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General 3 months ago

Moore Park & Yonge + St Clair Insider Guide

In our newest blog series, #LiveLikeTheLocals, The Heaps Estrin Team uncovers the locals’ best-kept secrets in the established and the up-and-coming neighbourhoods of Toronto. We’ll give you the inside track on events, luxurious cuisine, boutique shops, and even some special offers to make you really feel like a local.

Last month we presented an Insider Guide to Rosedale & Summerhill. This month we move northbound to one of our favourite family friendly neighbourhoods in the city.

Sitting side by side in what is referred to as Midtown Toronto, Moore Park and Yonge + St Clair has everything from boutique shops, specialty food purveyors, incredible green spaces and so much more. Residents can enjoy a dose of nature steps away while having access to all the shops and amenities that Yonge Street has to offer. We can guarantee that every day in this area presents excitement, great good,  as well as entertainment.

Moore Park is a protected green residential neighbourhood that provides the perfect, peaceful escape in an otherwise bustling city. Surrounded by natural barriers on all sides, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone with nature and to get lost in your thoughts as you wander through its 3.5 acres of lush greenery.

The intersection of Yonge + St. Clair is the beating heart of this area. In fact, this neighbourhood has had a recent upswing in culture and commerce which makes it an emerging lifestyle destination unlike any other to date.

Read along to learn how to #LiveLikeTheLocals of Moore Park & Yonge + St Clair to discover perhaps a new favourite date-night destination, boutique shopping, culture, excitement or a respite from it all.

Eat Like The Locals

Capocaccia Trattoria1366 Yonge St

Boasting elegant decor and mouth-watering rustic cuisine, Capocaccia Trattoria is the hotspot for people who are looking for a taste of rustic southern Italy cuisine. With their authentic Italian dishes, Capocaccia Trattoria has it all from homemade focaccia bread straight out of the oven, house made pastas, to mouth watering roman style pizzas. They use the finest ingredients and offer a divine collection of imported Italian wines. Locals enjoy sipping an Italian iced tea on their Southern Sicilian-inspired covered patio where regular patrons enjoy incredible dishes. A star dish includes the grilled octopus, served on a platter with mini potatoes and topped with Nocellara del Belice olives. Buona!

Visit Capocaccia Trattoria – a neighbourhood gem where the food is reimagined for present day toronto.

Contact: events@capocaccia.ca

Polipo alla Griglia @capocacciatrattoria
Covered Patio @capocacciatrattoria
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Primavera @capocacciatrattoria

Reviews from the locals:

Kokulan
Kokulan
Local Guide
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"Fabulous happy hour with delectable food, wine and service!"
Peter
Peter
Local Guide
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"Friendly staff, cozy and bright ambience, modern vibes, delicious food."
Neha
NehaLocal Guide
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“I'm speechless how delicious the food is at Capocaccia Trattoria. Every dish is exploding with flavor. Our new go-to spot for Italian in the GTA.”
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Arthur’s12 St Clair Ave E Unit M02

This American inspired grill and cocktail lounge is a luxury affair created by the Chase Hospitality Group. It is currently only available for private bookings and events. This 7,000 square-foot venue is separated into two sections, the dimly lit Bar & Lounge equipped with leathery green booths, and the adjacent octagonal Crystal Dining Room featuring a custom three-dimensional ceiling designed to resemble the bottom of a crystal cocktail glass. A 60-seat 2,000-square-foot rooftop terrace is the neighbourhood’s best outdoor dining spot. American classics, like oysters Rockefeller, lobster thermidor and New York cheesecake are presented in a contemporary way. Local favourites include the Eggplant Parmesan or the Arthur’s Tower served at brunch – a three-tiered platter with all the brunch fixings. Vegans will feel at ease as a quarter of the menu is plant-based. Cocktail hits include the barrel aged Negroni and “The Roaring 20s” cava-based Arthur’s original.

Tuna Crudo @arthursrestaurant
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Craft Cocktails @arthursrestaurant

Reviews from the locals:

Edwin
Edwin
Local Guide
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“I go to this superb place many times as I like the special atmosphere that is unique to this restaurant. The staff is exceptionally cordial and skilful. The service is awfully fast. Most important, the food they cook is outstanding.”
Sarah
Sarah
Local Guide
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“I've had both brunch and dinner at Arthur's and have thoroughly enjoyed both! Not only is the food amazing, the service is second to none! The staff are incredibly attentive and caring.”
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Barnsteiner’s1 Balmoral Ave

Some restaurateurs get into business for the money, but for Michelle and Herbert Barnsteiner it’s a passionate affair of love and food. Barnsteiner’s inviting and eclectic space, designed by Toronto’s own Moncur Design, is lit by natural daylight and freshened with pops of teal and distressed barn board features. Their loyal clientele come to Barnsteiner’s to enjoy the upscale rustic, pan-European dishes. A must try is the Kaese Spaetzle, a Bavarian Mac & Cheese featuring gruyere cheese and burnt onions, or the roasted cauliflower served with pine nuts, chickpeas, and romesco sauce. This meticulously designed 100-seat space includes a 50 person private dining room and a patio that fits an additional 25 seats – perfect for any special occasion. Given the devoted following that Barnsteiner’s have built over time, you may just want to book your table ahead.

Beet Salad @barnsteiners
Scallops @barnsteiners

Reviews from the locals:

Kinjal
Kinjal
Local Guide
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“I really liked the service and the ambience. It made me feel like I'm in Europe for a second. Impressive wine selection and fresh oysters.”
George
George
Local Guide
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“Ordered food from them a couple of days ago for the first time and was blown away by how good the food tasted. I surely plan to try each item from their menu which looks very interesting to me. If you haven’t eaten from this place you’re missing something.”
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Mary Be Kitchen21B St Clair Ave W

This local favourite caters to the lunchtime crowd in the Yonge + St. Clair area. At Mary Be Kitchen you can dine in or take out, but anticipate lineups at peak lunchtime. Healthy but hearty home cooking is the philosophy here. As a concept created by food blogger Sarah Huggins, the menu reflects her deep love of cooking, shaped by her West Coast roots.

This playfully designed eatery serves up vanilla-chai oats and smashed avocado toast for morning breakfast, while weekend brunchers can order toasted coconut spelt waffles or one of the soft-poached egg dishes. Locals take advantage of the MBK Grocery section where one can take home pre-made whole food for the soul items. Those in-the-know reach for the popular Bake & Serve cinnamon biscuits from their grab-and-go freezer. 

Patrons can order a range of On Tap house-crafted beverages from matcha-lemonade, to raspberry-line fresca to organic kombucha, local wine and craft beer.

Mediterranean Yogurt Dip @marybekitchen
Bake-and-Serve Cinnamon Biscuits @marybekitchen

Shop Like The Locals

Baskits2 St Clair Ave E, Unit C001

Curator of fine gifts for all ages, Baskits is a nationally renowned brand acknowledged by many publications such as Forbes and Toronto Life. Top corporations, professionals and individuals trust Baskits to deliver impressive gifts on their behalf, with a strong focus on staying ahead of the trends and sourcing from amazing local brands.

Locals love the selection of elegant arrangements such as the champagne, brie cheese, crackers and truffles gift. For a new bundle of joy they combine a cable knit blanket, Jake + Jill’s baby lotion, So Luxury coconut and oat milk bath wash, and a baby-safe plush. You can always expect Baskits to curate an incredible gift that perfectly encapsulates your message or sentiment in one standout piece!

"Bundle of Joy" Girl Basket
"Celebration With Champagne" Basket

Reviews from the locals:

Bailey Gordon Thomas
Bailey Gordon Thomas
Local Guide
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“My first experience with Baskits did not disappoint. I ordered one of their wine and snack boxes for my mom's birthday and the package was delivered on time and looked as advertised. Thank you!”
Cam Lavers
Cam Lavers
Local Guide
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“I ordered online and I was very satisfied with the company and delivery.”
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Paperboy Cards & Gifts 7 Pleasant Boulevard

Boutique gift and card shop, Paperboy, is a trusted, local go-to for all occasions that has been a staple in the community for over a decade. The store offers one-of-a-kind cards made by local artists, personalized service and a loyalty program for those who seek specialty cards often. Owner, Steven Gerry, is dedicated and passionate about his business and even went out onto the streets of Yonge + St Clair to save his business during the pandemic (read article). Upon walking into the store, eyes will wander and marvel at all the unique array of gifts that will suit every occasion. Re-up on stationary, upcoming birthday essentials, games and more.

Reviews from the locals:

Jola
Jola
Local Guide
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“Do you know how it feels when you walk into a store for a gift and the choice becomes difficult because there are so many perfect ones? This is such a store! Clever, funny, beautiful cards for every occasion (even Canadian citizenship ceremony) and unique yet practical gifts for all occasions, all price range”
Andrew
Andrew
Local Guide
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“Hilarious cards that I have not seen elsewhere. I always have a good laugh inside this store. I usually find unique useful items for myself as well.”
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Contact: 416.926.8622

Florigens Design 1360 Yonge St

Discover the finest in floral and botanical design at Florigens Design. They carry a stunning selection of local and imported flowers, greenery, and orchid plants, along with exotic tropical plants. Locals adore this shop as it is not a typical flower shop – at Florigens they bring together the element of design using organic features and great attention to detail. Regular patrons love their wide variety of options to choose from allowing them to find the perfect gift no matter what the occasion.

Place an Order: 416.935.0130

Contact: contactus@florigensdesign.com

Reviews from the locals:

Jola
Jola
Local Guide
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"My go-to place for all my plant/flower needs. Got some orchids a few months back and they're thriving!! The owners are lovely as well. My favourite and the greatest flower/plant store in the GTA!”
Jola
Jola
Local Guide
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“I purchase all my house plants here. Great selection and always kind, helpful service! ”
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Blowdry Lounge1343 Yonge St

Taking a page from the blow-dry salons in New York, Beni Sicilia launched the first salon of its kind in Toronto in 2008, devoted exclusively to blowouts. Blowdry Lounge provides an unwavering commitment to delivering great hair and great service in an impressively designed space. Don’t have time to make it to the salon? Blowdry Lounge stylists will come to your home, office or hotel, for any special occasion. If you’re looking for a girl’s night out, pre-party glam, bachelorette party styling, or even the perfect prom party blowout, you can book the lounge for your special event. The elegant decor and beautifully lit lounge make for the perfect escape into a luxurious, pampering experience. 

Reviews from the locals:

Adam
Adam
Local Guide
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“Incredible experience here. The staff are all extremely friendly. My hair was transformed from a horrible balayage to a beautiful tone of blonde and I got the BEST blowout!”
Lauren
Lauren
Local Guide
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“Great conversation with interesting professional stylists, great vibe and music, consistent outcomes and always on time.”
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Play Like The Locals

Moore Park Ravine

Escape from reality and venture through the peaceful Moore Park Ravine. The trail can be accessed on Hudson Drive and connects to the Evergreen Brickworks through the infamous Beltline trail. Cross the beautiful Cat’s Eye Bridge or descend down into tree covered paths. Stroll alongside the creek and get your dose of nature right in the city. 

Mount Pleasant Cemetery

One of Canada’s most historic cemeteries, Mount Pleasant has served Toronto since 1876 and is the final resting place of many notable Canadians. Walk through the gates on Yonge Street or Mount Pleasant Road and find yourself in one of the most lush flower gardens and rows of unique gravestones and sculptures. Stroll through The Eternal Gardens – a walkway to a central fountain, surrounded by flower planters and rose gardens or look into the Pool of Reflection – a centerpiece of the Garden of Remembrance.

Moorevale Park – 175 Moore Ave

Right in the heart of Moore Park, sits a multifaceted and recently upgraded 1.5 hectare park. Moorevale features a lit lawn bowling green and clubhouse, a wading pool, children’s playground, sports field and a baseball diamond and more. Moorevale Park is a nicely shaded park with lots of beautiful trees. The park is a perfect place to find entertainment for the entire family while meeting up with fellow locals. There are washroom facilities in the clubhouse and plenty of street parking is available.

Join us on Tuesday, September 7th from 4-6pm, at Moorevale Park for a sweet treat – on us! Our Ice-Cream Pop-Up, featuring Herb and members of The Heaps Estrin Team is just one of the many ways we love to connect with the community and have some fun.

Moore Park Tennis Club – 175 Moore Ave

Perfect your backhand at the Moore Park Tennis Club. Located in Moorevale Park, the tennis club offers five newly refinished hard courts, lighting for evening play, affordable membership fees and private or group lessons. Local families take advantage of the Junior Tennis Program and camps, designed for children 4 – 17 years of age.

The Badminton & Racquet Club of Toronto25 St. Clair Avenue West

Known as the B&R, this landmark was founded in 1924 and is a preeminent Canadian private racquet, fitness, wellness and social club. This well loved facility has recently reopened, after being severely damaged by a fire. More than $17 million was spent to restore and upgrade the club. It now features more than 35,000 square feet of new space, including their new Badminton Hall, lounge space, new locker rooms, a game lounge, and a new restaurant called the Phoenix. A Kids Club and Junior Lounge ensures kids are engaged and well cared for while members take advantage of the vast services and programs available. New memberships are available, but with most sought after sports clubs, there’s a wait list to get in.

Carstowe Road Lands – 151 Carstowe Road

To the south of Moore Park, lies one of the most hidden and quiet streets in Central Toronto. Carstowe Road Lands is a scenic, tree-lined road and park that parallels the train tracks and trickles into Old Bridle Path – a one way street perched atop a forested hill. This quiet, unassuming road makes for one of the most picturesque walks in the city, especially in the autumn foliage season.

The Rooftop Wellness Series40 St Clair West

Refresh and recharge your mind, body and soul with locals alike at The Rooftop Wellness Series. Through September, enjoy instructional sessions led by local wellness professionals every Tuesday from 7am – 8am on the rooftop of 40 St. Clair W. Enjoy beautiful, unobstructed views of the downtown skyline from atop a high-rise building and practice healthy living from a range of wellness disciplines. This event is ticketed, including a $5 registration fee. 100% of all proceeds will go directly to the instructor and wellness establishment leading the class.

Tuesday, September 7 – 7am to 8am – Stretch Class | The Centre for Fitness, Health and Performance| Register Here |

Tuesday, September 14 – 7am to 8am – Yoga Flow Class | Oxygen Yoga & Fitness |  Register Here |

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