There’s something about cooler weather that puts Toronto’s creative energy into overdrive. Fall is the perfect time to hit the streets and take creative inspiration from these wonderfully walkable neigbourhoods: Bloor-Yorkville, Entertainment District-King West and Chinatown-Kensington Market

Royal Ontario Museum Nightime Exterior on Bloor St

Bloor-Yorkville

The Vibe: If you hear anyone mention the “Mink Mile,” they’re referring to the Bloor-Yorkville area where you’ll find upscale art galleries, elevated dining and an exclusive cluster of luxury shops, such as Tiffany, Gucci, Chanel and Holt Renfrew. Back in the 1960s, the area was a magnet for artists, hippies and up-and-coming musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot.

Accommodations: Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, W Toronto, Park Hyatt Toronto, the Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel, Kimpton Saint George and the Windsor Arms Hotel are among the popular hotel destinations for board meetings and chic social functions.

Unique Venues: Situated just south of Yonge and Bloor, the CAA Theatre is a 700-seat live theatre and concert venue. The Bloor St. Culture Corridor is home to world-class cultural institutions offering gala event space, including the Royal Ontario Museum, Gardiner MuseumBata Shoe Museum and The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall.

Culinary: Grab a coffee and freshly baked croissants at Hazukido’s new Yorkville location. Kupfert and Kim serve up gluten-free, plant-based meals, while Planta Yorkville offers an entirely vegan menu. If your group is in the mood for a sweet treat, head to Yorkville Avenue for waffle cones at Summer’s Ice Cream.

For dinner and late-night snacks, celebrity chef Mark McEwan has opened ONE Restaurant at the Hazelton Hotel, Adrak Yorkville is serving elevated Indian cuisine, Eataly Toronto is a wonderland of Italian ingredients and dishes and these Bloor-Yorkville landmarks never disappoint: Hemingway’s Restaurant & Bar, Sassafraz, Sofia Restaurant & Bar and Ristorante Sotto Sotto (mentioned by Drake in the song Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2). 

Only in Bloor–Yorkville: The Yorkville Murals cultural event, Summer Music in the Park, Bloor Street block party and concerts during the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, and a billion-year-old granite boulder in the Village of Yorkville Park.

Entertainment District and King West

The Vibe: This is where you’ll find famous Canadian landmarks and attractions, fabulous hotels, fun restaurants and bars, non-stop nightclubs, Broadway shows and sports and entertainment venues. Celebrity sightings are common year-round, but ramp up each September when Hollywood stars walk the Toronto International Film Festival’s red carpet.

Accommodations: Group-friendly hotels in and around the area include the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, Bisha Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown, SoHo Hotel & ResidencesLe Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer and the Hyatt Regency Toronto. The InterContinental Toronto Centre connects to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, while the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel is attached to the Rogers Centre. 

Unique Venues: The district offers plenty of opportunities to mix business with pleasure. After your group takes in spectacular views from the CN Tower’s floor-to-ceiling windows, get down to business at the tower’s base where you’ll find breakout rooms and a cinema. Imagine a jazz-themed cocktail reception among the sea creatures at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada. Also good for groups: dazzling Roy Thomson Hall, the gracious Princess of Wales Theatre and the sensational Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Culinary: This area really knows how to handle a crowd. Steam Whistle and Roundhouse Park feature a Biergärten, Tap Room and event space. The Porch offers panoramic downtown views and RendezViews is arguably Toronto’s largest outdoor summer patio. Real Sports, located next to Scotiabank Arena, is a combination sports bar and upscale lounge experience. For smaller groups, Malaparte offers bird’s-eye views of the Entertainment District and Coffee Oysters Champagne is a café by day and the go-to for fresh oysters and bubbly by night. 

Only in the Entertainment District and King West: The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing film, video, audio and digital + interactive media. The festival runs October 18–23, 2022, with many screenings taking place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Artscape Sandbox. On King St. W., you’ll find sublime Japanese cuisine served at Minami Toronto, which was internationally recognized for its creative interior design with a 2021 Restaurant & Bar Design Award.

Chinatown + Kensington Market

The Vibe: Downtown Chinatown and Kensington Market are next-door neighbours and make a perfect day-long group excursion. The area has welcomed newcomers, artists and entrepreneurs for more than a century and that rich diversity is reflected in Chinatown’s many multicultural restaurants, sidewalk food markets and boutiques and in Kensington Market’s eclectic assortment of vintage clothing stores, bakeshops, cafés and bars. 

Accommodations: The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Toronto Downtown, Chestnut Residence and Conference Centre and the snazzy new Ace Hotel Toronto are all within easy walking distance. 

Unique Venues: Renowned for its collection of works by Indigenous and Canadian artists, the Art Gallery of Ontario also boasts versatile meeting and corporate function spaces. The Centre for Social Innovation on Spadina Avenue rents fully-equipped meeting rooms by the hour. Experience the El Mocambo’s legendary nightclub vibe by hosting a private function catered by The McEwan Group. If your group is into karaoke, Chinatown is home to a number of specialty bars including B-Boss KTV and EchoKTV.

Culinary: Be sure to stop by Dark Horse Espresso Bar on Spadina for your morning jolt, try charming Moonbean Coffee Company in the heart of Kensington Market and don’t miss Vietnamese coffee brewed by several restaurants in the area. There are plenty of lunch and dinner options, whether it’s Indigenous plates from the Pow Wow Café, Rasta Pasta for Jamaican-Italian fusion, Big Trouble for spicy glass noodles and sake, Hawker for plant-based cuisine or a dim sum feast at Rosewood Asian Cuisine.

For drinks, check out Kensington Brewing Co. and for dining and dancing it’s Supermarket Restaurant & Bar. The Culinary Adventure Company offers a Chinatown & Kensington Market Food Tour that’s recommended by Forbes magazine.

Only in Chinatown + Kensington Market: Pedestrian Sundays are perfect for wandering the streets of Kensington Market and the annual Toronto Chinatown Festival features cultural performances and multicultural street food.