Ah, August! The past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind, but we’ve made it to Summer and with many of Old Town Toronto’s fine establishments once again open for business, we can’t help but feel like celebrating with a full day in the neighbourhood catching the sights, tasting the food, and enjoying the sun!
But let’s face it, Toronto summers are a bit…unique with their mix of regular summer heat and humidity that can make even the coolest customer turn into a puddle of sweat. But while the warmth may have you wanting to retreat back into your fully air conditioned homes we’d like to give a gentle reminder that there’s more than one way to beat the heat and the whole family can do so while enjoying the wonders that Old Town Toronto has to offer!
I Scream For Ice Cream
Is there anything more nostalgic and comforting than ice cream? Whether it’s a pint in the freezer we sneak spoonfuls of during the day or rapidly melting in a cone outside, the creamy, cold, and sweet dessert is one of our favourite treats for the summer time.
Thankfully we have no shortage of excellent spots for good ice cream. NEO Coffee Bar, known for their inventive and refined dessert items, has house made ice cream and sorbet. Their Madagascar Vanilla ice cream is an elevated classic and the Yuzu Honey sorbet is a welcome bright note in the muggy Toronto heat.
If you find yourself having dinner at CC Lounge and Whisky Bar, their rotating ice cream selection makes for a wonderful dessert. Additionally St. Lawrence Pizza & Pasta in the market is well-known for their wide variety of hand scooped ice creams and Café Oro di Napoli has a lovely selection of authentic Italian gelato
Berry Smooth Smoothies & Juices
If you’re feeling like a good cool drink to beat the heat while on the go, the humble smoothie or freshly squeezed juice has always been a favourite. You can customize them for any flavour combination you want while also reaping the nutritional benefits of the ingredients! But let’s face it, while the health benefits are great, they just taste amazing. For us, a mango smoothie does wonders to help us appreciate the summer heat.
One of the obvious choices for excellent smoothies and juices is our very own Fresh on Front. The Healer, a juice with turmeric root, celery, ginger, orange, pineapple, and lemon, is particularly popular and smoothies such as the Galaxy that has passionfruit, mango, oat milk, banana, cold pressed organic orange and lemon is a guaranteed fresh cold breeze in the face of heat.
For other juicy locations, the St. Lawrence Juice Bar in the market has a wonderful selection of cold-pressed juices that can be customized to your tastes and made to order. You can even take some home with you to store in the fridge for the next time you’re feeling like a cool break.
Coffee and Tea With a Breeze
One of our favourite ways of keeping cool is definitely the most urban one. Afterall, nothing screams “city life” like walking around a fashionable part of town with an iced coffee or tea in hand.
Balzac’s Coffee Roasters has stood as one of the best coffee chains in the city and for good reason. Their fresh roasted coffees are the stuff of legend and it should come as no surprise that their iced coffees are the same. Another OTT favourite, Versus Coffee, has an iced version for practically every type of coffee, from an iced americano and cappuccino to a latte and flat white. And if you don’t feel like that, their nitro cold brew makes for a gentle, creamy, and wonderful cold drink.
Meanwhile if it’s iced teas you’re after, Rooster Coffee House has a modest selection including a decadent peach iced tea made with fresh-pressed peaches and Chatime is known for their signature bubble teas that are nothing short of an experience for the senses (We recommend the mango grapefruit tea with coconut jelly).