With its beautiful, contemporary rooms, and the excellent Constantine restaurant and lounge, Crow’s Nest barber shop and the Scarlet Door Café all on site, you might not be tempted to venture outside the Anndore House while you’re here. And that would be a mistake, given how close many of the city’s best attractions to your Toronto home on Charles Street. Here are a few of our favourites.
One of the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, the Gardiner at 111 Queen’s Park
houses approximately 4,000 objects, including European porcelain, ceramics from the ancient Americas, Chinese porcelain, Japanese porcelain and contemporary ceramics. Don’t miss Unbroken by Ai Weiwei, one of China’s most influential artists and a major human rights activist. The exhibit opens February 28.
Toronto Reference Library
Featuring more than 1.7 million catalogued items, including an Arthur Conan Doyle Collection devoted to the life and works of the creator of Sherlock Holmes, an Art Room containing rare books, photographs, posters and manuscripts, and a Genealogy and Local History Collection, the Toronto Reference Library, on Yonge Street just north of Bloor, is a place to spend many happily involved hours. Before you leave the building, visit Page and Panel, Toronto’s newest retail destination for comics, art and book culture, and then have coffee and a snack at Balzac’s, a Toronto staple.
A village established in 1830, Yorkville became a hippy gathering place in the 1960s incubating famous talents like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot (who played there once with Harry Belafonte). Nowadays, anchored by Bloor Street’s Mink Mile, it’s home to world-class galleries, shops and restos. To try: Alobar Yorkville, the newest offering from renowned Toronto chef Patrick Kriss.
With a choice of four real-life escape rooms to challenge you and your friends, and a café that offers board and video games (SNES, Wii, Gameboy and many more) to complement your snacks and caffeinated beverages, Riddle Room has some affordable amusement for everyone in your group. It’s a few blocks south of The Anndore, at 579 Yonge Street.
The Gay Village
Also south of The Anndore, centred on the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets, Toronto’s Gay Village is filled with LGBTQ-oriented cafés, restaurants, shops and a host of happy bars and nightspots. Try Woody’s at 467 Church Street. With its five bars and a long history of lively times, this nightclub hosts nightly DJs and weekend competitions.
So much goes on in this diverse and diverting part of Toronto! Get out and enjoy!