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Trip Reports: @Yehuda's friend
Day Trip @bhys

Toronto:

The Jewish community is broken up in to three main areas
1. "Down South" which is in the area of Bathurst and Lawrence
2. Clanton Park which is a little further north around Bathurst and Sheppard
3. Thornhill which is even further north @ Clark and Bathurst

Downtown, without any traffic is 25 from down south, 30 minutes from clanton park and 35 minutes from Thornhill. Expect those numbers to almost double during rush hour.


Places to eat
There are a ton of fast food type options in the city. There are very few nice restaurants.

Here's COR's List http://www.cor.ca/establishments.html

Down South, Eglinton area, and Clanton Park area:
(See below for Thornhill)

Marron Bistro
Meat - Available on UberEats
948 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C 2C5
Mixed reviews on DDF


Bistro Grande
1000 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C 2C5
(416) 782-3302
Nice Dairy place- pricey

Aish Tanoor
The best Middle Eastern Laffa restaurant - Available on UberEats
994 Eglinton Ave. W.,
Toronto, ON M6C 2C5
Tel: (647) 352-5535

Prime on Avenue
Steakhouse
Available on DoorDash

Annona Restaurant at the Park Hyatt
Very nice restaurant. Takes over the regular restaurant in the Hyatt lobby on Thursday nights, once or twice a month.
Good food but very expensive ($125/person + tax and tip)

Windsor Arms Hotel kosher dining
Very Nice Great Reviews on DDF
Sunday-Thursday 5:30-10PM
Also very good food and much more reasonable at $75/person

Auleaf Cafe
Dairy - Available on UberEats
3023 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6B 3B5
(416)783-2323

The Inside Scoop
Icecream store (Cholov Yisrael Available)
3685 Bathurst St, North York, ON M6A 2E6, Canada


King David Pizza
(three Locations)

Dr Laffa On The Go
3023 Bathurst St. (there's one up north and one down south on the east side of Bathurst, one block south of Lawrence)

Milk 'n Honey
3457 Bathurst Street
Good french onion soup, cheese blintzes...

Slice N Bites
3020 Bathurst St (West side of Bathurst, 1 block south of Lawrence)
Pizza, sushi, falafel, salads, etc.

Tov Li South
3519 Bathurst (between Lawrence and Wilson)
Pizza, falafel, pastas, salads, etc.

The Haymishe Bakery (now under COR)
3031 Bathurst St
Bakery with pizza and a small sitting area. People say the pizza is great (it's My Zaidy's Pizza)

Pizza Cafe
3774 Bathurst st. (north west corner of Bathurst and Wilson in plaza)
Great selection of pizza, falafel, salad bar,
Probably best tasting pizza in town! Must try the caramelized onion slice. Excellent service!!

Aroma Espresso Bar - (this is there only kosher location in Toronto)
3791-3793 Bathurst Street  (west side of of Bathurst one block north of Wilson)

Omni 2 - Jewels and Java
Dairy - Available on UberEats
2793 Bathurst St Toronto

Bubby's Bagels
3035 Bathurst St (Bathurst & Lawrence)
Good breakfast/bagel selection. People say they make Toronto's only 'real' bagels.
A few bar stools on ground floor, lots of seating in basement.

Pantry
3456 Bathurst St (between Lawrence and Wilson)
Dairy - Available on UberEats
Dan's review.


3SK Cafe
1054 Eglinton Ave W
Small cafe with unique healthy homemade menu options

Thornhill

Gladstones Bistro
Steakhouse

Golden Chopsticks
Average chinese food
7000 Bathurst, Thornhill, ON L4J 7L1

Bali Laffa
7117 Bathurst St, Vaughan, ON L4J 2J6
Excellent Israeli grill

Sheli's Burgers & Fried Chicken
7241 Bathurst St.
Thornhill, ON, L4J 3W1
905-597-1984

Dr. Laffa
Shwarma joint. People in Toronto rave about it. Not sure why.
441 Clark Avenue West

D-lites
Dairy Cafe. Breakfast special is an outstanding value- also really good Sushi
441 Clark Ave W Vaughan, ON L4J 5K2

Cafe Sheli
Dairy Cafe- classic Jewish dairy place with a really large menu. 
Everything is good and not pricey
7700 Bathurst St, Vaughan, ON L4J 7Y3

Tov-Li Pizza
5982 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M2R 1Z1

My Zaidy's Pizza
441 Clark Ave W, Vaughan, ON L4J 5K2

Thornhill Kosher Pizza (formerly Yehudale's)
7241 Bathurst St, Thornhill, ON L4J 3W1

Hotels

Park Hyatt Toronto
By no means a luxury hotel, but a good value for CC anniversary nights.
Located in mid-town, around a 20 minute drive (longer during evening rush hour) to the Jewish community @ Bathurst/Lawrence, a few minutes less than that to the restaurants on Eglinton.


Attractions

CN Tower
Toronto's iconic tower, was the tallest freestanding structure in the world from 1975-2007
Nice views, but only if it's a clear day. If it's overcast you'll be surrounded by clouds at the top and you won't be able to see too much.
At the top, there are indoor and outdoor observation decks and a glass floor.
Edgewalk at the CN Tower-
For ~$200 CDN you can walk out (harnessed) on a thin railing-less platform at 116 stories high.
Takes a few hours and is not cheap by any means, but could be cool.

Ripley's Aquarium
Downtown, right next to the CN Tower
288 Bremner Blvd Toronto, ON M5V 3L9
Excellent aquarium. Very expensive

Hockey Hall of Fame
Excellently done. Really cool to be able to touch the cup
Downtown, 30 Yonge St Toronto, ON M5E 1X8

Canada's Wonderland
Theme park (think six flags)
15 minutes north of Thornhill
https://www.canadaswonderland.com/
kosher food options at the park provided by Tov-Li which are available at the Backlot Café

ROM (Royal Ontario Museum
www.rom.on.ca/

Ontario science Centre
https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/

Centre Island and Centreville
Beautiful island a 5 minute ferry ride from downtown.
Plenty of grass and splash pads and a small amusement park for kids

Toronto zoo
25 minute drive from main areas. Very nice zoo. They have pandas on loan from China for the next few years

Woodbine (Fantasy fair)
500 Rexdale Blvd Etobicoke, ON M9W 6K5
Fun indoor amusement park for kids
Near the airport

Reptilia
What it sounds like
2501 Rutherford Rd Vaughan, ON L4K 2N6

Legoland
Don't waste your money

Bunch Of Fun Playland
Their food is Kosher

Farms & Zoos

DOWNEY’S FARM MARKET
13682 Heart Lake Rd N of Brampton
905-838-2990
Daily: 9am-6pm; Funland: Daily: 10am-5pm;
$7/admission, charged to funland play area and farm animals

EVERDALE ORGANIC FARM AND
ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTRE
5812 6th Line, Erin Township 401 W to Trafalgar Rd, N on Trafalgar to Hwy #7, W on #7 to Trafalgar Rd N again, Trafalgar N to Hillsburgh W on Wellington Rd #22, N onto 6th Line Erin Township to #5812
519-855-4859
Visit Everdale, bring a picnic, walk around and enjoy a day in the country.

FAR ENOUGH FARM
Toronto Island Park, near Centreville on Centre Island
416-392-2628
9am-3pm daily; Free, Ferry: $7/adult, $.3.50/child

FORSYTHE FAMILY FARMS
10539 Kennedy Rd, Unionville 1km N of Major
Mackenzie Dr
905-887-1087
9am-5pm; Summer Fun on The Farm:
$7/2hrs, $8/3hrs (booking required)
Pick-your-own crops, visit The Enchanted Forest and summer fun on the farm.

HIGH PARK ZOO
High Park, Deer Pen Rd, Near Grenadier Café
905-887-1087
Dawn-Dusk;

PUCK’S FARM
16540 11th Concession W on Hwy 9 to King
Con 11; turn left, heading S drive 15 miles
905-939-7036
Weekends & Holidays: 10am-5pm, call for weekday schedule; $10, under 2 free: includes pony & hayrides & activities

RIVERDALE FARM
201 Winchester St (E off Parliament)
416-392-6794
riverdale-farm
Daily: 9am-5pm; Free

SPRINGRIDGE FARM
7256 Bell School Line in Milton
905-878-4908
Daily: 9am-6pm; Fun Farm Yard: $5, weekend pony rides $3 Wagon rides, farm animals. giant sandbox, and straw bale jumping.

TORONTO ZOO
Hwy 401 on Meadowvale Rd N
416-392-5900
9am-7pm; $28/adults, $18/3-12yrs, Free/2yrs-, $10/parking

WHITTAMORE’S BERRY FARM
8100 Steeles Ave E, 6km E of Markham Rd
(Highway 48)
905-294-3275
9am-5pm; $8, $35/Season Pass
Farm yard activities, playhouses, farm animals, wagon rides and pick-your-own-crops.

BROOKS FARMS
122 Ashworth Rd, Mt Albert
905-473-3246
9am-4pm; $8/Barnyard Playland
Barnyard Playland, Farmer’s Market, Pickyour-own.

Activities on the Way from NY:
  • Krispy Kreme in Scranton - on Moosic Street, under KOA with supervision from local Scranton Rav - R' Fine, recommended by Rabbi Eidlitz from KosherQuest.com via email to @Yehuda
  • Corning Museum of Glass ($20) - large museum of varying glass displays and creations, glass blowing demonstrations, has high reviews although @Yehuda didn't think it was that amazing
  • Watkins Glen State Park (free, $8 parking) - hike in a gorge along several waterfalls, more of an upward step climb than a hike which is quite strenuous, @Yehuda recommends going 20 minutes in to see the first few falls then turning back, if you go the whole 1-1.5 hours you can wait for a shuttle school bus to take you back to the parking lot for $5 cash
  • Letchworth State Park - hot air balloons
  • Finger Lakes - can go on a boat cruise or just find a nice place to pull over for a good lunch spot, @Yehuda took Hwy 14, which runs alongside Seneca Lake and found a grassy area with benches.
  • Strong Museum of Play in Rochester ($15) - not exactly on the most direct route, but a fantastic, huge museum of toys and games (many of which you can play) for all ages
  • Howe Caverns ($25) - boat ride in a cave, but close to Albany, so not on a great route to Toronto
  • DestingyUSA is great place to stop for some fun activities...The mall has an escape room, indoor ropes course, virtual reality, Dave & Busters, WonderWorks museum/entertainment center and more...I found the prices to be quite reasonable.



« Last edited by PlatinumGuy on July 16, 2020, 12:32:23 PM »

Author Topic: Toronto Master Thread  (Read 303199 times)

Offline chucks

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1770 on: May 22, 2018, 12:35:47 AM »
Which of the 3 Area's (Down south, Clanton Park or Thorn hill ) are the closest to YYZ? For food & minyanim.
I will be in Toronto for 2 nights & time is of Essence.
Any hotels suggestions is welcome.

Offline mordechain

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1771 on: May 22, 2018, 01:09:12 AM »
No major difference in Travel times. Hotels aren't really in the frum areas. In Thornhill there is an independent Hotel called liberty Suites which looks ok. There's also a holiday inn at Yorkdale which is a 10 minute drive from down south

Online Yehudaa

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1772 on: May 22, 2018, 03:41:58 AM »
Which of the 3 Area's (Down south, Clanton Park or Thorn hill ) are the closest to YYZ? For food & minyanim.
I will be in Toronto for 2 nights & time is of Essence.
Any hotels suggestions is welcome.

Down South or Thornhill are best for food. Down South is best for Minyanim. (Boat shul with minyan every half hour, or other places...)

Aside from the Holiday Inn Yorkdale (a 10 min drive) there aren't really hotels close by. There are plenty off airbnb's though. Search near the Boat Shul (postal code there is M6B 3B1) if you want to be within walking distance of frequent minyanim.

One suggestion when searching for airbnb's- avoid the ones right near Lawrence/Varna. I've noticed that there are a few there but the neighborhood is kinda seedy. Anything East of Varna should be better though. Looks like there are alot of Airbnb's South of the Boat shul, and that area definitely nicer (than Varna).

Offline Moshke

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1773 on: June 05, 2018, 08:18:17 PM »
What restaurants are the closest to YYZ airport?

Offline Ploni3

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1774 on: June 05, 2018, 10:04:40 PM »
Closest are the restaurants on Bathurst at Wilson or Lawrence. So that'd include Aroma, Pizza Cafe, Milk and Honey, Pantry, Dr Laffa, Chicken Nest, Auleaf and Slice n Bite. I probably forgot a few. But these are all less than 20 minutes drive without traffic.

Offline Moshke

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1775 on: June 05, 2018, 10:27:10 PM »
Closest are the restaurants on Bathurst at Wilson or Lawrence. So that'd include Aroma, Pizza Cafe, Milk and Honey, Pantry, Dr Laffa, Chicken Nest, Auleaf and Slice n Bite. I probably forgot a few. But these are all less than 20 minutes drive without traffic.
Thanks
Witch is worth to try?

Offline Ploni3

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1776 on: June 05, 2018, 11:05:12 PM »
Obviously all subjective - and depending on time of day and milk/meat and formal/informal.
I forgot Tov Li.
I think Dr Laffa would be my recommendation for meat. Milk And Honey or Pantry for sit down dairy - Aroma for a quick coffee/pastry light dairy meal or Slice and Bite for pizza.

Offline YMW

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1777 on: June 05, 2018, 11:10:57 PM »
Thanks
Witch is worth to try?
Obviously all subjective - and depending on time of day and milk/meat and formal/informal.
I forgot Tov Li.
I think Dr Laffa would be my recommendation for meat. Milk And Honey or Pantry for sit down dairy - Aroma for a quick coffee/pastry light dairy meal or Slice and Bite for pizza.
If you want meat with waiter service, Chicken Nest is your only place in this area. (Although it's not my favorite  ;))

Offline jose34

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1778 on: July 08, 2018, 09:09:19 AM »
Has anyone done the free YYZ Airport tour?

Is it worth my time ( yes, I am a AV Geek)(!)?

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1779 on: July 08, 2018, 10:23:59 AM »
Has anyone done the free YYZ Airport tour?

Is it worth my time ( yes, I am a AV Geek)(!)?

Never heard of it, seems cool. Do it and report back.

Offline DTM

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1780 on: July 08, 2018, 12:37:39 PM »
What are the best kosher dairy and meat restaurants closest to downtown business area?
And minyanim if any?

Offline Chuck2

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1781 on: July 08, 2018, 12:55:07 PM »
What are the best kosher dairy and meat restaurants closest to downtown business area?
And minyanim if any?
There isn't really anything downtown besides a King David Pizza in Mt. Sinai Hospital and Windsor Arms for Meat
:-)

Online Yehudaa

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1782 on: July 08, 2018, 04:21:16 PM »
What are the best kosher dairy and meat restaurants closest to downtown business area?
And minyanim if any?
@Chuck2 pretty much said it all with regards to food. He also said somewhere upthread that some of the Second Cup locations downtown carry Grozinski's prepared sandwiches.

If you want to drive up to Eglinton (prob 20 min not in rush hour), there's Bistro Grande (nice milk place), Marron (nice meat), Aish Tanoor (sit-down shwarma etc), and a newer cafe, I can't remember the name.

In terms of minyanim, there are mincha minyanim in a bunch of offices downtown, look at the mincha list at frumtoronto.com.  For shacharis and maariv, I think the closest place is pribably the Forest Hill Jewish Center on Spadina St (15-20 min drive).

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1783 on: July 13, 2018, 11:06:38 AM »
Helped my friend book a stay at the Ritz Carlton recently, and he wrote up a small report, so I figured I'd share.

We drove up on Sunday morning. Left at 9am. Stopped in Scranton for Krispy Crème, and then drove straight to Niagara falls. Got to Niagara falls mid-afternoon (around 4pm). There’s a big parking lot on the American side that costs $10, but we parked a short walk down the road for free- they have this public park/walking path along the river leading up to the falls that has free parking. We did Maid of the Mist, which is still a great experience, even if you’ve done it before. Filled up on gas and headed over the border.

By the time we reached Toronto, it was about 8pm, so we grabbed something to eat and took it back to the hotel. Check-in was good and we got the suite upgrade that was confirmed in advance! We left our car out front by the valet to check in and unpack the car. Hotel parking was super expensive ($50/night, plus you’re probably supposed to tip each time you get your car), so I found a nearby lot. It was a bit of a walk to the parking lot, but most things that we did were either walking distance, or could be reached by subway. The exception was kosher food- we’ll get back to that.
The lot was right near the Rogers Center. Super cheap because there were no home games during our trip. $9/day, and $6/night. There was a sign that said no re-entry, but it was unmanned, and you used this app to refill time, and I’m not even sure it was possible to cancel your current meter and start a new one upon re-entry, so we just rolled with it. I should note that all $ amounts in Toronto are in CAD, so everything was 25% less than it would have been.

Things we did:
- We were right on the harbor, which was nice to just walk around.
- We rented a small motor boat (~$112/hour) and took it around the inner harbor. Really awesome.
- Ripleys Aquarium, right near the CN tower (which is also right there). A bit pricey ($35/adult), but a really nice aquarium.
- Steamwhistle Brewery. Brewery tour was $9/person, and came with free beer.
- Took a ferry to the islands in the harbor. There are all these touristy water taxis that will take  you for $20/person for a one way trip. But there’s a public ferry that’s around $9/person round trip. Really nice place to visit. There’s a small amusement park type place, mostly kids rides and things. Along with a petting zoo type of place. There’s also a clothing optional beach (with lots of signage) if that’s what you’re into.
- Went to the Art Gallery of Toronto. Not the biggest art guy, but as far as these things go, this one was really nice. $20/person, but since my wife is kind of almost a student, they let her in for $12 (no ID or anything- they’re really accommodating with things like that over there). We drove to this one, and found parking in a nearby lot for a reasonable price. They had this exhibit of Inuit art that was really cool.   
I’m probably forgetting some things.

Things we ate:
As far as food, most of the kosher food available is in the Jewish community parts of town (either “Down South”, or “Up North”/”Thorn Hill”), which would take a really long time to get to by train. By car, you can get to the down south places in 25-35 minutes. Up north was prob closer to 45, depending on traffic. There are a lot of Israeli type places there (I guess kinda like here, maybe a little more than here though). Dr. Laffa was good- classic greasy shawarma type of place.
2nd night, we went to Tov Li Pizza south in hopes of getting some authentic poutine. The poutine was good, but we were told that you have to go to Montreal if you want the real stuff. Canadians do NOT know how to make pizza.
3rd night, we went to Café Sheli to meet my wife's friend. Way up north. Typical dairy place. Nothing to write home about.
Last night, we went to Aish Tanoor. Another Israeli type place, but more sit down (still very casual- loud music inside. We sat outside). They make fresh laffas, which are outrageous.
For breakfast/lunch, we mostly picked up coffee and supermarket stuff near our hotel. Tons of Starbucks/Tim Hortons/similar in the area. Nice supermarkets as well. We went to this dairy place called milk and honey one morning, about a 25 minute drive from the hotel- very good. More of a real dairy restaurant than a casual breakfast place, but good food, good service, and free refills on the coffee.
Before heading back home, we got a cheese Danish from Hermes bakery (in the Jewish neighborhood), which is obligatory, apparently. Cheese Danish was exceptional. The sandwiches we got there were fine.

Offline ludmila

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Re: Toronto Master Thread
« Reply #1784 on: July 13, 2018, 03:34:36 PM »
Thanks for the TR, Aish Tanoor is real good.
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