The Wonders of Wychwood
Founded as an artists’ colony in the late 1800s, the community of Wychwood has long been a creative hub. It got its name from artist Marmaduke Matthews, an Englishman who immigrated to Canada in 1860 and called his house after Wychwood Forest in his native Oxfordshire. The name now also applies the whole area North of Davenport Road and West of Bathurst, bordering Coso Italia. The community retains a friendly, artistic feel, with markets and studios, and independently owned food and drink gems. There are kid-friendly community events aplenty (family barbeques and outdoor music in summer) and the area is easily accessible by TTC via the Bathurst bus or walking from the St Clair streetcar.
A major highlight of the area and focal point of the community is Artscape Wychwood Barns. What was once a streetcar maintenance facility has been transformed into a thriving, vibrant centre and park, featuring everything from a farmers market, to beach volleyball, local shops, threatre and galleries.
601 Christie St
Impressive in scale and construction, the Wychwood (or Carnegie) Library, designed by Eden Smith, is adapted from the Gothic Tudor style. Opened April 15, 1916 it remains a great spot for an afternoon read and there’s also a book club that meets regularly.
1431 Bathurst St., Toronto, 416-393-7683
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to sugary treats in this ‘hood. Leah’s bakery, owned by Leah Kalish, is famous for the biscotti or for a French take, Pain Perdu delivers perfectly flaky mille feuille. And Dutch Dreams delivers a cooler indulgence — the eclectic neighbourhood institution has served up homemade ice cream for over 25 years and is well worth the lineups.
Leah’s Bakery, 621 St Clair W.
Pain Perdu, 736 St Clair W., 416-656-7246
Dutch Dreams, 78 Vaughn Road
A non-stop hit since it opened in 2011, Stockyards is a family style BBQ joint that delivers deep, flavourful meat like 48hr brined and marinated fried chicken. For a more sit-down affair, The Rushton is a stylish but laidback neighbourhood hotspot, with French-inspired food and a friendly atmosphere. The man behind it, Frank Pronesti also owns Catch, which serves up steaks as well as seafood in a more casual environment and Ferro, a family favourite since 1993, known for its tasty traditional Italian food.
The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder, 699 St Clair Ave. W
The Rushton, 740 St Clair Ave W
Catch, 744 St Clair Ave. W
Ferro, 769 St Clair Ave. W