May 14, 2021
Every establishment in Yorkville contributes its unique flair to the landscape of the neighbourhood. A stroll through the tree-canopied sister streets, Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland Street, will instantly take you on a luxe cosmopolitan adventure directly in the heart of Toronto. A typical day in Yorkville will fly by as you mosey through the numerous boutiques and laneways, stopping for a gelato or espresso at your choice of a myriad of sun-spotted patios.
Although the once animated streets of Yorkville remain quiet as of late, the behind-the-scenes of Yorkville’s local businesses tell a different story. Many dedicated proponents of the neighbourhood: storefront, gallery, and restaurant owners are working diligently to serve their community, despite these challenging times.
3 Charles Street East
Renda Abdo and Nadya Mancini, owners of beloved restaurants Wish and 7 West Café, have been a Yorkville mainstay for a combined 21 years. Abdo and Mancini both got involved in the industry because it is one full of heart — A line of work where staff becomes family, and work is your social life. When asked what they loved most about their job, they responded with “the freedom to create, and then satisfy.” A perfect summation of the most dedicated restaurateurs.
159 Yorkville Ave
LUMAS Gallery, located just on the opposite side of the densely packed neighbourhood, is the business’ longstanding Canadian branch. Owner Erin Lang fell in love with the gallery’s concept when visiting New York City and instantly realized there was a place in the Canadian Art market for globally-acclaimed artwork at an accessible price point. With that, Toronto’s location was born. LUMAS has been unpretentiously curating limited edition contemporary art for Canadians for over five years while enhancing Yorkville with the opportunity to view, shop, and admire the works of renowned artists both in person and online.
KIBO Secret Garden
154 Cumberland Street
Authentic Japanese restaurant Kibo Secret Garden newly opened on Cumberland Street in September 2020 in the thick of the pandemic. In true Omakase style, the diner gets a front-row seat to executive chefs handcrafting stunning displays of art to be put on your plate. With upbringings in the hospitality and service sector, Kibo founders Simeon Papailias and Bo Seo are no strangers to a memorable dining experience. Bo recalls childhood memories of coastal Korea, watching his grandmother prepare many of the dishes being served today at Kibo Secret Garden.
135 Yorkville Ave
Christopher Casuga, owner of men’s clothing store CNTRBND expertly curates high-end fashion houses with hard to acquire niche brands — ensuring that everyone leaves looking uniquely themselves. The reason CNTRBND exists is simple: after traveling to numerous places around the world, Casuga became increasingly dissatisfied with the limited selection of apparel available in Canada. Naturally, he opened a location in Yorkville, citing his love of the neighbourhood’s history and being flanked by other international shops and local businesses.
Despite a global pandemic, Toronto’s flashiest neighbourhood still continues to offer up world-class food, experiences, style, and culture to the locals who wander within its perimeters. Every business in Yorkville has something unique and different to offer the community, but one thing remains the same through them all, and that’s how excited they are to reopen soon.