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Mar 7, 2011 08:04 AM

business trip help needed (toronto, yorkdale, fine dining single dinners)

Hi, I will be staying for business at the yorkdale holiday inn for 3 days late march.
I am looking to take the subway at night into town and have 3 delicious meals while in toronto.
I will be eating alone, I just to enjoy great food, more on the fine dining-american contemporary side.
Any chance you have recommendations?
So far considering canoe, lee and origin.. but have to check how accessible they are.

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  1. You've picked 3 good and very different choices that still fall within your criteria. All three are easily walkable from a subway stop, with Canoe right on the subway line and Lee probably being the furthest (though you could hop on the King streetcar to avoid the walk).

    Is there anything in particular that you look for in terms of the atmosphere? As I said, your three choices are all quite different. Canoe is formal fine dining, with a great view (get a window table if you can), Origin is industrial hip with a great buzz (get a seat at the chef's bar if you can, so you an watch the chefs in action) and Lee is :) The food at all three are very different, as well.

    As you probably know, the area around the Yorkdale Holiday is a bit of a culinary wasteland, so taking the subway into the city is definitely your best bet.

    1. In case you didn't know this the Holiday Inn Yorkdale is not exactly handy to the Yorkdale subway station, especially outside mall opening hours it's a rather long and inhospitable walk crossing a very busy street and a lot of parking lots. There is however a bus stop for the 29 Dufferin bus at the corner of Dufferin and Bridgeland quite close to the hotel, it's probably better to catch the bus going North for a short ride to Wilson Station (and subway from there). Check the schedules on the ttc web site before you head out.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bytepusher

        Or maybe kirikara should ask if the hotel has a shuttle to the subway, which they probably have. Otherwise, you are correct, it's a bit of a walk in cold weather.

      2. As already mentioned - it's a bleak walk to the subway - but if you can figure out how to use the bus it's a bit better. Difficulty is to get/have some tickets/tokens (and possibly use transfers) as the bus drivers don't make change or sell passes.

        That said, the 'north to Wilson' strategy makes the most sense.

        But you might also add Chiado to your list as fine Portuguese dining is not common in North America - and the SOUTHBOUND Dufferin bus stops at College Street (maybe a 5-10 minute walk east from there). Their 'sometimes open wine bar' Senhor Antonhio is a worthwhile destination (within the restaurant) but at slow times they sometimes shut this down and give you table-service (from the wine-bar menu).
        I'd place Chiado and Canoe at the 'most-formal' end of the dining spectrum (albeit entirely different), with both Lee and Origin being much 'trendier and noisier' but food at each is usually pretty good. All require reservations to be safe.
        Lee & Origin are 'small plates' concepts whereas Chiado and Canoe are more conventional restaurants (although at Senhor Antonhio it's tapas style - which tend to be smaller than the 'small plates' which more resemble appetizers).

        864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

        7 Replies
        1. re: estufarian

          thanks everyone.. It is my first time there.. so this is all quite new. I was in toronto last November but with a group and did no do anything on my own.
          I have asked to stay downtown and take the subway to the mall rather than the opposite but I dont think that will happen.
          I am also a little worried about that walk through the mall/parking lot.. I dont really like the idea and would much rather spend 30 minutes in the subway..
          Thanks for all your advices.. I will check with the hotel on the shuttle, I sure hope they have one! Not sure I will be ready to take a bus.. I can handle the subway but the whole bus is another level of confusion :)
          I will definitely make reservation for all 3.

          1. re: kirikara

            The area is completely safe - it's just that, if walking, it's totally uninteresting - and also a 15 min walk to the subway - and there won't be many pedestrians on that part of Dufferin, as it's near an off ramp from the highway.

            1. re: estufarian

              As noted, the hotel you're staying at is at one of the dreariest, bleakest intersections in the city's northwest. A busy major highway almost out your window to the north, a huge shopping mall to the east, on the eastern fringes of which is the Yorkdale subway station entrance. And though it's doubtless safe, as estufarian has pointed out, the walk to the subway is kinda depressing. If you decide to hoof it to the subway, you will be a figure of wonder and fascination to occupants of cars and trucks zipping by on Dufferin St. The whole exercise would certainly put me off my feed. But given its room rates, I'd be surprised if the hotel doesn't have some method of swiftly getting you to the subway. And the front desk will unquestionably be used to advising guests on how to efficiently get out of the Holiday Inn ghetto by bus, subway and other transportation methods. Otherwise, no one would ever want to stay there (more than once).

              The restos suggested, as per your criteria, are spot on. I hope you're on your company's expense account, through. Canoe and Chiado are a stiff jolt.

              1. re: estufarian

                No area is "completely safe" especially for a woman alone! However, It's nice that everyone is looking out for kirikara's safety! Way to go Toronto!
                Be wise, be wary, and you should be fine. Don't forget to stand in the DWA on the subway platfrom!
                ( might consider a taxi to and from subway? pricey but better to be safe, at night)

                1. re: froglegs

                  OK everyone, you convinced (i did not nee much) .. I got my boss to approve a stay downtown.. hotel is a tad cheaper. I am staying at the courtyard on yonge st.
                  So I already booked colborne lane for my first dinner (asked for a seat at the bar),
                  I booked nota bene (although I am on the fence)
                  was really excited about trying canoe, but I dont really love any of their main, and it is a bit out of my price range. I could use a good rec with a main around 20-25..
                  The Susur lee restaurant looks interesting but very bar/trendy/noisy.. I dont think I would enjoy that..
                  I did not love the menu a chiado.
                  Any other suggestions?

                  601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                  1. re: kirikara

                    Good call on the hotel move. :)

                    Did you book at colborne lane or Origin? The bar at CL is just a bar, whereas the chef's bar at Origin is in front of the open kitchen. They are both owned by the same chef, though.

                    1. re: kirikara

                      Origin is very noisy!
                      Same owner as Colborne Lane so IMO try something different.
                      What do you like ? Ethnic? Italian? French? Are you trying to stay in a certain area? On the subway line?

                      Colborne Lane
                      45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA