December in the Six (do we still call it that?) is a boon to local Toronto businesses, restaurants and hotels. From festive soirees to New Years Eve magic, all you double-vaxxed do-gooder citizens have much to celebrate closing out this rather rocky year. 2022 is on our doorstep, let’s hope for the best 💯

Here’s what’s happening around Toronto this month.

The Distillery Winter Village is bringing festive magic back to the Distillery District. The unofficial kick-off to all things Christmas is back and brighter than ever. Open daily, stay up to date on socials to track Santa, shop hours and more.

If you like beer and puppies then you’ll probably be streaming Letterkenny all Christmas long, but a week earlier could see your fuzzy friend snuggle with a Santa-themed portrait courtesy our friends at Coors Light. Two days only, lucky ones to snag tickets found them at coorslight.com/puparazzi.

The One of a Kind Show is back, and we hear it’s not as sad or lonely as we suspected. Rush and get your hands on some real finds- show runs until December 5th.

T&T announced they would be opening in early 2022 in the old Sears spot at Fairview Mall, dropping our favourite Asian grocery store into a pretty accessible pocket, with heaps of free parking and a TTC subway stop? Sounds rational, you sure this is right?

forbes syrups
One of our fave finds from OOAK!

NOW OPEN

Our friends at Forbes Wild Foods moved earlier this fall to a new splashy spot at 1385 Danforth. Known as the place to meet at OOAK, this bricks and mortar means year-round access to their foragy finds, like wild mushrooms or super-ultra dark maple syrup.

Bannock is now Sap. That’s it, that’s the text! While O&B quietly renamed this vintage spot, their board game-esque invasion continues, snapping up the Duke of Richmond across the street. Word is also confirming a buyout of a few select Grant van Gameren’s restaurants from the aptly named Overbudget Inc, including Rosalinda which just launched their new menu late last month. Stay tuned as we pump our friends for more intel on this juicy story!

rosalinda
Rosalinda

Chef Nuit Regular had a successful popup with her friends at The Fifth/Rendezviews on Richmond Street, so it only makes sense to double-down with Selva, the newest offering under Chef’s careful guard. Selva features a very vegetarian and keto-friendly menu, of course with the creative flourishes and seasonings we’ve long celebrated Nuit for.

Culinary Director Ben Heaton

Ben Heaton is now holding court at Isabelle Restaurant, nestled in at the Pearle Hotel and Spa. This beautiful lakeside property boasts all the finer things in west-end living, including a slick interior design from our friends at Studio Munge. Formerly of Byblos, Chef Ben is a big name attraction to dining in 905, damn, Toronto’s loss.

Praise Bottle Shop enlisted the help of the postage-stamp-size kitchen crusader Chef Doug Penfold to create a culinary menu that is thoughtful, tasty and easy to manage at this darling Bloor + Shaw bottle shop and wine bar. If I could copycat this place and reopen a stumble home from my house, I would. It’s cozy and warm, inviting and exciting. Have a glass, grab a bottle for home or meet friends downstairs in the scotch den. Yes! Stay tuned for more on this Gargoyle Wine Club bricks and mortar.

Alpine Spritz at Joni’s fantastic bar

With the dust settling on the historic Park Hyatt it’s a fine time to celebrate with a glamourous reopening. Joni is the jewel of this rebuild, a bistro built for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Read about my new favourite Yorkville hangout here.

Craigs Cookies is open at Yorkdale Mall. Setting up shop by the TTC Subway entrance, which is alarmingly close to Lululemon and Sporting Life, get those steps in!

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! is calling themselves a Southwest Cantina, flowing with tequila, tacos and “groovy” vibes, we’ll reserve judgement until we can hop in there ourselves. If you see a dazed and confused bunny, you’ve arrived at the right place.

If you opted in for GA’s super-popular frozen pizza subscription service you may not have missed a beat, but for the rest of us with limited freezer space we waited for the doors to blow back open at their Adelaide location that closed in March 2020. Welcome back crusty friends.

Gladstone House’s Bistro+Bar is back. Helming the new space is Chef Richard Singh, who hails from some heavyweight houses in NYC (Per Se), Copenhagen and London proper. Expect some upgrades on room service!

COMING SOON

Track and Field has been flirting with a menage on their social media posts, and the big reveal is set for December 3rd. Joining Bangarang and taking over the top floor of Track and Field, Hail Mary Bar is ready to rollout the cocktails and chaos, just in time for Christmas. Cheers!

Fair-trade, organic and from Toronto, Avoca Chocolates checks all the boxes, and now can check another box, a prime Ossington Avenue location, which just happens to be their biggest yet. With locations in Leaside and on The Danforth, this west-end spot is sure to save some east-end commutes. Stay tuned for more on this family-run shop.

Nu Bügel at Midtown is getting ready to roll! Best known for their original location in Kensington Market, Yonge Street will see the second location open this fall.

CLOSING TIME

Carole Nelson Brown
Carole Nelson Brown running things at The Depanneur

After a historic run on College Street, The Depanneur is closing this month. Owner Len cited a sabbatical year to regroup and focus on the Dep’s cookbook launch.

TASTE OF THE MONTH

kitchen hub- le dolci

We LOVE celebrating. Anything counts really. Got your laundry done? Cake party. Kids made curfew? Cake party. Order up- our friends at Le Dolci are delivering thru Kitchen Hub.

Got a burning food tip? Hit us up! food@auburnlane.com

All photos by Libby Roach.