Visiting a city, whether for the first or fifth time, is always better when you’ve consulted a local for recommendations. We asked our Canada-based member agencies for their favorite spots in Toronto, from haute hotels and must-try restaurants to the chicest shops. If Toronto is on your to-do list, bookmark this blog as your guide to local-loved gems.
Where to Eat:
Come here for an unforgettable evening whether you’re at a table or the bar. “The quality of the food as well as the impeccable service makes this restaurant truly exceptional,” says Maria Varvarikos, founder and president of ZOÏ Agency. “It's very well situated, in the heart of Yorkville, and perfect for dinner or drinks.”
Located in the Fashion District downtown, Figo serves up contemporary Italian dishes in a stylish and elegant setting.
Located near the trendy Trinity Bellwoods area, the team at Chimera Collective comes here for the lasagna.
The go-to spot for delicious Mediterranean snacks and signature cocktails. Grab a seat in the back patio when it’s warm out.
Kiin serves up some seriously beautiful dishes, almost too pretty to eat. The BICOM Communications team explains that, “Kiin showcases the regional diversity of traditions found all across Thailand, while incorporating the delicate qualities and rare art of Royal Thai cuisine--a culinary art form close to extinction.”
This restaurant opened in 2013 with much fanfare, and for good reason. Five years later, the restaurant is as popular as ever thanks to its consistently good Spanish-influenced menu, craft beer selection and amazing cocktails.
Soso Food Club
Instagram-worthy décor, inspired by one of the owner’s upbringing in Hong Kong, is just one of the reasons to dine at Soso Food Club. Its sustainably sourced ingredients make up a delicious menu of mainland Chinese fare.
Where to Stay
The Broadview Hotel
BICOM recommends the storied Broadview Hotel. "This impressively-renovated heritage building (it first opened in 1891) offers rooms with free WiFi, smart TVs and record players, and there are three dining options, including the rooftop bar and restaurant, which features beautiful views of the city."
The Broadview Hotel
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
You can always count on optimal customer service and supreme attention to detail at the Four Seasons.
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
This classic, old-school Fairmont hotel is located right by Union Station, which is super central.
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
Where to Shop
6 by Gee Beauty
A Chimera favorite. Gee Beauty's lifestyle flagship store sells everything from Le Labo fragrances and fine jewelry to the new outfit you’ll be wearing to dinner at one of the aforementioned hot-spots.
Maria Varvarikos lists this Rosedale boutique as a favorite, noting that “It carries a well curated selection of brands including the Canadian brands WANT Les Essentiels and Fleur du Mal, as well as other brands such as Acne, Aspesi, Byredo and many more. In addition to this boutique, there are many other stores to discover in the neighborhood.”
St. Lawrence Market
Get an authentic taste of Toronto at the St. Lawrence Market, which unites over 50 food specialty vendors and boasts a gallery on the second floor. BICOM’s pro tip: on Saturdays, enjoy the Farmers’ Market (a century old tradition)!
Where to drink:
Soho House Toronto
Members will want to check out the House's cozy Toronto outpost. "Soho House is very different from most Toronto downtown restaurants and bars and is definitely a location to experience for pleasure or business," says Maria Varvarikos. "In the summertime be sure to grab a drink on the rooftop terrace! Also, make sure to check Soho House's programming as it's always very interesting to discover local talent."
Soho House Toronto
Where to relax:
Hammam Spa in Toronto & Caudalie Boutique & Spa at Sherway Gardens
A spa day is the ultimate refresher when traveling. Reset at Hammam Spa or Caudalie Spa and take Toronto feeling refreshed.
High on the event production checklist, the right florals can elevate a design scheme and amplify the guest experience. We've seen the creativity levels reach new heights of late, so we asked the best in the game for some insight on their top trends and inspiration. From gravity-defying treatments to fashion-forward flowers, it might not seem like simplicity is an overarching theme - but the biggest names in floral design say otherwise.
Eddie Zaratsian | Visionary, Eddie Zaratsian Lifestyle and Design
Trend: Floral ceiling treatment
The big new trend we are seeing is floral ceiling treatments. You see it on fashion runways and at weddings and events. It's comprised of different types of florals. We love it because it evokes a whimsical feeling and adds an extra special element to the event.
Eric Buterbaugh | Floral Designer, Eric Buterbaugh
Trend: Florals follow fashion
I’ve always thought that flowers tend to follow fashion…and the trends in fashion. Thinking back over the years, I can remember way back when floral arrangements were more complicated and challenging incorporating tons of bright colors, intricately wrapped vases in heavy patterns with wire treatments--all the bells and whistles. That was the trend in fashion at the time, and I’m sure at some point we will see it all come back again (like the fanny pack). Right now we are experiencing more of an organic look in floral arranging. Meticulous monochromatic, or single-ingredient arrangements, which sounds simple enough, but it is all in the details. The overall architecture of the composition focusing on the shape and cut are of the utmost importance, and I think that is reflective of the trend in fashion right now: simple and balanced yet engineered with structure and precision. The devil is in the details.
Jeff Leatham | Artistic Director, Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center
Trend: Rule of three
The Leatham style is clean, simple and chic, with never more than three types of flowers. This trend was demonstrated throughout the design of #FourSeasonsPopDown Philadelphia, a part of Four Seasons' series of immersive experiences that took place ahead of the hotel's 2019 opening.
Ron Wendt | Founder, Ron Wendt Design
Trend: Farm to table
The farm to table trend is not just a restaurant trend. It seems “farm to table” has become a design aesthetic as well. We’ve seen a lot more naturally styled arrangements, increased use of greenery as runner or trailing between arrangements and a lot more bud vases with single stems.