Greenwood and Gerrard is part of the vibrant Gerrard India Bazaar. The area has long been a favourite neighbourhood in the East End thanks to its strong sense of community, diverse shops and galleries, and continued celebration of South Asian culture.
According to resident, Tyler Wonsey what makes Gerrard India Bazaar so special is “the neighbourhood itself…the festivities…the sense of safety, [it’s] a good community.”
WALK SCORE: 91
TIME TO THE DOWNTOWN CORE:
TTC: 35 minutes
Car: 14 minutes
Bike: 21 minutes
Walk: More than one hour
Streetcar: 306 / 506 Carlton
Bus: 31 Greenwood / 83 Jones
WHERE TO EAT
A small and endlessly charming spot at 226 Greenwood Avenue, Maha’s is an Egyptian restaurant that has become so popular, finding a seat will likely be your biggest (and only) issue with this place.
Run by Maha Barsoom, her daughter/sous-chef Monika Wahba, and son Mark Wahba, the family works to make the meals as delightful as the ambience in the bright, sunny restaurant – much of which is inspired by Cairo, where Barsoom grew up.
Mostly known for their brunch, Maha’s serves up Egyptian cuisine such as their ‘Pharaoh’s Po’ Boy’– on their menu as “authentic Cairo street food” with deep fried baby shrimp drizzled with tehina and tomeya and stuffed in a pita – and sometimes adds a slightly Canadian twist (Think: date grilled cheese).
A taste of culture, Tea n Bannock offers up authentic First Nations cooking and twists on traditional dishes that underscore its motto “Where the past and the present meet”. Its belly-filling menu – available for sit in, take out, or catering – includes elk-venison stew, bison burgers and the “hungry fisherman”, made up of pan-fried or grilled fish with rice, mashed potatoes, coleslaw and unlimited bannock. The restaurant just celebrated its 5th anniversary with a Navaho Indian Taco special – fry-bread topped with taco sauce, meat and all that good stuff.
WHERE TO CAFFEINATE
Tucked away in the Circus Academy building, Sideshow Cafe is hard to spot. But the tiny coffee shop packs a punch, and while the decor doesn’t exactly scream modern, it does have the quirky charm one might expect from a coffee shop connected to a circus. Come for the coffee, tea and pastries but enjoy the atmosphere while you’re there.
Riverdale Hub is an East End social enterprise located in a historic building that houses the Riverdale Gallery and the Social Gardener Cafe. The hub focuses on a number of green initiatives, like their latest three-part garden initiative which will include developing a green roof, a rooftop vegetable garden and a rainwater garden on the building. It also acts as a coworking space for freelancers and those looking for a remote office community.
Those interested in joining the community or using the space can email firstname.lastname@example.org
WHERE TO PLAY
Lush Greenwood Park is located just south of Gerrard Street East and north of Dundas Street East. The 6.2 hectare park features two baseball diamonds, a sports field, an off-leash dog park, community garden, splash pad and a children’s playground.
The park is also home to the city’s first covered outdoor ice rink for the winter months, and has an outdoor pool for the summer months.
Plenty of events are held here throughout the year including the popular Winterfest event.
NEW TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
East Village Leslieville townhomes, located on 1321 Gerrard Street East is currently nearing completion and consists of 31 modern residences in the form of stacked townhomes. A collaborative project between Aykler Developments and Urban Fabric Development, East Village combines the allure of clean and modern lines with the serenity of added greenery. More than half of the residences in the complex come with rooftop terraces and skyline views overlooking the city.
The annual Baisakhi Festival took place this past weekend and showcased much of the arts and culture that makes Gerrard India Bazaar so special. Baisakhi is traditionally a Sikh festival meant to mark the arrival of harvesting season. To celebrate, the festival featured dance, live music, face painting, free food sampling and a host of exuberant colour and excitement.