic charm and cultural offerings.
Jim Byers is a travel journalist who writes for publications around the world. He lives in Toronto.