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A nerve-centre for artistic minds - Metro US

A nerve-centre for artistic minds

Eclecticism is the name of the game in Toronto’s Western neighbourhood of Parkdale. Nestled between trendy West Queen West and High Park, it’s a wondrous transition between city hubbub and natural beauty. Moreover, reasonable housing and ethnic distinctiveness have established Parkdale as a nerve centre for city newcomers, artistic minds and families, further fostering its diversification.

Such cultural broadness is reflected in the neighbourhood’s plethora of self-reliant, thematic restaurants. What better way to start the evening than soaking up international cuisine such as Le Tibet’s namesake, Mother India, Ali’s Roti, M&B Ethiopian and more, all at modest prices?

Bellies full, it’s time for a short dash to any of the area’s equally unique watering holes. Laidback haunts such as The Rhino, Wrong Bar and The Cadillac Lounge offer their own characteristic charms in a 300-plus selection of beers, club-meets-pub party scene and vintage rock-meets-auto enthusiasm aura respectively. Mezzrows’ soft lighting and covered patio are a hit for halcyon evenings while virtually next door, Mitzi’s Sister proudly hosts the converse: Live bands almost nightly. For more discerning palates, Cafe Taste’s pairings of global wines and cheeses is delectably decadent.

Never at a loss for daytime dining, cafes such as Mitzi’s on Sorauren Avenue, Poor John’s and Easy offer bounteous luncheon options while The Ground Level Cafe is of special note. Community-minded, it strictly hires at-risk/disadvantaged youth in an effort to provide practical employment experience.

For the self, The Public Butter is packed with vintage wear while across the way, the inimitable Playdead Cult boasts original street gear. Festooned in a hand-painted skull and crossbones motif, you can’t miss it. When hunting for the home, aptly-named Good Catch proves a haven for pack rats, mongering previously enjoyed trinkets, organic groceries, local art and probably the kitchen sink. Further down along Antiques Row, a collection of tattoo parlours such as Sunnyside are bringing a fresh atmosphere to the antiquarian boutiques.

Welcoming all walks of life, Parkdale’s down-to-earth atmosphere truly does offer something for everyone.

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