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Mini-walk #39 for the CURIOUS minds in Toronto (around Lady Marmalade)

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU? Two good reasons to get out of the house: Take-out breakfast from Lady Marmalade for a picnic in secret Thorogood Garden + mini-walk around Allen Avenue.

A friend of mine recently told me that to chase the "blues" in the thick of the confinement, she ordered herself a take-out breakfast from Lady Marmalade, one of my favourite places. What a great idea!

There is usually a long line of people waiting to sit in the very popular Riverdale restaurant, but right now they are focusing on take-out and their online store (where their salad dressing in a nice bottle fro $10 caught my attention).

I ordered my favorite dish to see if there would be how it would turn out. Great news! Their poached egg BLT with chipotle mayo travels very well. Other good news is that you can picnic on the intimate little street just south of Lady Marmalade, unique in Toronto. Bring a blanket and don't forget to tell the restaurant that you need plastic utensils, and you’ll be good to go.

In 1884, Allen Avenue consisted of 12 houses (old shingle roofs can still be seen). And to add to the charm, the narrow street includes a secret garden, the Thorogood Garden, named by the residents in honour of one of their own who lived on the street until 1976. The land was abandoned and neighbours volunteered to turn it into a garden. It is now owned by the City but volunteers continue to manage it.

A little further east is another potential picnic spot, Eastdale Playground Park, under the trees.

Another curiosity of the area is the enclave of townhouses just north of this street. To visit it, take the small corridor west of 66 Allen Avenue and continue onto the unnamed street, which looks more like a lane and is faced with simple, residences.

This street goes around a block of similar houses. At the second bend in the street, you will discover a magnificent residence with beautiful architectural details. In front of it, a narrow corridor will take you back to Broadview Avenue, just north of Lady Marmalade.

265 Broadview Avenue

Hours: (last checked on Aug 9) Open daily for take-out, 9 am to 2 pm (and they have an online shop).


This Toronto hidden gem is #39 in the #torontourbangems section in Nathalie’s new walking guide Toronto Best Urban Strolls.) To get the guide, visit


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