Insider’s Guide: Toronto with
In this new series, we asked our in-the-know friends to give us a glimpse inside their favourite cities, adopted hometowns, and current locations. These Insider Guides will take you on a specially guided tour, stopping at our guest’s favourite spots, and hidden gems in food, drink, shopping, art and culture. Our collection of taste makers, artists, designers, and creative professionals will show you around their city, giving a local perspective that might not otherwise make it on the map so to speak.
By Lauren Walker- Lee
Aleks Jassem & Nikita Stanley, The Rebel Mama(s) – Toronto
Founders of The Rebel Mama (dot com), an online magazine and handbook for the cool mom, Aleks and Nikita know how to separate the good from the not so glam. When they found themselves unintentionally pregnant together in 2014, they went on to combine their talents and create a platform for moms who wanted to do things differently. Their published handbook is adored by hip moms all round the world, making it a go-to guide for motherhood. We thought these two former party girls and city dwellers would be the perfect pair to show us around Toronto.
On why they love Toronto:
“There’s a reason we chose to stay in a city when we had kids instead of hightailing it out of the ‘burbs, and it’s because we love nothing more than heading out on foot to explore, breathe in some fresh air and discover something new. who needs a treadmill when you’ve got one of the most exciting cities in the world at your doorstep?”
Restaurants, Cafes, & Bars
Hands down the best coffee in The Junction (and that’s no easy feat), plus the most delicious and beautiful healthy eats and treats.
A hidden treasure in Leslieville, this restaurant/wine bar not only has the most incredible food and collection of vintage and organic wines, but is also beautifully and thoughtfully designed.
Excellent cocktails and yummy food, slightly off the beaten “King West” path. They keep the kitchen open well into the night, which we love because we often crave nodini after 10pm (honestly – who doesn’t crave warm bread knots doused in olive oil after 10pm?).
Cultural Landmarks, Museums, Art Galleries
We’re so lucky to have such a rich collection of art and artifacts at our fingertips. It’s a great place to take the kids (just don’t make the rookie mistake of going during Christmas Break or March Break).
The renovations sure did take a long time but man were they ever worth it! We love that for visitors, it is often their first Toronto encounter. What a beautiful way to say hello.
One of the few places in Toronto that feels like an entirely different world. Cobblestone streets, artisan shops, adorable cafes and restaurants, and an annual Christmas Market that brings back the holiday magic.
Boutiques and Shopping Areas
It has the most inspiring buys in the city – hands down. The shoes are unparalleled and the ladies department is a treasure trove of beautiful things hand picked by Toronto fashion aficionado Lisa Corbo. It’s not cheap, but it’s one of the only places to find stand-out ‘forever pieces’ in this city.
A budget friendly way to buy designer, the shop is curated beautifully and maintained impeccably. For us, VSP is the gold standard for designer resale in Canada.
Early Bird and Worm
Our favourite place to shop for kid’s stuff – from gifts, to clothes, to decor (and even some goodies for grown ups in the mix), this little Roncesvalles jem is a monochromatic mom-dream come true.
Wellness Spot oR activity
There’s a reason we chose to stay in the city when we had kids instead of hightailing it out to the ‘burbs and it’s because we love nothing more than heading out on foot to explore, breathe in some fresh air and discover something new. Who needs a treadmill when you’ve got one of the most exciting cities in the world at your doorstep?