Walk up Yonge Street on a late Saturday morning on your way to Amore for brunch and you are likely dodging couples strolling hand in hand with one hand on their Bugaboo or Maclaren strollers, Starbucks lattes nestled in their cup holders, designer mutts leashed around owners’ waists. Welcome to Yonge and Eglinton where the “eligibles” from 15 years ago have settled down and are now married parents of toddlers. Never fear: no matter your stage of life, there is something for you here.
There are plenty of well-known shops in the area, whether at the Yonge-Eglinton Centre or up and down Yonge Street. You will also find retailers particular to Yonge and Eglinton. For the freshest fruit and vegetable selection, skip Metro and head on up to Wing’s Fruit Market. Looking to update your garden? Browse through the stock of contemporary planters, vases, and planters at Veranda Home and Garden. Outdoor enthusiasts young and old can be fashionable and functional courtesy of Higher Ground and Higher Ground Kids. And if you need a quick snack to refuel during your shopping spree, pop into The Cupcake Shoppe for a sugar rush from their “Yonge N’ Eligible” cupcake: vanilla or chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting.
Grab a bite
After spending a few dollars and working up an appetite, you have a wide variety of restaurants to satiate your hunger: Italian, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, and even Vegan. If you are feeling up for traditional pub fare, walk down Eglinton East to Scruffy Murphy’s where the staff will sit down and chat with you even on the busiest of evenings, where the Guinness is cold and local microbrew Mill St. Tankhouse Ale is on draught. The honey garlic wings are perfectly sweet. The lightly dressed Cobb salad always tastes spring fresh. And you cannot go wrong with either the chicken pot pie or the steak and kidney (bean) pie. Both come with mashed potatoes and lightly steamed seasonal vegetables. Save room for dessert. You won’t want to miss the sticky toffee pudding.
If fine dining is more your speed, have your Bentley valet parked at North 44, celebrity chef Mark McEwan’s “New Continental” restaurant whose kitchen is run by executive chef Sash Simpson. Service is excellent throughout the meal, the wait staff attentive but not overbearing. Appetizers are reasonably sized for sharing. Oysters from both Canadian coasts are served with condiments that change daily. Mains are decadently done: the char on the rib eye steak was just so, the herb frites perfectly seasoned. The menu changes with the season. Desserts are made onsite and are as self-indulgent as the mains: flourless chocolate torte with rum glazed bananas, hot toffee sauce and sour cream ice cream for instance. End the evening with a digestif, tea, or coffee and savour the experience.
After a particularly scrumptious meal, you may feel the need to move your body. (Perhaps not immediately after said meal.) The Running Room has free runs open to the public on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am. Coaches are available to lead runners of all abilities through a number of different distances. Or join one of the store’s reasonably priced clinics to help you reach your goals. Individuals can join new clinics for $69.99 or repeat a clinic for $49.99. These clinics are a great way to discover the neighbourhood’s trails whether running or walking through Sherwood Park, Sunnybrook, or the Beltline.
In search of your inner yoga mom (or dad)? Get your sweat on at an ashtanga yoga class at Fireflow Yoga. The studio is kept at a neutral room temperature suitable for the season. All additional heat is generated internally by you through the flow of the practice. A single drop-in class is $18 or a 10-class pass is $145, taxes included. For a gentle hot yin yoga class try the soothing spa atmosphere of Iyashi Bedrock Spa. The class is held in one of the “rock bathing” suites, lined with black silica stone which naturally emit infrared rays and negative ions that help you perspire and detoxify. The suite is kept at 42 to 44 degrees Celsius and 60% humidity. A single drop-in yoga class is $50 or a 10-class pass is $350.
Come spend the day here. Jump on the subway, take the bus, or park your car in one of the many Green P lots in the area and come explore what the Yonge and Eglinton has to offer. Just watch out for those strollers.