Why #WFH when you can Work from Toronto? These neighbourhoods and hotels have the location and amenities for work, wellness and after-5 adventures galore.
Work from Home has its strong points, but adventure and spontaneity aren’t among them. After nearly two years of working remotely from living rooms and kitchen tables, many of us are long overdue for a break from routine. A change of scenery and pace can refresh your mind and spark your imagination. If you’ve got the flexibility to work from anywhere, Work from Toronto.
Setting up your mobile office in Toronto has numerous “employee” perks, including eclectic dining, fabulous shopping, vibrant bars and clubs, major league sports action and a buzzing arts and culture scene.
Ready to move your personal HQ to the 6ix? Consider the following neighbourhoods for your workcation. All are readily accessible and close to the action by foot, public transit, social bike or taxi. Here’s what you can expect in each, from workday amenities to wellness and OOO fun.
Workcation neighbourhood: Entertainment District for food & nightlife
If you’re here to sip, savour and catch a DJ set or two, open your laptop in Toronto’s Entertainment District. You’ll never be far from chef-driven cuisine, buzzy bars and clubs, live shows and major league sports including the Raptors and Blue Jays.
Toronto’s Entertainment District is centrally located and within walking distance of other food-, bar- and nightlife-heavy neighbourhoods like King Street West (live theatre, TIFF), Queen Street West (shopping), Waterfront (recreation), Southcore (Scotiabank Arena) and Financial District (architecture). Stay here to explore everywhere.
Workcation hotel HQ
Book in at the sexy, soulful Bisha Hotel for adventures right at your door. The Eat. Cheers. Sleep. Repeat. offer includes a $100 daily food and beverage credit which can be used at its destination restaurants: luxe Akira Back (the Michelin-starred chef’s only Canadian outpost) and Kost (Cali cuisine with 44th floor views). Bisha’s Frank rooms include a work desk plus table and armchairs, so you’ve got an exec-level room to utilise your free Wi-Fi in.
Grab a latte downstairs at French Made or stroll to Strange Love Café for adaptogenic “mushroom-powered, mood-booster” coffees.
Clear your head with a workout at the Bisha’s onsite gym and chase afternoon sluggishness with a rejuvenating Turkish bath and steam ritual at Hamman Spa by Cela.
Workcation neighbourhood: Parkdale for arts & culture
Right on the western edge of trendy, talked-about Queen Street West, Parkdale is an eclectic, culturally diverse neighbourhood with a chill mix of retail, restaurant, residential and cultural spaces.
Visit contemporary art galleries like Elaine Fleck, Gallery 1313 and General Hardware or wander the side streets and laneways for a visual feast of Parkdale street art. If that’s not enough, hop on the 501 Queen West streetcar eastbound to explore Graffiti Alley, a trove of evolving murals just west of Spadina Avenue and perfect IG fodder.
Workcation hotel HQ
The Drake Hotel was a pioneer in the revitalization of Parkdale’s Queen Street West strip and the iconic boutique hotel remains a community creative hub with live music, exhibition space, a night club and inspired locavore cuisine in its restaurants and café. Its Art Passport package includes an original art keepsake. When booking, choose an artsy mid-century mod suite, which comes complete with work station, tech library and—to ease the transition from workday to après—lounge and bar.
Grab a cortado at quintessentially boho Parkdale cafés like Grocery Coffee and Capital Espresso (where you can nosh on butter tarts made by a Cordon Bleu Paris-trained pastry chef).
Quirky, friendly Laya Spa & Yoga is a local fave for Ayurveda-inspired face and body treatments, including restorative massage, scrubs and lymphatic detox.
Workcation neighbourhood: Bloor-Yorkville for a romantic couple’s retreat
Toronto’s ritziest neighbourhood is home to Mink Mile, a strip of Bloor Street West packed with designer boutiques like Chanel, Hermès, Prada and the flagship of Canada’s luxury department store, Holt Renfrew.
High-end art galleries hint at the neighbourhood’s bohemian past and history lovers will appreciate proximity to the city’s cultural corridor, including the Royal Ontario Museum. Bloor-Yorkville is home to tony bars, fine dining, swank lounges and the city’s best prestige shopping and spas: everything you need for an indulgent couples workcation.
Workcation hotel HQ
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Yorkville luxury hotels, however, if you’re working à deux, consider a corner room at the Park Hyatt for its two-person work desks, or the Hazelton, where you and your work/life mate have room to sprawl with a desk, seating area and petite balcony. The Work From Hazelton offer comes with office supplies, a healthy snack basket and spa discount.
Goldstruck roasts its organic beans daily for the freshest pour-overs and handcrafted espresso.
Good news for couples massage aficionados: you’re in Spa Central, with luxe in-house options at the Hazelton, Four Seasons and Park Hyatt. The in-house spa at the Windsor Arms is notable for its heated saltwater pool and salt cave.
Workcation neighbourhood: King Street West for a friends-cation
Catch live theatre (it’s been too long!), hit the spa, say cheers with brunch time mimosas or an evening whisky flight — you can do it all in King Street West. Marquee attractions like the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Eaton Centre shopping mall are all a leisurely walk or quick ride away.
King West overlaps with the Entertainment District and is a stone’s throw to buzzy Queen Street West, bustling Southcore and eclectic Chinatown and Kensington Market. Park your crew here for a seamless transition from work to fun.
Workcation hotel HQ
1 Hotel Toronto’s Birch House Two Bedroom Suite is roomy enough for a pod of hardworking besties. Two spacious bedrooms (three beds), separate living and dining areas and a full kitchen ensure privacy for simultaneous Zoom meets. With four onsite restaurants, a rooftop pool and state-of-the-art gym, part-timers will find ways to stay occupied while waiting for workaholics to shut their laptops.
Beat that 2 p.m. slump with coffee runs to Jimmy’s, where you can also pick up souvenir bags of coffee beans named after famous Jimmies like Hendrix, Dean or Hoffa.
Try the water circuit at Body Blitz, a women-only spa located on Adelaide (its King Street East location is also reachable by the eastbound 504 King streetcar). For a mixed group, hit Hamman Spa by Cela, also nearby.