Walking Due East of the Don on Queen St.

Summer in Toronto means Art Shows in all the little cities that make up the Big Ville. One of my favorites is the Riverdale Art Walk on Queen Street just east of the Don River. It is a very pleasant walk due East on Queen just beyond Broadview. I was here two years ago on an equally balmy June Saturday – a bring-water day – and had a great time then as now. Then I watched a mural being created in a nook park right on Queen.

This year I spent some extra time browsing the stores, shops and eateries that abound on this stretch of Queen. Riverdale blends into Leslieville which then becomes the Beaches. What sets Riverdale apart is the many Art and Antiques shops, a growing number of fashion stores and places to really eat or buy for home feasts.

Brick Street Breads on Logan north of Queen

Brick Street Breads, just writing the name, provokes the Pavlovian salivation response for this bread lover. What is particularly enchanting is a wide selection of breads that will please the eye as well as delight the palate. This Saturday for example, there were a number of crust masterpieces: bread braided in woven pleats in rye and cornbread emanating come hither aromas that begged for buttered bites. And if you like borscht, there are baguettes to die for dipping. Double dare you to pass this flour by.

888 Gallery at 888 Queen East

Beyond the Pale Gallery and Pottery-making Teaching Shop

888 is a gallery with all sorts of neat nooks and crannies. Try the back porch in the Summer with its Mediterranean colors and comforts. Jewelry is to be found now in the nearby backroom. See here for treasures found. And nearby is my favorites pottery shop where Helen is owner, teacher and master glazer. Lessons are available in the evening and afternoon Saturdays for the kids. You can learn slab, form or wheel pottery but most important of all you will be brought into the world of glazes, firing and bringing out colors on clasy – literally beyond the pale. See here for the novelty and impishness in design that abound in this Riverdale artistes den.

Ethel at Queen St East

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the antigue, furniture and specialty stores that can be found along the Riverdale walk and continues well into Leslieville heading East on Queen. One of my favorite places for window shopping is Ethel – just look in or go around the corner and you will see why.

So Queen West with all the media headquarters and costantly changing fashions may get more coverage, but the Eastside of Queen is more than alive and well with places to see, do and just enjoy a weekend walk.