(Image by Michelle Jun)
Happy first day of Toronto Fashion Week everyone! What better way to celebrate than with a City Guide highlighting this fine city? For this feature, I called upon my dear friend Steven Lee, founder of streetstyle blog, Silhouetted Skyline, and Art Director at The Bay’s B-Insider.com. Steven has particular taste and is an appreciator of everything from great food to fashion. He’s a foodie, just like me, and his frequent food pics on instagram have always got me intrigued about where and what he is eating. Steven and I have collaborated on many occasions for What I Wore and he has captured some of my favourite images since day one of GracieCarroll.com. I’m ecstatic to work with him again over fashion week this season and hope you enjoy his fantastic guide to Toronto as much as I do. Take it away, Steven!
CITY GUIDE: STEVEN’S TORONTO
Where to Eat:
Lunch: One of my very good friends introduced me to a fairly new restaurant called Sabai Sabai, located on Church and Dundas. It’s owned by the former owners of Khao San Road, but doesn’t involve the long wait. While Khao San Road excels in its pad thai (which I also recommend, if you are willing to wait for hours during rush hour), Sabai Sabai offers a more intimate menu. The Crispy Fried Fish with Tamarind Sauce and The Morning Glory are two of my favourite dishes and absolute musts. Just don’t be surprised if you end up ordering more than one dish of each. Banh Mi Boys, on Queen and Spadina, is also a good spot to grab good sandwiches and steamed buns.
Dinner: One of my favourite places to grab sushi with friends is Japango on Dundas and Elizabeth. This charming restaurant comes with very high recommendations (from celebrities to magazines) but I would suggest getting reservations, due to their restricted space. One of the dishes you absolutely have to try is the Japango roll. I have not had any sushi rolls like this anywhere else. If you’re up to try somewhere a little more fun and energetic, Guu Izakaya has never disappointed. And the fact that they now take reservations only makes it better, as the line to grab seats always gets a little long. Keep an eye out for the specials of the day- both in the food and drink categories. Similar to Guu is newly opened Kingyo, located in Cabbage Town. The interiors are very nicely done (aquarium table anyone?) and the staff members are some of the nicest I’ve met, but most importantly, the food is delicious! Although a bit on the steep price, the stone-grilled Kobe Beef is to die for, and so is the Almond Tofu for dessert.
Where to Shop:
Wardrobe: In the past, I have worked with Holt Renfrew and their blog, taking streetstyle photos for the ‘What’s In Your Bag‘ section. Being there every weekend, I became quite acquainted with some of their associates, so it’s always nice for me to go back and see these familiar faces. I am also very impressed with The Hudson’s Bay Company’s menswear selection. They carry a lot of nice brands like Opening Ceremony, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Band of Outsiders, and their Home selection always leaves me wanting to buy stuff that I didn’t know I wanted in the first place- they’re the only store in Toronto where I’ve seen the Maison Martin Margiela Champagne Buckets. I also love to walk along Queen St. West and look at all the vintage stores. Sometimes you can find unexpected little treasures. Philip Sparks is one of my favourite Canadian designers and his store is always nice to be in. I love his aesthetics and style! Plus it’s always great to support local talents. Nomad and Haven are two stores that you also have to check out if you’re looking for menswear.
Bookshelf: I’m always looking for inspiration, seeing how I work in a creative field. I collect coffee table books and I’m always on the lookout for new pieces. Whenever I have time on my hands, I like to drop by BMV on Edward Street. They always have some good selections of second-hand Fashion, Design and Art coffee table books- if you’re lucky, you can find some amazing stuff at affordable prices; I got 2 of my Louis Vuitton books there. Two places I also like to go to are Type and The Paper Place, right across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Drop in Type to look at books and sagazines, they have a nice selection and the store feels really cozy and welcoming. Right after you’re done, jump next door to The Paper Place. If you love stationary and other cool things, you’ll definitely be in paradise. You can literally buy any of their Japanese paper, frame it and you’ll have a piece of art. And if you have a little craving, Nadege is right across the street. Macarons certainly help finding inspiration, right?
Where to… get the best streetstyle photos:
When I’m not working, shopping or eating, I’m usually walking on the streets of Toronto, looking for streetstyle images. Now the answer to the question ‘Where to find the best streetstyle’ is absolutely subjective, and the answer will always change depending on which photographer you ask, but to me, my two favourite spots have always been Queen St. West and Yorkville. The streets are where I’ve met a lot of my friends (I’m looking at you, Gracie Carroll. I still remember the exact spot where I took your photo for the first time) and where a lot of my inspirations come from. It’s where my blog started and in a way, it’s where my career started (as weird as that sounds!).
Take a look at some of my favourite shots by Steven below!