Published Sep 05, 2014In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists what an ideal day in their hometown would entail. Here, Fresh Snow's Brad Davis outlines the perfect way to spend a day in Toronto.
There is more to love about Toronto than reliable public transit, affordable housing, and our forward-thinking and charismatic government leaders. Wait, we have none of those things! Oh well, at least we have coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
People need to stop thinking that the world ends at Yonge Street and travel down to Parliament and enjoy Jet Fuel Coffee (519 Parliament St.). Good people, good coffee (amazing lemonade as well), and no bullshit. They don't serve decaf. Sorry.
Toronto loves brunch. It also seems to love waiting in line. Aunties & Uncles (74 Lippincott St.) is always worth the wait. Say what you will but Sneaky Dee's (431 College St.) breakfast always hits the spot for me. Their coffee is nothing to write home about, but you can always grab a beer with your breakfast and head across the street to Manic Coffee (426 College St.) for a nice Americano when you are done. There is also the Federal (1438 Dundas St. W) or E.L. Ruddy (1371 Dundas St. W) for your brunching pleasure.
After brunch you could visit Toronto Island (a great way to forget you live in a third story apartment with no AC). See the goats at Riverdale Farm (201 Winchester St.) take a bike ride on the Humber Trail, or perhaps you could enjoy a discreet alcoholic beverage in High Park or Trinity Bellwoods. Warning: not legal, but still fun!
You have now had about as much nature as you can stand so you might as well buy some records at Sonic Boom (782 Bathurst St., pictured above), June Records (662 College St.), Grasshopper (1167 Dundas St., pictured below), Soundscapes (572 College St.) or Rotate This (801 Queen St. W). Grab a comic book or two at The Beguiling (601 Markham St.) while you are at it.
All that record shopping has made you hungry. I suggest you drop by One Love Vegetarian (854 Bathurst St.) for their delicious BBQ tofu or their untouchable corn soup.
Now that you've had some food you could use another drink. How about Thirsty & Miserable (Baldwin St.) in Kensington Market. Great beer selection and great music. They don't serve vodka. Only things with flavour. You could also head up to Get Well (1181 Dundas St. W.) and play some video games while enjoying some of their beer that is brewed on-site. Try the Pinball Wizard IPA.
Now that you have done some pre-drinking you can go see a show at recently much-better-afied Smiling Buddha (961 College St.) or the new Geary Lane (360 Geary Ave) art space.
You will then probably want to go to bed. You have to work in the morning.
Brad Davis plays guitar in Toronto instrumental psych rock band Fresh Snow.