Living in the suburbs doesn’t exactly allow me to be spontaneous with my plans and my timing. I’m constantly checking bus schedules, train schedules, connecting transit routes to maximize the value of my bus tokens and tickets, and mentally making “Plan Bs” in case things don’t go my way on any given day. In many ways then, my life is very structured in this sense. The one way I inject spontaneity into my every day (or weekly) adventures around the city is to go places I’ve never been. I let my mind and feet (and sometimes my tummy) lead the way and there are times when I will arbitrarily choose a neighbourhood in Toronto to explore and there are other times when I’ll choose a street I’ve never walked along and plan a morning, afternoon, or entire day around this one exploration point. Sometimes it’s me just thinking, “hmm, I’ve never been down this road, I wonder what’s around here?” and other times my plans are dictated by things I’ve read in magazines, newspapers, and other blogs online.
I read great things about the food scene on Harbord Street (in the Annex neighbourhood, south of Bloor St. West) from Where Toronto magazine and decided that a foodie like myself definitely needed a look-see. And to my jubilance, I was rewarded with some new food discoveries during my trek along Harbord between Spadina and Ossington Ave. including upscale haunts Loire and Splendido, Dessert Trends Bistro-Patisserie, Harbord Fish & Chips, Peruvian and Latin eats at The Boulevard Cafe, and gourmet cheese shop Chabichoi.
My favourite find of the afternoon? Harbord Bakery! Another bakery for me to get yummy baked goods and sweet treats from! Even though I didn’t give my tummy a feast (I know, shocking!), my eyes were certainly feasting on all the baked goods and sweets: chocolate cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles, ginormous chocolate cakes frosted with ganache, baskets of crunchy, airy white and pastel coloured meringues (seriously, BASKETS of them!), loaves of bread, cookies, and biscotti among many other yummies. There’s also an adorable gift shop subsection off to the side of closer to the entrace that has children’s books and toys along with cute things like napkins and cupcake accessories and toppers. As well, they have a selection of gourmet foods to take home and a glass case of take away salads and lunch/dinner foods priced by weight. I’m so looking forward to going back and trying out a few things (like those chocolate cupcakes and biscotti cookies!), but for the time being, enjoy the photos and check out the bakery if you haven’t already!
Harbord Bakery is located at 115 Harbord St., west of Spadina Ave. just before Major St. For more info on the bakery, check out this article on The Jewels of Food. According to their article, Harbord Bakery is one of the oldest Jewish bakeries in the city and the biscotti-like cookies pictured up top are actually mandelbrot, Jewish biscotti!