6 Toronto Hot Spots That Offer More Than What You Came For

(Photo courtesy of Love Child Social House)

What I love most about Toronto — above everything else — is the amazing sense of community you feel in such a big city. These days, notable venues are helping to increase this community-mindedness, by opening their spaces and providing services that bring us together.

Community is all about connecting people in local areas, whether through promoting learning, growth or wellness. Though there is an endless list of Toronto spots with unique offerings, here are the ones with the most buzz, that have caught our pretty little eye … In no particular order …

1. The place: Knix X Bolo House

What it is: A perfect mashup of two of Toronto’s body-positive brands located at the corner of Peter and Richmond: A Knixwear shopping experience up on the second floor. Below, you find Bolo, a new boutique fitness offering from Caleigh Rykiss. It specializes in boxing, TRX and more.

What they offer: Inspiring panel discussions with Toronto’s top female entrepreneurs, practical mindfulness sessions, a Galentine’s Gala. Plus, impactful conversations with health gurus, covering topics such as, “How to repair your relationship with food.”

Find the event calendar here.

2. The place: Drake Commissary

What it is: Drake Commissary’s location in the Junction Triangle naturally positions the property as a community hub. The large open space features a café, lounge and dining room serving food to eat-in or take-out.

What they offer: In close proximity to artist studios, independent publishers, and non-profit galleries, the Commissary’s line-up of art-and-culture-driven programming showcases local talent. Programs include cross-stitch workshops, regular artist-run pop-ups by Akin Collective and Pixel & Bristle designers, and innovative food and beverage classes hosted by food writer Ivy Knight.

Find the event calendar here

3. The place: Love Child Social House

Love Child Social House
(Photo courtesy of Love Child Social House)

What it is: A co-working and social space for entrepreneurs and creatives. 

What they offer: Almost every Monday, Love Child hosts a Boss Mondays themed event, meant to inspire people to love Mondays and love what they do. Past guests have included the motelier duo April Brown and Sarah Sklash of The June Motel. Fridays often feature live music. Regular wellness programming is also available, with naturopath Dr. Katherine Kremblewski.  She leads sessions on topics including winter skincare and self-love.

Find the event calendar here

4. The place: PrettyUgly

What it is: Mezcal and cocktail bar in Parkdale is by Robin Goodfellow and Grant Van Gameren.

What they offer: PrettyUgly offers a handful of events and pop-ups. Now, it’s also introducing a new series called Tuesday Tastings. People are invited to come with friends and have an expert walk them through favourite spirits, in a fun, interactive, casual, low-key way. This includes an intimate tasting experience, where people learn about scents and flavours and then enjoy a cocktail after.

It’s such a fun group thing to do at a bar — and admirable that they’re taking the time to encourage learning and moderate consumption. The people behind this bar are so passionate about cocktail culture and hospitality, and it really comes through the second you take a seat in front of the wood. There are few people as talented and knowledgeable in the city. So you should definitely take the opportunity to learn from them. Plus, the crowd that shows up is hella eclectic, allowing you to meet and bond with fellow cocktail lovers. (Also their next event has JUST been confirmed for Feb. 13 and offers some SUPER rare Scotch from Glenfiddich.)

Find the event calendar here

5. The place: THE FIFTH

What it is: The Fifth Pubhouse was intentionally created as a living room space for all the condo dwellers in the Entertainment District/downtown core who need somewhere cool to hang out, meet people – and escape their 400-square-foot concrete box.

What they offer: To help neighbours meet neighbours, they’ve introduced some fun activities: There’s a weekly trivia night (Wednesdays) and Blingo (a live gameshow Thursday nights). They also have free board games for you, while you enjoy a bite or a beer in front of the fireplace. You can definitely feel that they want people to come, linger and hang out. This is a low-key space for people to unwind and relax and actively try to encourage conversations with new people.

Find the event calendar here.

6. The place: Broadview Hotel

What it is: A boutique hotel in Riverside, where many Toronto creatives go to eat, work and play.

What they offer: You can join in on weekly sunrise Vinyasa flow yoga classes Tuesdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. The suggested drop-in fee is $10 — cash — and guests are asked to bring their own mat. The Broadview also offers various local programming throughout the year, such as DJ nights, “House Parties,” karaoke, the Leslieville Flea Market, Bunz Planting Zone, and more.

Find the event calendar here.

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