Seven Must Hit Toronto Gems for Everything Summer

We couldn’t love the city any more than we do in the summer months. If you’re kicking around Toronto, we thought we would share some of our favourite destinations this summer for everything from a staple pair of sunglasses to ice cream and cottage weekend host and hostess gifts. 

For the season’s hottest eyewear: Karir Eyewear
Sunglasses are one thing you can never have enough of. With three locations in the city, Karir Eyewear continues to forecast up and coming brands, and be a leader in bringing the city the best international brands. A result of travelling the globe to source the latest designers and collections, Karir offers an extensive international product range suitable for all personalities and styles this summer. The company brings the leading names in fashion eyewear to Toronto, from Dita to Face à Face, Leisure Society to Chanel, and Matsuda to Lindberg. For the first time in Canada, from June 13 to June 22, Oliver Peoples’ entire collection will be available at Karir Eyewear’s Yorkville location. The 10-day shop-in-shop will transform the entire store with designs by Larry Leight, Oliver Peoples Creative Director, including Paul Smith and the official launch of Stella McCartney’s new eyewear line. This season, Karir carries exclusive collections from a number of notable designers including Anna Karin Karlsson, Zenka, pq Eyewear, KRISVANASSCHE and RetroSpecs. Karir Eyewear locations in Toronto include: Yorkville (138 Cumberland Street), Yorkdale and First Canadian Place.

For an eclectic assortment of cottage essentials: The Drake General Store
For everything for that cottage weekend or camping trip, The Drake General Store features things like board games and puzzles that are far from typical, camping gear, perfect picnic blankets that boast the iconic Hudson Bay stripes, and other original cottage host or hostess gifts. They even have a selection of swimwear and denim shorts for the ladies. With locations now dispersed across the city (including one uptown on Yonge, just south of Lawrence), it is easier than ever to find yourself lost in the colourful and often nostalgic store.

To complete the picnic in the park: Nadège Patisserie
A day spent in Trinity Bellwoods is synonymous with a visit to Nadège Patisserie to satisfy that sweet tooth with things like their famous macarons and chocolate bon bons. New for the season is the ‘P’tit Choux’ (bite-sized confection named after a popular French term of endearment), a versatile pastry that is a colourful addition to Nadège’s line, complete with its own custom packaging. The lightweight pastry features a creamy centre and is playfully topped with bright icings and garnishes; they make the perfect ending to a Sunday picnic in the park. The line of P’tit Choux hit stores May 27 – $2.30 individually and $13.50 for a box of six – with savoury options available for catering orders or by special request.

For that beach body: Yoga Tree

We find ourselves hitting the yoga studio more often in the summer months, both to detoxify from more ambitious than regular weekends and to get our bodies as beach-ready as they can be. After all, there is no more hiding behind that bulky winter jacket, and as we get older, we need all the help we can get. Yoga Tree has been our go-to yoga studio since we featured the young entrepreneurs behind the brand last winter. Its four locations can be visited interchangeably with packages, with one midtown (Yonge and Eglinton); downtown (Spadina and Richmond); and in Thornhill and Richmond Hill.

To satisfy that inevitable summer ice cream craving: Summer’s Ice Cream
A summer evening in Yorkville wouldn’t be complete without a stop at family-run ice cream parlour Summer’s for homemade ice cream and frozen yoghurt. The ice cream shop, which is a celeb destination of choice when they are in town and the ice cream craving strikes, serves a selection of creamy ice cream, made fresh on-site with the best ingredients possible. Added bonuses include an assortment of fun toppings and even gluten-free cones. Longtime favourites include the Chocolate Peanut Butter (made with the creamiest peanut butter we’ve ever tasted) and the unmatched Cherry-o Cheesecake. Summer’s is located at 101 Yorkville Avenue. 

For the all-purpose patio session: Gusto 101
So far this season, we’ve hit Gusto 101’s new rooftop patio – complete with a state-of-the-art retractable roof – for everything from baby showers to dates and brunches with friends, or as a meeting ground to kick off an evening on the town. Highlights of a Gusto meal include their signature $1/ounce wine, the Insalata di Pollo (especially for a light lunch), any of the pizzas, and the Hamburger al Gusto. Be warned: the addition of the patio doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to score a table! Gusto 101 is located at 101 Portland Street. 

For a quick and easy wax: Fuzz Wax Bar
The best thing about Queen West’s Fuzz Wax Bar is how simple and easy it is to remove unwanted hair – and it’s now open late too for those last minute body hair emergencies. Self-proclaimed anti-salon, Fuzz sticks to quick and effective waxing for guys and girls and is Toronto’s first wax bar completely dedicated to the specialty of waxing. The wax bar also offers monthly membership packages and accommodates walk-ins. Get as beach-ready as you can with high quality, quick service combined with (relatively) affordable pricing within a sleek and clean environment. Fuzz Wax Bar is located at 701 Queen Street West. 


Cover image courtesy of Gusto 101