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New in Parkdale - The Boreal Gelato Company

I was heading to Roncy today on Queen W and came across this new place. With a bright pastel colored sign, it looked out of place to say the least, intrigued I went inside.
The owner was standin behind the counter and after a brief chat I found out that they opened just this Thursday and wanted to open a place that introduced 'a happy ice cream' place in a corner of the city dominated by bars, cafes and dingy establishments.
Further questions revealed that they make everything on the premises. Per the owner, this is let them control inventory and quality to ensure a good fresh product. I think this a massively positive view, and a welcome change from the recent spate of ice cream parlours that serve you maypole or kawarth a or anyother pre-made product.

Flavours: Just 6 flavours, 5 of which were quite run-of-the-mill. (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, strawberry sorbet, stratciatella). The 1 unusual offering is the lemon-olive oil flavour which was amazing! I asked about the lack of choices, and she said that folks in the area are unaware of the gelato concept and she wants to start of with flavours they recognize before coming out with the tiramisu's, nutella, torrone, lemon etc. The list of upcoming flavours is on their website. And they have coffee, and espresso based drinks.

Taste: After much discussion I let the owner make a sundae for me. Totally her choices. She gave me the dark chocolate gelato with the strawberry sorbet, cocoa nibs on top. AMAZING!
The bitter cocoa nibs were an extraordinary compliment to the sorbet and the dark choclate was as dense and deep as I could hope for.

Pricing: On the higher end @ $7 for a double scoop in a cup. They have sundae's which work out to be cheaper @ $6.50. (toppings included).

Other stuff: They are very open to flavour suggestions since they can make whatever they want on premises. All the utensils, spoons etc are bio-degradable. They use local ingredients as much as possible which is why they had 2 strawberry offerings today!

1312 Queen St W, Toronto, On, Canada, M6K 1L4


P.S. The website is fully operational which for me is a huge plus point.

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  1. We stopped by after dinner at Nunu on Saturday night. Just to clarify, it's actually $6 + tax for a double scoop in a cup, which is still pricey. Didn't want people thinking it's $7 plus tax though! She actually rang it up wrong at first ($9) until we corrected her.

    The chocolate was really good but the pistachio was underwhelming. Still, a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

    1 Reply
    1. re: slradcli

      Did you try the strawberry sorbet? T'was amazing! The use of the seasonal berries came through gorgeously, not too sweet and just the right amount of tartness.
      For me though, the star after the dark choc gelato was the cocoa nib topping. Absolutely mind boggling.

      Next I am going to go try their Half-Baked Alaska.

    2. Thanks for the reports. I had walked by back in May when they still had paper on the windows and I was excited to see that it was coming (even though I live no where close). Will have to try it out next time I am in the area.

      1. That is incredibly expensive, especially for a location so far out! Is it better than Dolce or Soma?

        1 Reply
        1. re: morefoodplz

          agreed that it's incredibly expensive. I would say that it ranks just below Soma in terms of quality. I've never tried Dolce, so I can't compare.

        2. finally, the real thing. Tastes the same as I enjoyed in Italy. Found out the owner went to Italy to learn how to make it before opening. Must have been an expensive trip but oh is it worth it. She got it right. Well done and welcome to Parkdale .

          2 Replies
          1. re: Foodadict

            What flavour did you have? What other places in Toronto have you had Gelato at and how do you rank them?

            I am also surprised by the cost especially considering the area.

            1. re: ylsf

              The cost will have to come down, unless the owner is counting on the new condo's being built at Queen & Roncy) to speed up gentrification.
              on the flip side, they really don't have any competition in the area. The closest I can think of would be Dolce Gelato on College and they are definitely not in the same league quality wise.

              Dolce Gelato
              679A College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B9, CA

          2. I tried this place yesterday -- I wasn't crazy about it. The gelato wasn't particularly creamy at all. It had a thin, almost watery mouthfeel that I found a tad off-putting.

            As for the flavours, I tried caramel and coconut. I didn't really like the caramel at all. It had a vaguely artificial taste and reminded me of those cheap caramels they used to give out at Halloween with the orange wrappers.

            The coconut was much better. It had a rich coconut flavour, wasn't too sweet, and was interspersed with shredded coconut.

            I'll probably try the place again in a little while to see if it improves, but my first impression was that it's nothing particularly special, especially considering the abundance of good gelato places in the city.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Michael N

              In an attempt to beat the heat I ordered a two scoop cone of raspberry and strawberry sorbettos.

              Now... I don't usually have a sweet tooth, but mine was utterly delicious.

              I can see this being a new thing for me.

              Oh... I also bought two Pineapple popsicles which are currently sleeping in the freezer... if my fridge holds out in this heat... wasn't looking good today!


              I wish I hadn't just gone for a big shop!

            2. $6 is very expenisve, the most expensive of the gelato shops in Toronto for sure.

              I had two sorbets, lemon and pineapple. The lemon was rather icy/chunky, so a poor mouthfeel, but good flavour. I enjoyed the pineapple more but it felt like there were bits of the core of a pineapple in there. I like having fruity bits in there but please remove the core.

              As to whether I'll revisit, that's hard to say. $6 + tax is a lot, I much prefer il gelatiere, but that is a trek for me.

              5 Replies
              1. re: aser

                I was reading here yesterday that they lowered their prices to $4, but the post seems to have disappeared. Apparently they also use all fresh ingredients, make everything from scratch, use all bio-degradable containers, and offer free toppings etc. - hence the initial price - but looks like they've made a significant adjustment. I would have been happy to pay the $6 for that kind of quality (if true), however.

                I will be checking it out as soon as able!

                1. re: justpete

                  I honestly don't eat enough gelato to know if that's pricey or not, but I'm puzzled by the statements how it's expensive especially given the neighbourhood. I don't know if anyone has tried to buy a house on gwynne or Macdonnell lately but it's not exactly a neighbourhood lacking affluence.

                  1. re: jamesm

                    I agree. Considering that the new place on King W (cool hand luc's) is dishing out Maypole Icecream for about the same price, I am more than happy to shell out the same (even a little less) at this spot and know that I am getting something crafted with expertise and attention to the ingredient.

                    P.S. This part of town will be the next spot for gentrification, a condo at the corner of queen & roncy, and the continued westwardspread of queen west's hipsters.

                    1. re: meatnveg

                      I also agree - I also don't think $6 is "pricey" for a scoop of good ice cream/gelato - sounds about right for higher-end fresh made Gelato - I'd be happy to pay it if the quality is there... and they share the neighbourhood with local kitchen, Cowbell, and Mitzi's Sister among others - not bad company. It's definitely an up-and-coming area.

                      Mitzi's Sister
                      1554 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R1A6, CA

                      1. re: meatnveg

                        Cool Hand Luc! Now there's a joke!! Not only is it generic ice cream but there is no attempt whatsoever to bring it to a new level . Head shaker!

                2. Lucky me! While you guys were busy deciding blindly on whether the cost of gelato should be this much or that much, deciding on whether Queen W is being gentrified or not, I was able to simply enjoy some amazing Banana Chocolate Chip Gelato at Boreal!!

                  While it could handle a bit more chocolate flake and while it seemed too ice-creamy to call gelato, I found it to be amazing. Very creamy, strong natural banana flavour and an awesome texture that I can't describe well! I want to say it was almost like cold butter but that doesn't quite sound right because it certainly wasn't buttery tasting or oily at all.

                  Bottom line, if you can get past the joy in complaining and professing, you may wish to venture out to try it for yourself. I first tasted the salted caramel and while the flavour was truly refined, I had a feeling it may be too sweet for my taste to enjoy a full scoop. I will need a return visit to find out : )

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: justsayn

                    We stopped in a couple of hours ago as we happened to be passing by on our way downtown. I grabbed one scoop of the salted caramel for my girlfriend and had about half. Flavours were fantastic and the texture was very rich and smooth, but I'm not sure I'd call it gelato exactly. Regardless it was a tasty little treat. A side note, the young girl who was being trained by who I'm assuming is the owner, was terrified of the cash register and extremely nervous. It was almost comical. She had no idea how to work it and would tentatively poke at the keys and then stare forlornly at the owner until she came over to correct her. I got the sense it's her first summer job so rather than being annoying it was kind of endearing.

                  2. Tried the salted caramel yesterday and thought it quite good. Would eat that again. Had a nice ribbon of burnt-sugar that gave it extra depth. Enough saltiness to be salted, but not too much to be salty. Nice balance.

                    Had the raspberry popsicle and that was okay. More creamy than a popsicle usually is in my head.

                    Also had Ontario strawberry - wanted more berry taste and mouthfeel wasn't as nice as the salted caramel. Not bad, but not great.

                    Overall, not bad at all.

                    1. Seems like there was a Chowhound crowd there today. I went also, got my (now) usual of, a scoop of strawberry, one scoop of chocolate and the cocoa nibs on top. Oh god, I am soo glad I have to walk from Summerhill to get to this place or I'd be a whale by now.

                      1. I had a mini scoop of their lemon-olive oil sorbetto ($2.75) that I really liked. Very lemony, nice texture. I will be back!

                        1. Just had it for the first time today! I live around the corner and hadn't even given it a second thought. Went to Mangez once & wasn't impressed. Thank Jeebus I finally gave it a try.

                          Had pumpkin & salted caramel. SO GOOD. Considering going there on the way home from work too. I also work down the street so this new discovery may be very dangerous.

                          I'm also interest in trying their baked goods (they even had a gluten free brownie and the pumpkin tart looked good) and they're starting BRUNCH this weekend. Didn't find out what they had planned so I'll have to report back on that.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: fluffysouffle

                            they also have "happy hour" from... 5-7? I think. 2 for 1 scoops!