Autumn in Toronto is magical. The leaves begin to change, patio beers make way for underground cocktail bars, and a golden haze falls over the city. It’s a different Toronto than we know from the summer. As the temperatures wind down, we find refuge in cooking hearty meals and making our homes cozy and inviting. It’s a great time of the year to reflect, start new hobbies, and change our routines.
Some great ideas for enjoying fall in the city include exploring the University of Toronto campus, spending a day at the St. Lawrence Market, and people watching in Kensington Market.
We Torontonians are lucky because we experience one of the most beautiful fall seasons in the world. From late September to early December, we have perfect fall weather, and the leaves of our native trees turn to a rainbow of reds and oranges. Walking through the University of Toronto campus as the leaves are changing is a great way to experience the autumn season. The distinct Victorian and Gothic architecture framed by the old and colourful trees provide a picturesque backdrop to the hustle and bustle of the urban campus. Start your route on Philosopher’s Walk, and make your way to the Isabel Bader Theatre and E.J. Pratt Library in the Victoria College campus – both buildings boast notable architecture. Walk through Queen’s Park onto Hoskin Avenue, and end your course within the beautiful tree-lined residential streets of Harbord Village.
Although the St. Lawrence Market is open all year round, autumn is by far the best time to visit. Vibrant root vegetables, and pumpkins, squash, and gourds are in abundance, and there’s a distinct feeling of excitement for what’s to come in the air. On Saturdays, a local farmer’s market opens in the lot south of the main building, where you can stock up on beautiful produce grown only a few hours outside of the city. It’s easy to spend an entire Saturday morning here, so grab a coffee at Balzac’s on Market Street and snack your way through the stalls of the St. Lawrence Market.
Kensington Market is another great place to spend a crisp, fall Sunday. Fika, a Swedish-inspired cafe located in the heart of Kensington Market, plays up the fall ambiance well with their cardamom-spiced lattes and warm cinnamon buns fresh from the oven. The bright turquoise cafe, which is retrofitted into an old Toronto Victorian, has two outdoor patios, which provide the perfect atmosphere for people watching with a warm drink. On the last Sunday of the month, Kensington Market hosts an event called Pedestrian Sunday, where the streets are shut down to make way for street performers, local artisans and crafts, and international food trucks. The last one of the year is October 25th and is a guaranteed perfect way to enjoy a visit to Kensington this fall – so don’t miss it.
My name is Alana de Haan and I am a photographer and designer based in Toronto. I will be your contributor to the Beringer Brunch Journal.