Where to eat vegan in Toronto

 

More and more people today are turning to plant-based diets. You don’t need to be an animal rights activist for it to be appealing – there are many health benefits associated with a plant-based diet. Going vegan can help you lose excess weight, protect against certain cancers, and has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Plant-based diets are also awesome for the health of the planet. It has been reported that reducing or eliminating meat consumption is the single most impactful choice an individual can make to help the environment.

 

Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable. A shift away from meat consumption could increase the global food supply without increasing land usage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce waste products that contaminate water tables and oceans. In one year, the animal husbandry industry generates carbon emissions equal to the entire transportation sector. Going plant-based could reduce global water usage by as much a 50% – that’s how much fresh water the industry currently consumes.

 

Now that you know why plant-based is good. Where do you go to get good-tasting, plant-based food in Toronto? We’re glad you asked! Here’s where to eat vegan in Toronto.

 

Fresh

Credit: Fresh

 

Fresh was one of the early plant-based trail blazers in Toronto. They first opened their doors in 1999. Today there are four great locations to choose from – Fresh on Eglinton (90 Eglinton Avenue East), Fresh on Bloor (326 Bloor Street West), Fresh on Crawford (894 Queen Street West) and Fresh on Spadina (147 Spadina Avenue). No matter where you are in the city, Fresh is never far away. Stop by to peruse their full menu of fine vegan and vegetarian fare – from rice bowls and burgers, to kale and quinoa salads, and cold pressed juices that are made fresh daily. Take out is also available.

 

TABÜLÈ

Credit: @tabulemiddleasterncuisine

 

TABÜLÈ Midtown (2009 Yonge Street) is the original location that started it all. They specialize in fine Middle Eastern food, much of it vegetarian and vegan friendly. It’s a great place to sit and have a good meal, knowing there is something to suit everyone’s palate. Start with their signature TABÜLÈ Salad – with chopped parsley, whole wheat bulgur (or gluten-free quinoa), tomato, onion and mint, with a lemon and olive oil dressing. Their Homemade Lentil Soup is made without cream or butter. Their roasted Eggplant dish is drizzled with tahini on a bed of müjaddara with pomegranate seeds. It makes an excellent main course. When you are not so close to home, TABÜLÈ has locations all over town – each with their own unique feel and flavour. Their additional locations include TABULE RIVERSIDE (810 Queen Street East), TABULE BAYVIEW (2901 Bayview Avenue) and SOUK TABULE (494 Front Street East).

 

Planta and Planta Burger

Credit: @plantaburger

 

Planta, at 1221 Bay Street in Yorkville, is an elegant, high-ceilinged eatery dedicated to serving exceptional food that happens to be plant-based and environmentally sustainable. It is upscale in every way, so it’s great for those special occasions when you want to splurge a little. For more laid back, everyday plant-based fare, head to Planta Burger, at 4 Temperance Street. Planta makes a great vegan burger. Try the Classic, with mushroom bacon, pickles, tomato and plant-based queso ($10.50). Wash it down with a coconut ice cream milkshake in chocolate or salted caramel vanilla ($7.50).

 

You can learn more about Planta in our post about the best healthy restaurants in Toronto.

 

Grasshopper Restaurant

Credit: @grasshopperrestaurant

 

Grasshopper Restaurant has two great locations – one at 310 College Street, and the other in the Junction, at 3080 Dundas St West. The food, as well as the decor at Grasshopper, feels fresh and crisp. There is lots of white exposed brick, and healthy green plants growing. Grasshopper specializes in Japanese-American fusion comfort food, with a plant-based twist. You can’t go wrong with their quinoa mac ‘n’ cheese, salads, burgers and substantial rice bowls. Start your meal with their Chick-Un Nuggets ($8), a delicious dish served with creamy BBQ or peanut sauce. Then go for The Mushroom Bowl ($13), loaded with sautéed cremini and portobello mushrooms, onions and bean sprouts, served over steamed brown rice, and topped with a spicy house tahini sauce. If you still have room for dessert, the Chocolate Fudge Brownie ($4.50), or the Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake $8, will put you over the top.

 

The Hogtown Vegan

Credit: The Hogtown Vegan

 

The Hogtown Vegan  (1056 Bloor Street West) is your source for Southern-style vegan comfort food, local beer on tap, and a great weekend brunch. If you’re new to plant-based eating, their meat-like tofu and seitan meals will make the transition a cinch. The friendly servers are always happy to suggest something you may like if you’re unsure of what to order. You really can’t go wrong. From crispy fried soy wings with buffalo or BBQ sauce, to Phish ‘n Chips with beer battered tempeh, to fried tofu scrambles for brunch. There’s always something good cooking at the Hogtown Vegan – but absolutely no hogs are harmed!

 

Are you ready to dig into some fine vegan fare in Toronto? Let us know if we missed your favourite restaurant on this list. With so many great options for plant-based cuisine in the city, there has never been a better, tastier or easier time to go meatless.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited loves to help you discover the best that your city and community have to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue) and Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

Save on groceries near Village Green

 

Whether you love to roam up and down every aisle, or you’re more of a surgical strike, get-in get-out kind of shopper, everyone needs groceries. Prices and selection can vary wildly from one store to the next, and these days, every dollar counts. To help you save a little money and time, check out these ideas on where to save on groceries near Village Green.

 

Rob’s No Frills

 

Rob’s No Frills (345 Bloor Street East) is a big and bright grocery store with very affordable prices. No Frills are all about delivering the goods for less, without all the, well…frills. This store is the polar opposite The Loblaws at 60 Carlton. This store isn’t meant to wow you, it’s meant to save you money. That said, the food is fresh and well displayed. There is a good selection of canned and frozen food. You may even be surprised by the selection and discover some Indian sweets or Asian veggies that you weren’t expecting to see. The selection on weekends can begin to run low by afternoon, and the hours are shorter too. Rob’s No Frills is open from 8am to 8pm on weekends, and until 9:30 pm on weekdays. It’s a great affordable option for your midweek shop.

 

Sobeys

Credit: @Sobeys

 

Sobeys (777 Bay Street) is a great choice for prepared foods like soups, fresh salads, and ready to eat options like sushi rolls. It’s also great for fresh produce. They’re open until 11pm during the week, and 10pm on weekends. This location is their upscale ‘Urban Fresh’ brand, so be prepared for a bit more of a markup. You can save a few bucks by taking the escalator down to the Metro, in the same plaza.

 

Metro

 

Metro (444 Yonge Street) at Yonge and College is in the same plaza as the Sobey’s Urban Fresh. Metro may not have the same selection and specialty products, but they are sure to have almost everything you could want, for slightly more affordable prices. The big plus is that they are open 24 hours, so they’re ready whenever you are.

 

Loblaws

Credit: Loblaws 60 Carlton

 

As long as you have to do a weekly grocery shop, why not do it in a space that’s unique and has extraordinary style? The Loblaws at 60 Carlton street is housed at the awe-inspiring, historic, original site of Maple Leaf Gardens. The moment you step inside, you realize that it’s much more than just a grocery store. There is an in-store Ace Bakery pumping out quality baked goods along with extraordinary aromas.  There is a giant wall-of-cheese, a huge deli, and a great prepared food section. Don’t forget to grab coffee at Loblaws Café, complete with a Nutella Bar! There is even an LCBO and a Joe Fresh.

 

It may not be the cheapest store in the neighbourhood, but for a flagship store with so many premium features, the prices are very reasonable. Maybe not No Frills reasonable, but definitely Sobey’s reasonable. It’s also the store to find those hard-to-find items that you can’t find at regular stores. It’s open daily from 7am to 11pm.

 

H Mart

Credit: HMart Toronto

 

When you’re in the mood for food, but not in the mood to deal with crowds, H Mart (703 Yonge Street) is a great go-to. This Asian grocery chain is open daily from 8am to 12am and features a variety of Asian specialty drinks and pastries that you usually have to head to Chinatown for. Prices are a bit higher than they are in Chinatown, but it saves you a trip! There is also a small-but-good-quality produce section, prepared meals, and a surprisingly good selection of fresh meats that are on par with what you may find at Sobeys and Loblaws.

 

Bulk Barn

Credit: @BulkBarnFoods

 

Bulk Barn (2 Carlton Street) isn’t going to replace your weekly grocery shop, but it is a great stop for the dry goods you want to stock up on, or store away. From grains and pasta, to nuts, beans, baking ingredients, even coffee and tea. They also carry a good selection of snacks, spices, spreads and pet food. Buy as much as you can carry home and save!

 

Hopefully, shopping at these stores helps you shave a few bucks off the bottom line of your grocery bill.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to help you save money while stocking up on the abundance that is all around you. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

The best sushi in Davisville

 

Davisville Village and nearby Yonge and Eglinton are two neighbourhoods with just about everything you could want. There is great entertainment, nightlife, shopping and lots of world class food. When it comes to choosing sushi in this neighbourhood, there are almost as many options as there are fish in the sea! Here are a few neighbourhood hotspots, and a few well kept secret places, that are rolling the best sushi in Davisville.

 

Lola Sushi

 

Lola Sushi (2070 Yonge Street) is a clean and cozy spot to sit and enjoy some quality sushi. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere is casual and the food is fantastic. The Salmon Hand Roll and tempura vegetables really stand out.

 

Sushi Supreme

Credit: Sushi Supreme

 

Sushi Supreme (1995 Yonge Street) is not a particularly fancy place to eat. They are not trying to wow you with the decor, but rather with the food. They offer great sushi at fair prices, with plenty of vegetarian options, too! Since you’re not eating here for the ambiance, you may opt to enjoy your meal in the comfort of your own home, at Davisville Village. Sushi Supreme offers delivery on orders of $20 or more (before taxes), from 12 noon to 3pm, and from 5:30pm to 10pm. If you’d rather place your order and pick it up yourself, they offer a 10% discount.

 

Fukui Sushi

 

As soon as you step into Fukui Sushi (1612 Bayview Avenue), you feel welcome. That’s because you’re usually greeted by the entire staff. The restaurant itself is small and cozy (it can get crowded on weekends). All the seating is close to the sushi bar, so you can see it all being made and served fresh. This place definitely has a devoted bunch of regular customers, but new friends or repeat customers are all treated warmly. Fukui Sushi takes pride in providing an excellent customer experience with a soothing atmosphere, as well as incredible food. Try the sushi omakase, or the unique foie gras sushi, and add other pieces as you like.

 

Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant

Credit: Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant

 

Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant (1835 Yonge Street) serves classic Japanese cuisine, including great sushi, curry, rice and teppanyaki dishes. Their minimalist setting allows you to focus on the fantastic food. The sushi is fresh and tasty, with a good rice to fish ratio. The service is friendly and attentive, without being overbearing. The Maguro (tuna), at $2.40 for one piece or $6.99 for four pieces, is a good option, as is the Ika (squid) at $2.20 per piece or $6.00 for 4 pieces. Their sushi and sashimi combos are the best way to go, though. The Take Sushi Combo ($21.99) comes with Tuna, Salmon, White Fish, Ebi, Tako, Hokkigai, Kani, Yellow Tail, Eel, Ikura, and your choice of California, Salmon or Tuna roll. Take out is available, too!

 

Sake Bar Kushi

Credit: Sake Bar Kushi

 

Sake Bar Kushi is an intimate and romantic Sushi and Sake Bar at 257 Eglinton Ave West.

They offer a la carte sushi, sashimi, maki and much more. This is a great place for a weekend night or date night. The prices are reasonable, the food is exceptional, and their selection of fine Sake and Sapporo pair brilliantly. If you’re lucky, they may even bring over a few complimentary side dishes to enjoy with your sushi!

 

Rolltation

Credit: @RolltationToronto

 

Rolltation (2291 Yonge Street) is proving that it doesn’t have to be traditional to be delicious. Rolltation specializes in sushi burritos. Picture a giant burrito-sized sushi roll, made just the way you like it. You can build your own custom sushi burrito, or Poke bowl, or choose a fixed menu option. Choose from loads of fantastic fillings like teri or wasabi mayo, tamago (sweet egg), purple potato, asparagus, edamame, mango, tobiko, avocado and more! The staff are friendly and helpful. They seem genuinely interested in helping you build your best burrito, and will provide helpful suggestions if you feel overwhelmed by your options. This place is more geared toward the grab and go crowd, but there are a few seats available, if you just can’t wait to get it home. This fusion food seems perfectly suited to the diversity of Toronto and the Davisville neighbourhood.

 

There so many sushi options in the Davisville neighbourhood — making a choice can be the hardest part. Now that you know where to go, what are you waiting for?

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited hopes this post helps you keep your meal choices fresh and gives you a little taste of all that your neighbourhood and community have to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

Eat healthy near Davisville Village!

 

New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but are notoriously difficult to keep. Making a resolution to eat well is meant to improve your quality of life, but too often, it seems to have the opposite effect. If you find yourself eating the same boring, tasteless meals, day after day, you’re never going to keep to your resolution. If you’ve made a promise to yourself to eat healthier this year, you’re in luck! It’s never been easier to find healthy options for eating out near Davisville Village.

 

Marigold Indian Bistro (552 Mt Pleasant Road)

Roadside Chaat – Courtesy Marigold Indian Bistro

 

You’re trying to cut back on calories and fat, not flavour. Marigold Indian Bistro is proof that healthy eating need not be bland or uninspired. At Marigold, they take classic Indian dishes, from all regions of the country and add their own healthy twist. The owners spent years working in several restaurants in New Delhi, where they learned to prepare classic Indian dishes, as well as modern variations. As Owner Ritu Khadri puts it:


Authentic Indian food calls for lots of oil, or butter, in pretty much everything…We have blended different combinations to make a healthier version of Indian food.

 

If you’re in the mood for seafood, start with their Peppercorn Prawns – king prawns cooked in a sauce of bell peppers, curry leaf and mustard seeds ($15.95). You can’t go wrong with their Butter Chicken – made with milk, rather than cream, and their boneless tandoori chicken in a creamy tomato and fenugreek sauce ($15.95). Read more about Marigold Indian Bistro in our feature article.

 

Bolan Thai Cuisine (709 Mt Pleasant Road)

 

Stir Fried Glass Noodles with Chicken and Shrimp – Courtesy @ThaiBolan

 

Bolan Thai Cuisine is an elegant and understated Thai restaurant located at 709 Mount Pleasant Road. They serve fresh and tasty classics, like mango salad, spring rolls, pad thai and curries. They are committed to healthy cooking:

 

At Bolan Thai Cuisine, we cook with nutritious and healthy herbs along with flavourful spices to provide the dazzling array of delicious and exotic tastes that make the history of Thai cuisine so unique.

 

Start with the Bolan Rolls ($6.95) – soft brown rice paper rolls filled with rice vermicelli noodles, tofu, mango, egg, carrot, coriander and lettuce. The main dishes at Bolan are served with delicious jasmine rice, which can be swapped for brown rice for $2.

 

We recommend that you try the Thai Basil — with Thai basil leaves, onion, green beans, carrot, bell peppers and fresh chili and then add more vegetables ($10.95) or choose a protein like Chicken ($11.95), Beef ($12.95), Shrimp ($13.95), Fish ($14.95) or Salmon ($15.95).

 

Bolan Thai isn’t licensed, which may also help with your resolution to get healthy. Treat yourself to a delicious Mango Lassi or Banana Monkey Smoothie instead.

 

Tabülè (2009 Yonge Street)

Photo Courtesy @Tabule.Middle.Eastern.Cuisine. Photo by @Linder_surprise

 

Tabülè features fresh, flavourful and amazing Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Founded in 2005 by Chef Rony Goriachy and Diana Sideris, Tabule Midtown was the original, but the restaurant is just too good to be contained to one location. There are currently a total of four Tabülès throughout Toronto; Tabülè Riverside (810 Queen Street East), Tabülè Bayview (2901 Bayview Avenue) and Souk Tabülè (494 Front Street East). So even when you’re not close to home, you’ve got great options.

 

Start things off with a hot bowl of their Homemade Lentil Soup – made with pureed red lentils and no cream or butter (Cup $3.95/Bowl $5.95). You can’t go wrong with their namesake dish — Tabülè (hand chopped parsley salad with whole wheat bulgur, tomatoes, onions and a hint of mint tossed in a light lemon and olive oil dressing) for just $6.95. You can make order gluten free Tabülè made with organic quinoa for only 50 cents more! The Falafel Entree – made with gluten free falafel balls and served with müjaddara and vegetables ($13.95) is a hearty and healthy vegetarian meal that is sure to satisfy.

 

Fresh on Eglinton (90 Eglinton Ave E)

Courtesy @FreshRestaurants

 

Fresh restaurant first appeared on the scene back in 1999 in The Annex neighborhood. They were a pioneer in the healthy, vegan food scene. Even before that, they began as a travelling juice bar called Juice for Life. Flash forward a few decades and Fresh is still fresh! There are now a total of four locations and Fresh has established themselves as the go to choice in Toronto for flavourful vegan cuisine, even boasting gluten free options. The best thing about their menu is that just about everything on it is delicious and good for you! So go ahead, go wild!

 

Freshii (2300 Yonge Street)

Spinach, Mushroom & Cheese Grilled Egg Pocket – Courtesy of @Freshii

 

The Freshii franchise is synonymous with fresh, fast, healthy food. When you’re hungry and in a hurry, they are a trusted go-to, for good reason. The food is tasty, healthy, convenient and consistent. Choose from salads, soups and wraps, bowls, burritos and more. If you’re feeling the need for a bit of a boost, energize your options with extra protein — falafel, tofu, chicken or steak, and make kale or quinoa the base. Freshii is also a great choice to grab a healthy breakfast on the go. Their Spinach, Mushroom and Cheese Grilled Egg Pocket with

scrambled egg, goat cheese, spinach, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms — is sure to open your eyes in the morning and keep you energized until lunch!

 

With so many nutritious and delicious options in your neighbourhood, living at Davisville Village makes it easy to keep your resolutions intact and satisfy your appetite!

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to help you reach your goals this year and connect you with all that your neighbourhood and community has to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

Shop St. Lawrence Market this fall

 

The St. Lawrence Market is quite simply one of the World’s Greatest (and oldest) markets. It was named The World’s Best Food Market by National Geographic in 2012.

 

The Market is comprised of a three building complex. Each building serves a different purpose. The North Market is known for it’s Saturday Farmers’ Market, and for good reason — it’s been on since 1803! On Sundays, the North Market and surrounding plaza is home to over 80 antique dealers peddling their wares. The South Market accommodates over 120 specialty vendors who have made the Market their life’s work. Finally, St. Lawrence Hall, built in 1850, houses retail business on the ground floor, city offices on the second and the third floor can be rented out for special events. We talked to Amanda Diep, Program Development Officer for the St. Lawrence Market Complex, to see how they keep things fresh after so many years!

 

Courtesy St. Lawrence Market Complex

 

Amanda, what produce and products are in season this Fall at the Market?

 

Fall harvest in Ontario allows for delicious produce such as flavourful Brussels sprouts, beets and a wide variety of squashes, perfect for homemade soups (one of Fall’s best comfort foods).

 

When does the outdoor market close its doors for the season?

 

Farmers with outdoor stalls generally come inside at the end of October. However, one of the great things about our Farmers Market is that the indoor farmers are open all year round so that our customers always have access to in-season, fresh and locally grown products.

 

Courtesy St. Lawrence Market Complex

 

Are there any fall events at the Market that our readers will want to know about?

 

Readers will be excited to know that “Evening at the Market” is happening again next month onThursday, November 9th. The entire South Market will come alive after hours with cooking demonstrations, live entertainment and chef-inspired dishes from each of our 64 vendors. Proceeds will go to our charity partner Second Harvest. Tickets can be purchased online at www.stlawrencemarket.com.

 

Which vendors in the South Market are the most popular?

 

I think what makes the Market so special is that each vendor is popular for its own special set of products, and locals know it. From Cotton Candy grapes to crocodile steaks and raw vegan to peameal bacon, our customers know that they can always find what they’re looking for at the Market.

 

Courtesy St. Lawrence Market Complex

 

When’s the best time to visit the Market (in your opinion)?

 

Not a lot of people know that we open at 5 a.m. every Saturday morning. That’s when a lot of dedicated customers come to purchase products that sell out quick, such as fiddleheads during springtime. At 5 a.m., the Market is still calm, almost magical, and you can notice a lot of details that you might miss during a busy Saturday afternoon such as the original archways at the Front St. entrance when the space once served as Toronto’s City Hall.

 

That’s so early we might have to take your word for it! St. Lawrence Market has been around for a very long time. Is there anything different about the Market in recent years? What keeps the Market fresh?

 

Our Market Kitchen, which has remained somewhat of a hidden gem over the years, is gaining a large following with the rising popularity of home cooking and baking. The Market Kitchen has a wide variety of classes from Knife Skills to Taste of Tuscany. More details about these courses can be found at http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/events.

Courtesy St Lawrence Market Complex/ Toronto Archives

 

There really is nothing else quite like the St. Lawrence Market. It has stood the test of time and remains a major Toronto landmark and community hub to this day. It connects us to our food and those who provide it, to our community and to our past. It’s life as it was centuries ago, evolved and adapted to suit our needs and wants today. It is an icon of our city.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited is proud to help connect you with all that your community and city have to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street, 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

 

Spice it up at Marigold Indian Restaurant

 

There are several options in the Davisville neighbourhood when you are in the mood for authentic Indian cuisine. They all offer their own version of flavourful classic Indian dishes, heavy on spices and seasoning, that warm up the body and the soul. Most options also go heavy on the oil, butter and cream. It can be delicious, but it may not be very nutritious to eat on a regular basis. Marigold Indian Bistro (552 Mt Pleasant Road) is changing all that. We spoke with owner, Ritu Khadri to find out how they do it differently at Marigold.

 

Courtesy of Marigold Indian Bistro

 

Tell us Ritu, what motivated you to incorporate both traditional and more modern takes on Indian cuisine in your menu?

 

Authentic Indian food calls for lots of oil, or butter, in pretty much everything. It’s a lot of variety, it’s so many spices and herbs from various states of India.  We have blended different combinations and tried to make it more like a healthier version of Indian food. Most of our sauces that we prepare are really healthy. We don’t use lots of oil in everything and not [too many] spices. So it’s like, authentic Indian – still the Indian taste, but considering the healthy aspect of it. So, the quality is better – I would say.

 

Courtesy of Marigold Indian Bistro

 

That sounds like a dream! What are your most popular menu items?

 

Our Butter Chicken ($15.95) is really popular. Our Palak Paneer ($12.95) is really popular. We have some vegan specialty items on the menu that people come for, like our tofu. Our seafood is popular, in particular the Calamari appetizer ($13.95). Aloo tikki is really popular.

 

Courtesy of Marigold Indian Bistro

 

Who doesn’t like butter chicken! Is your butter chicken made in the healthier way that you were talking about?

 

Yes, yes, yes. Most of the Indian restaurants use a lot of cream to prepare butter chicken. We actually cook it with milk. It’s a very healthy version.

 

Courtesy of Marigold Indian Bistro

 

Do you take inspiration for your meals from all over India, or certain regions?

 

It’s actually from all around the country. Some of our dishes are inspired from the North side like Aloo Tikki ($9.95), Dahl Puri ($9.95), you know, more of the yogurt options and more of the street food options are inspired by the North part of India – like, samosas, pakoras and everything, so Punjab and Haryana. Then we have some sauces, like our Goan Seafood Curry ($21.95), it’s a specialty from a region in India – Goa. We have Kerala Fish, which is inspired from the state Kerala which is the South side – so yeah, it’s actually from all over.

 

Courtesy Marigold Indian Bistro

 

Is there anything else that sets Marigold apart from other Indian restaurants in Toronto?

 

As our name suggests it’s a bistro. In terms of what we serve, it’s a fusion of Indian spice with a Canadian taste. So, it’s good for the diversified Canadian crowd as well as the Ayurvedic crowd, so it’s good for both. Every dish of ours has a unique flavour. We use many different types of sauces, and each sauce is extremely different from the others. Most of the other Indian Restaurants, they have a few basic sauces that they are using in all the dishes. Ours is not so. We use many different types of spice. Our pakoras are made of mixed seasonal vegetables, so we keep changing the menu according to [the season]. That’s what makes us different.

 

Courtesy Marigold Indian Bistro

 

What would say is the atmosphere at Marigold Indian Bistro?

 

Considering the ambiance of the place, it’s good for couples as well as for families. We have crowds of all different kinds. Business lunches, family gatherings, big groups coming in for dinner. It’s good for parties. People can book [the entire restaurant] and we close for [private] parties. I think it suits everybody.

 

If you love the flavour of authentic Indian food, and love the idea of a healthier alternative, you owe it to yourself to give Marigold Indian Bistro a try. Their unique take on traditional cuisine is part of what makes this neighbourhood special.
Greenrock Property Management wants to connect you with your community and show you what makes it unique. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

 

Discover the Davisville Village Farmers Market

 

One of the great things about living in Ontario is the abundance of fresh, local and seasonal produce available in the summertime. The Davisville Village Farmers Market is a great nearby market to visit to pick some up this season. The market is open every Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm, from mid-May to early October. It’s part of the Apple Tree family of markets, run by founders Lesley Stoyan and Chris Trussell. We spoke with Lesley to learn more about how this community market has grown and what’s in store for this season!

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

So Lesley, when was the market first opened, and has it grown since?

 

We started our first market at Yonge and Eglinton 10 years ago. So, we’re actually in our tenth season there now. It started off as literally a one-off project. We were asked to coordinate a community event by (former City Councillor) Karen Stintz. We did a one-off market because local foods were just becoming popular in the Toronto community and public market spaces. It was so successful that we decided to keep it going as a regular, weekly thing. So in 2008, The North Toronto Farmers Market opened. It was dubbed The Apple Tree Market. We’ve opened three markets since then. The next market that we opened was Ryerson University, and the Davisville Village Farmers Market was our third. So it’s grown. Those three are our every season, staple, marketplaces but we’ve got over twenty pop-up markets that go on throughout the city, throughout the year. We also run a fresh food program with the TDSB (Toronto District School Board).

 

Wow, you’re making the rounds! Who does the fresh food program serve?

 

(It) predominantly serves Davisville Junior Public School which is at Yonge and Davisville. It’s a farm fresh fare snack program — so that the kids can have fresh fruits and vegetables everyday at school.

 

What a great initiative! Many of our our residents send their children to that public school. The program is free for the kids?

 

It’s subsidized by the TDSB and parents have the option to contribute, if they’d like, but every child gets it. Davisville Village has a very significant, low-income community. A lot of new Canadians making under $25, 000 a year reside here, so Davisville qualifies as a high needs school, so they get a subsidized food program. That’s actually why we started the Apple Tree Group. As I said, it started in 2008 as a one-off, fun project and we’re now a fully registered non-profit and our mission is to build community around food initiatives and family-friendly events. The farmers market is just a small amount of the project work that we do per week. We try to have outdoor, free public events predominantly in Davisville Park. We do the “movie night in the park”, which happens every September. It’s a free movie for everybody to attend. We build a skating rink in Davisville Park that everyone is able to come out and enjoy in the winter as well. We also do a Pumpkin Parade. We’re doing something called the Apple Seed and Kernel Festival this year, which is a big apple harvest festival, so kids can come out and have a fun day. There’s farmers and bouncy castles and everything is free to ensure that the neighbourhood, the people that can’t afford it, can take part in it.

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

What a wonderful and fun way to reach out and engage with the community! What is your role at Apple Tree?

 

I’m the co-founder, with my husband (co-founder, Chris Trussell). It’s honestly just the two of us that do 90% of the work. We have a handful of contractors that we bring onboard when it gets to be too much. We hope to be able to grow that number so that we can continue to grow and keep spreading out the volume of work. My focus is mostly on family health education. Around the farmers markets we do a lot of things. We offer free recipes and educational workshops, we teach cooking classes in the public schools. At all of our events, we often have fresh food and food tastings. I curate the menu. I studied holistic nutrition in school, so I do a lot of the programming ideas and my husband, Chris, does most of the executive direction, the planning, the logistics, the operation, that sort of thing.

 

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

Sounds like a small but mighty operation! How many vendors serve the Davisville Village Farmers market?

 

In the Apple Tree Family of vendors, so that’s anybody who’s part of our organization, I think our membership is at sixty-five vendors this year. That means whenever we do an event, we can pool from our family of vendors. For the Davisville Market I think we’re just shy of 40 vendors this year.

 

And what types of products do they sell?

 

The market really represents the complete bounty of the Ontario harvest. In May we have the early spring vegetables. This year it happened quite early, we had asparagus, strawberries pretty much right out of that. We’ve got all the greenhouse, year-round vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, peppers – all the things that you can now have year long. You can actually have strawberries now, year long. There’s something called an ever-bearing strawberry! As the season progresses, you get into the more seasonal stuff. So, rasberry season just ended. Raspberries are pretty well done. Peaches just came out, corn just came out, again, a little bit early because of how much rain we’ve had. We’ve got a full gamut of everything that is Ontario, plus a few unique products that people may not know about. One of our vendors carries more of the exotic Ontario fruits and vegetables – which is really fun to showcase, especially when we get back in the school year. There is something called a northern Kiwi, that is grown in Ontario. We get to showcase that…

 

Then we’ve got wonderful, ready-made foods. There are a large percentage of shoppers that want grab-and-go, so we’ve got soups and tacos, pre-made salads and bottled juices, hummus, fresh pastas and olive oils, and fresh breads, fresh cheeses. All the things you want to pick up so that you don’t have to make dinner.

 

What a bounty! What is the season for the Davisville Village Market?

 

We usually open in the second week in May, and we close right before Thanksgiving.

 

Do you host any special events that close out the season?

 

A bunch of things, actually! We’ve got our movie night in the park – that’s always the lead up to the end of the season – which is on September 22nd. The Seed and Kernel Festival is the next day, on September 23rd. Then on the last day of the market we do a couple of things. We have the New Vendor Showcase. There are so many young businesses that want to get into selling food, but they may not have the capacity, they may not have the volume, the stock. We give new chefs and new producers or new farmers a one day time when they can come and introduce themselves to the community. We always do that on the last day. Then we have a big harvest party when it’s all over!

 

Sounds like a lot of fun! We can’t wait to come by and dig in. Thanks for speaking with us, Lesley!

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to connect you with your community. For information onGreenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

Discover amazing dishes at Lola’s Kitchen!

Discover amazing dishes at Lola's Kitchen!

Discover amazing dishes at Lola’s Kitchen!

 

Tucked away in the heart of Old Toronto, only steps away from Yorkville and Church and Wellesley Village, you’ll find Lola’s Kitchen. The hidden gem is housed in a classic Victorian Mansion at 634 Church Street.  Lola’s has been serving high quality comfort food in a casual and relaxed atmosphere since 2009. We spoke with General Manager, Spencer Reynolds to find out what makes Lola’s Kitchen work so well.

 

At Lola’s Kitchen, they pride themselves on a fresh, from-scratch menu. “With the exception of bread and desserts, we make everything in house! We even make our own ketchup”, Spencer says. Lola’s features naturally raised, local meats, fresh organic produce and serve only local craft beers. They also offer a great selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, and even made our list of The Best Restaurants with Gluten Free Options. As Spencer tells us:


Lola’s has evolved over time into the restaurant we know and love today. Established in 2009, Lola’s has always made a point of keeping things fresh and changing our menu to suit the trends. We try to stay current!

photo courtesy of Lola's Kitchen

photo courtesy of Lola’s Kitchen

 

Even though Lola’s Kitchen is constantly evolving and changing to stay current and cater to the tastes of their clientele, they manage to stay true to themselves and the spirit of neighbourhood.


 

The Church St. corridor has always informed the ethos at Lola’s Kitchen and has definitely become our home. The community that surrounds us, especially throughout the summer months in which the Pride parade goes right past our door, is an integral part of what we do.

photo courtesy of Lola's Kitchen

photo courtesy of Lola’s Kitchen

 

Lola’s patio is the perfect place to watch the parade go by, or simply to settle in and enjoy the all-too-short summer season with a friend or two and a drink or two. When the weather isn’t cooperating, don’t let it rain on your parade – the interior atmosphere at Lola’s is relaxed, comfortable and inviting. It’s no wonder Lola’s attracts a wide spectrum clientele from all walks of life.

 

We have a great mix of clients. Many people love the menu for being accommodating, while others love the proximity to work and the quick service. The brunch crowd is usually younger and more diverse, while the lunch and dinner crowd are the regulars: our die hard fans.

photo courtesy of Lola's Kitchen

photo courtesy of Lola’s Kitchen

 

And those die hard fans keep growing. Lola’s doesn’t need to be flashy or loud to attract your attention. If you go there once, chances are you’ll be back. The food, the friendly service and the easy-going vibe make Lola’s easy to come back to. If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating at Lola’s, Spencer recommends the California Bowl ($15.50) – black and purple kale, organic quinoa or brown rice, avocado, sundried tomatoes, toasted organic nuts and seeds, sweet cider vinaigrette and grilled organic tofu (or substitute chicken breast for $2). “The California Bowl is by far our most popular item; healthful, simple, delicious.”

 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxed weekend brunch, a quick workday lunch or a delicious dinner, Lola’s Kitchen is truly your friendly, neighbourhood hangout and a proud member of the community. Come home to Lola’s kitchen, you’ll be glad you did!

 

Greenrock is also a proud member of the Church and Wellesley community. For information on ourVillage Green Community at 50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street, please visit our website.


The Best Restaurants with Gluten Free Options (Near Yonge & Bloor)

 

The Best Restaurants with Gluten Free Options (Near Yonge & Bloor)

 

Many people avoid gluten. Whether it is the due to celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, a wheat allergy or for other reasons, there are a growing number of people actively looking for great tasting alternatives. If you’re avoiding gluten, you’re in luck! It has never been easier to find delicious gluten free food. The chances are, no matter where you live, you can find a restaurant that has at least one meal option for this dietary restriction. The tricky part can be finding a place that has more than one. We want to give you a few solid options, so here are three of the best restaurants with gluten free menu items near Yonge and Bloor in Toronto. These establishments won’t make you feel like you’re missing out on anything.

 

Lola’s Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Lola’s Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Lola’s Kitchen

 

Lola’s Kitchen is located in a charming Victorian mansion at 634 Church Street. It’s easy to get to, but just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Bloor Street. A visit to Lola’s feels like you’re coming home, or to a friend’s place. The interior is elegant and understated, but still warm and inviting. The chairs are comfortable and you get the feeling that you’re being taken care of. “Lola’s Kitchen has always offered gluten free options because our community is diverse and has complex needs!”, says General Manager, Spencer Reynolds. Lola’s Kitchen is a “from scratch kitchen”.

 

We pride ourselves on using small batches. With the exception of bread and desserts, we make everything in house! We even make our own ketchup.

Spencer recommends trying something from Lola’s gluten free fryer. “Our tortilla chips are hand cut and fried, and there are lots of amazing garnishes (like crispy leeks, capers and chickpeas) that aren’t often accessible to people with gluten intolerance.”

When we dine gluten free at Lola’s we love to order The Sante Fe Bowl ($16). It features organic brown rice, black beans, guacamole, roasted corn, grilled sweet potato, romaine, green onions, pico de gallo, crispy tortillas and yogurt lime drizzle.  If you’ve never experienced Lola’s kitchen before, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

 

Urban Herbivore

Photo courtesy of Urban Herbivore

Photo courtesy of Urban Herbivore

 

Urban Herbivore is a vegetarian restaurant that started out in Kensington Market. It has grown to open locations on College Street, the Eaton Centre and has another on they way in Union Station. They are a trusted source for gluten free and vegan meals and an incredible option for people on special diets looking to enjoy a meal close to home or on the go. General Manager Angelo Filaccio tells us:

 

We have offered gluten free items from the beginning. We realized that we could serve the largest number of vegans by making our entire Fresh and Custom Bowl menu gluten free. The grains we offer pack a great protein punch while being safe for gluten sensitive guests, and we only use gluten free soy sauce.

They have an entirely gluten free salad bar, custom bowls, baked goods, as well as soups and stews. Try their perfectly seasoned, hearty Moroccan Stew with tomato, sweet potato, tofu steaks, brown and black rice, and lots of chunky veggies – just hold the breadstick! Angelo adds:

 

Our kitchen is actually gluten free.  All of our baked goods are made in our bakery which is on the second floor of our Kensington Market location.  We make our breads there so while we have wheat flour in our bakery we do our best to keep any gluten out of our cupcakes and other gluten free treats.  We make almost all of our food from scratch in our kitchen and bakery at Kensington Market.

At Urban Herbivore, they take gluten free seriously and their menu was designed with gluten free top of mind, not an afterthought. Drop by any of their locations for fast, fresh and delicious gluten free fare.

 

Planta

Photo courtesy of Planta

Photo courtesy of Planta

 

If you are looking for an elegant and upscale option for gluten free and plant-based dining, look no further than Planta in Yorkville (1221 Bay Street). As Steven Salm, President of Chase Hospitality Group (owners of Planta) told us recently: “Our inspiration was to provide a full service, experience based restaurant”. As soon as you step inside Planta, you know that you are in for a special experience. The high ceilings, loads of natural light and elegant decor provide the perfect setting to enjoy some fabulous food.

 

Planta offers a wide selection of gluten free options. All of their pizzas are available with gluten free crust. Their salads are amazing! You have to try the Habibi ($17.25) with cauliflower couscous, split pea fritters, lentils, parsley, mint, coriander, currants, sumac, za’atar and tahini dressing. Their No Noodle Lasagne ($21.50) is also something special to experience, featuring butternut squash, eggplant and smoked vegan ricotta.

 

We love everything about Planta, we even featured them as one of the Best Healthy Restaurants in Toronto.

 

Going gluten free no longer means going without. We hope these exceptional restaurants with gluten free options expand your healthy horizons.

 

Check out Greenrock’s blog to learn about more ways to experience the best of what your neighbourhood has to offer. Greenrock Property Management is proud to be a part of the Yonge and Bloor community. For information on the Village Green Community, please see our website.

The Best Healthy Restaurants in Toronto

The best healthy restaurants in Toronto

Many of us are trying to eat healthier these days. Changing our diet can help us feel better, look better, have more energy, and can even be better for the planet. It’s not always easy to make healthy choices, especially when dining out. When we are at home, in our own kitchen, we can control what goes into every meal, but who wants to eat at home for every meal? If you’re looking for guilt-free, gourmet meals out on the town, the Greenrock blog team has you covered with the best healthy restaurants in Toronto. We connected with the owners of three amazing healthy restaurants to get their recommendations on what to order. Let’s dig in!

 

Hibiscus

 

Hibiscus Cafe (238 Augusta Avenue) feels right at home in the heart of Toronto’s hip Kensington Market neighbourhood. It was created with the idea of providing a unique menu of gluten-free, vegetarian entrees. Andrey Malkov and his family bought Hibiscus four years ago. They “loved the menu and started to use organic, and, when in season, local ingredients”, expanding and strengthening the cafe’s original mission to provide great tasting, nutritious food.

 

The soup and salad combo is a quick and delicious, nutrient dense meal to try. If you’re coming for brunch, Andrey recommends the vegan mozzarella, mushroom, tomato and basil crepe ($15). Be sure to save room for their coconut sea buckthorn ice cream for dessert.

 

Andrey and his family are committed to creating healthy and nutritious food “made of sustainably grown ingredients, with attention and love”.

Photo courtesy of Hibiscus Cafe

Live Organic Food Bar

 

Live Organic Food Bar was created by Jennifer Italiano and her brother Christopher in 2000. It began as an organic juice bar. The siblings “were highly into organic food and supporting local farmers and believed in wholefoods. Nothing from a package or with a label that we could not pronounce”, says Italiano. Jennifer started getting into raw foods around the same time and says “we took our café from only serving cooked vegan foods to specializing in raw foods too. We were the first in the city to offer such cuisine.” Considering how popular raw food is in Toronto today, they sort of started a movement.

 

If you are new to Live and the raw food experience, Jennifer highly recommends the Raw Combo ($22). It’s been on the menu since day one and it gives you a taste of Live’s manicotti, tostadas, teriyaki noodle stir fry, and pierogis.

 

Live serves a delicious array of raw and cooked menu items, and even sells their own line of products. They have been committed to working with sustainable organic farmers since 2002. The entire menu is organic, vegan, gluten and wheat free with no refined sugars or GMO’s and is locally sourced whenever possible. There are two Live Organic Food Bars to choose from — the original Annex location at 264 Dupont and 134 Atlantic Avenue in Liberty Village.

Photo courtesy of Live Organic Food Bar

Planta

 

Planta was created by the Chase Hospitality Group. The group partnered with Chef David Lee to fill a void. In the words of Steven Salms, president of CHG, the “inspiration was to provide a full service, experience based restaurant that gave diners an option to dine out that didn’t include the use of animal products”. They are committed to using high quality ingredients from ethical suppliers so that they can be proud of the food they serve.

 

You can taste the pride and commitment to quality in every dish at Planta. From spectacular salads and impressive pizzas (gluten-free crust available), to Mr. Salms personal favourite menu item, The Planta Burger ($18.75). The burger is loaded with queso, mushroom bacon, pickles, tomatillo mayo and served with spiced fries.

 

Planta is located in the vibrant Bay and Bloor area of Yorkville, at 1221 Bay Street and fits in perfectly in the neighbourhood. They passionately provide an upscale, plant based dining experience that celebrates innovative cuisine in a beautiful environment.

Photo courtesy of Planta

Living and eating healthy is it’s own reward. We hope that these delicious healthy restaurant suggestions help make sticking to your goals a little easier this year.

 

For information on Greenrock Property Management and Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, please see our website.