Meet the Milne sisters. Designer, Alison, and her sister, Whitney, who works in advertising for Donna Karan and DKNY, have crafted a list for your future Toronto adventure. With their creative and sartorial expertise, this tour of Toronto is bound to impress.
Clothing: Jonathan + Olivia – Commonly referred to as J+O, this boutique is dangerous for us sisters as it’s a one-stop shop for all the brands we love. We have a tendency to steal/borrow each other purchases from here….some things never change with sisters!
Culture: Toronto International Film Fest – Toronto’s creative energy is unlike any other city in early September when TIFF is in town. The city comes alive for 2 weeks to premiere a ton of unique and inspiring films. It’s become a family tradition no matter where we are, we come home to watch films together. The bar scene is also at it’s peak and most of the city makes an exception to keep their doors open into the wee hours.
Culture / The Arts: The Royal Ontario Museum – This was the first museum our parents took us to when we were younger. We saw the Dinosaur exhibit many times and it sparked an appreciation for discovery and learning in both of us. Alison has since taken her appreciation for the arts to another level and opened up an art gallery, Alison Milne Gallery, in Queen West. And if you happen to be in town the first week of any month another favorite of ours is the Art Gallery of Ontario’s first Thursdays where art, music, food and drinks come together in an interactive way.
Food: Grand Electric – This Mexican hot spot can be hard to hit without a reservation but they have recently opened a back patio, which can be challenging to find in Toronto! The tacos and spiked Michelada will not disappoint. Also very similar in name to another favorite of ours, Gran Electrica, which happens to be in Whitney’s neck of the woods – Brooklyn, NY. The word on the street is that they are both inspired by the same famous painting, Gran Calavera Eléctrica. Whatever the reason may be, we approve!
Food: Le Select – This tends to be one of Toronto’s most reliable great meals and our family has a habit of meeting here on Sat nights or Sunday’s for brunch. Other favorites amongst the Milne’s are King West’s Buca; for a fantastic Italian meal and carefully curated rustic dining room or Lee, for it’s modern Asian cuisine and not-to-be-missed Singapore Slaw.
Drinks: Reposado – Whenever Whitney comes back to Toronto, we have a routine of going straight to Reposado on Ossington for a drink. This small dark bar has live music most nights and the largest selection of premium Tequila in the heart of Downtown West. For a more specialized cocktail list, we often saddle up to the bar at The Harbord Room where Dave Mitton and his team make a mean Manhattan.
Park: Trinity Bellwoods – On a Sunday morning this can be a very peaceful Toronto escape. Accompany this visit with a french pastry from Colette Grand Cafe in the Thompson Hotel or a fig croissant from Clafouti, located on the south side of the park, or pain au chocolate from Nadège, located on the east side of the park. No matter where you turn this area has all of your french pastries covered!
Pick me up: The Dempster Clinic – If you’ve been on the grind or had a big weekend out take a visit to the The Dempster Clinic in Yorkville. This integrated medicine destination will custom tailor a program to help you feel back on your A game. The Vitamin IV’s are a fast favorite! And if you’re feeling really healthy, follow your visit up with a veggie shake from Fresh.
Treat Yourself: Sekai Nail and Beauty Bar – The mani/pedi here is the best we’ve found and while your toes are drying head up the street to Ossington, the homemade ice cream sandwiches at Bang Bang are worth the half hour line.