Updated: Jan 2, 2022
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU? Some of Toronto's best pastries + hidden murals
(Note: This courtesy self-guided tour is not included in the 26 urban strolls and 52 mini-walks in the author's Toronto guide.)
Update December 2021: Since the time I wrote this post, Delysées has opened a restaurant on Ossington Avenue! They no longer have a counter open to the public on Logan but you can order online and then call them to specify that you want to do your pick-up in Leslieville. You will ne able to get your order in the back alley behind 20 Logan.
If you are a foodie with a sweet tooth, the main objective of this walk will be Delysées Luxury Desserts in Leslieville. The curious ones will use this gourmet stop as an excuse to explore the hidden nooks of this trendy neighbourhood.
Plan to stop by the patisserie at the end of your stroll. (You don't want to carry your pastry box as you walk and risk ruining the masterpieces!) If you're lucky, you'll find free parking on Logan Street, south of Eastern.
Delysées Luxury Desserts
Delysées Luxury Desserts (20 Logan Avenue) used to be on King West and I would often drop in to sample their creations on the premises. When they moved east, they opted for a simple counter, and until recently, they were focusing on online orders, doing delivery or pick up. They just opened a new place with seating at Queen West and Ossington. Note that when you order online, the system assumes you will do the pick up at the Ossington location. They told me you need to call right after your online order to specify if you want to pick-up at the Logan location.
They also have reduced their offering of individual cakes and instead have put together boxes of assorted cakes, eclairs (six for $39), macaroons (twelve for $37.50), croissants and brioches (twelve for $45, with small jars of jam and Nutella). They also make great looking cakes ranging from $28 to $50 and one of their specialties is their flourless chocolate cake topped with a funky glazing for $40.
Since I already knew the high quality of their products, I didn't hesitate to order their superb selection of fruit-shaped pastries (five for $39) to celebrate a friend's promotion. What a feast, for the taste buds and for the eyes!
Nooks and crannies of Leslieville
I include in this short 2.6 km walk several murals worth visiting, south of Queen Street East, starting with the large mural by artist Omen on Logan Street, almost facing Délysées. It depicts singer Billie Holiday and musician John Coltrane.
Walk up to Eastern Avenue and turn west. At the corner of Booth and Eastern, you will see an old Tasty Restaurant vintage sign still attached to the residential house.
At McGee Street, turn north to see the lovely little McCleary Park, furnished with chairs carved from the wood of a huge mature tree that was cut down years ago. Then head east on the small Graham Place driveway, across Empire Street and out onto Booth Avenue.
At the corner of Booth and Louis Kesten Lane lies a nice addition to the neighbourhood: Philip Cote’s mural, which adorns the ramp of the building. Walk up this ramp to the to admire the complete artwork. (This is a new building and when I last visited, there was still no name to what will probably become a daycare centre.)
Continue on Louis Kesten to the next alley, east of Logan. Loop up on the way to see the funny angel on the side of the coloured house at the beginning of the alley. When the floor mural appeared in April 2021, it made the locals very happy. This is an initiative of the excellent organization The Laneway Project, founded by Michelle Senayah, a passionate and visionary young woman, whose sudden death on June 29, 2021 I just learned!
Time for a coffee break? At Morse and Queen East, there is the excellent independent coffee shop Mercury Espresso (915 Queen East, open 6:30am-4:30pm weekdays and 8am-4pm on weekends).
Now head back down Morse Street to Lake Shore to view the huge mural along the Urbacom building. This is another large-scale and spectacular work by the artist Omen.
To finish on a fun note, head west along Lake Shore and turn onto Booth Street. Then, look for a cat's paw print in the brick at 29 Booth Avenue.
Nathalie Prézeau is the author of 262-page walking guide: Toronto BEST Urban Strolls, You can get it online on Amazon, Indigo, in Toronto bookstores or directly from the publisher. The author delivers in Toronto and Canada Post takes care of the other destinations. You can also contact the author directly for pick up arrangements (with a discount) at 299 Booth Avenue (Leslieville) Toronto. Contact: email@example.com.