Toronto Urban Grit

Some random finds from around the urban center of Toronto. These were in the area of King and Queen Streets, between Bathurst and Spadina for the most part.

The first three were found on Queen Street. Queen Street is a bit rougher around the edges, but in a kind of hipster/grunge way. It looks worse than it is – I ran into a panhandling junkie getting set up for the morning, baby-sitting his friend’s Rottweiler puppy. We had a great chat about my Rolleiflex, he didn’t even ask me for money, and the Rotty came over to me of her own free will, licked my hand, and rubbed up against my legs. That’s pretty emblematic for how friendly Toronto is – even the panhandler’s dog is nice.

Bang-On T-shirts
Bang-On T-shirts

I think it’s the wildest coolest thing that a dive bar would decorate their wall with a mural of a face, smoking and talking on the phone, and giant
insect sculptures crawling over the upper floors. It makes me actually want to go in and find out what’s so special about the place – I bet they have some really funky live music.

Cameron House
Cameron House

Isn’t this a terrific cultural contrast? Poutine next door to Falafel. About the only way you could outdo that is to put a Kosher deli next door to a Carolina Pulled Pork shop. But it wouldn’t surprise me if such a juxtaposition existed somewhere in Toronto.

Poutine Falafel
Poutine Falafel

Over on King Street, we’re getting a bit more upscale with this pan-asian restaurant. This stretch of King was where all the beautiful people attending TIFF were hanging out.

Pan-Asian, King Street
Pan-Asian, King Street

Perfect Leather looks sketchy on the outside, but from what I could see through their windows, this looks to be THE place to shop for leathers and fabrics if you’re in the garment trade in Toronto.

Perfect Leather
Perfect Leather

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