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Small but Beautiful: The Little Wonders of Harbord Village

Things to Do in Harbord Village

Small but Beautiful: The Little Wonders of Harbord Village

One of the smaller neighbourhoods in Toronto that is always pumping with activity is Harbord Village! Despite its size, the village offers tons of fun activities and attractions to enjoy.

If you’re visiting for a day or planning to spend the weekend here, don’t miss out on these activities. 

Small but Beautiful: The Little Wonders of Harbord Village

1. Shop for books at Bakka-Phoenix Books

Address: 84 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, Canada 

Operating hours: 

Monday – Friday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Harbord Village is heaven on earth for bookworms and when it comes to bookstores, nothing comes close to Bakka-Phoenix Books. This store has a huge following for its curated collections of sci-fi and fantasy books that keep things fresh and interesting. 

Expect heavy hitters like Dune by Frank Herbert and Circe by Madeline Miller. The store is also known for hosting events like author appearances, readings, and panel discussions!

Pro tip:

If you don’t know which book to get, you can always ask for recommendations from the staff. They’re known for giving recommendations tailored to your interests and taste! 

2. Catch a gig at Lee’s Palace 

Address: 529 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y5, Canada

Price: Varies depending on the show

Operating hours: 

Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 8:00 PM – 2:30 AM

Friday – Saturday: 8:30 PM – 2:30 AM

If you love rock and alternative music, you should definitely stop by the legendary Lee’s Palace for the best rock concerts in the city. This place has been operating since 1985, and it’s iconic for hosting the debuts of famous bands like Nirvana and Oasis. 

It’s the best place to catch upcoming local and international rock bands. Although rock and alternative music is often played here, you can also hear experimental combinations of rock and other music genres. 

Shows can often get wild with performers putting on eccentric shows and even spitting champagne on crowds.  

Pro tip:

The venue has an indoor bar that serves a variety of drinks, such as beers, tonics, cocktails, and gin, for a fair price.

3. Play board games at Bampot Tea House

Address: 201 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1H6, Canada

Operating hours: 

Monday – Friday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM

Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

If you’re looking for a place to have drinks with friends while playing fun games, stop by Bampot Tea House.

They offer competitive board games along with an impressive selection of over 80 different teas, like their homemade Bam Bam Chai. As for the board games, you have over 160 to choose from, with classics like Monopoly! 

Pro tip:

One game we recommend trying out with friends is the edgy Cards Against Humanity. It’s a hilarious card game that’s sure to get you and your friends laughing. 

4. Watch a show at the Tranzac Club 

Address: 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 2M7, Canada 

Operating hours:

Monday – Friday: 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM

Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 1:00 AM

For anyone who loves watching live performances, head over to the Tranzac Club. This bar is one of the hottest entertainment venues in town, offering various entertainment genres, from sad dramas to hilarious comedies, poetry, and films.

They feature a new performing artist every night, which makes every visit to the club fresh and exciting! 

Pro tip:

If you love open mic performances, you should visit the club every Monday. The open mic starts at 8:00 PM, and you can watch other patrons perform and show off their talents.

5. Grab some lunch at Harbord House

Address: 124 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G8, Canada

Operating hours: 

Monday – Friday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday: 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Sunday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

One of the best places to grab a pint and hearty pulled pork sandwiches in Harbord Village is no other than the classic Harbord House! It sells great food with generous servings and wine at a really affordable price. 

For us, their must-try dishes are the creamy Hoser Burger that comes with peameal bacon and the savoury chicken pot pie. 

Pro tip:

If you’re trying to avoid red meat, we suggest ordering their tasty fish and chips! The fish is tender and flaky and pairs perfectly with their creamy tartar sauce and golden brown fries that are cooked to perfection.

6. Admire the beauty of Trinity St. Paul’s United Church


427 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7, Canada

Operating hours: 

Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Sunday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

One historical site to visit in Harbord Village is the Trinity St. Paul’s United Church built in 1889! The church is shared by 2 congregations, namely, the Trinity United Church and St. Paul’s-Avenue Road United Church.

The churches were united in 1980, and the building features a Revived Romanesque using stones from the Credit River. The church is also a community hub where people come to join classes on art, dance, singing, and much more. 

Pro tip:

One of the most interesting parts of the church is the Heart Garden. This peaceful garden is worth a visit not only for its beauty but also for its commemoration of indigenous children who were lost to the Indian Residential System. 

7. Checkout the Garage Murals


David French Ln, Toronto, ON M5S 2N5, Canada

Alan Powell Ln, Toronto, ON M5S 1K4, Canada

Harbord Village has several vibrant murals along its streets, and the famous Garage Murals are some of the stunning ones that are worth checking out!

Local artists have painted interesting and vibrant murals on garage doors all over David French Lane and Alan Powell Lane. Each colorful mural represents the culture of Toronto and the village! 

One features geometric patterns that form an eagle, and there’s also one that depicts a giant snapping turtle in a swamp with turquoise, aqua, and pink colours.

There are also wackier ones that can be best described as “creative explosions,” with one depicting a bus surrounded by skulls in rainbow colours. 

Pro tip:

If you like street photography and Star Wars, then take pictures of the Darth Vader and dogs mural in Alan Powell Lane. The mural’s Banksy-esque aesthetic makes it worth posting on Instagram, and it’s also a great mural to make quirky poses with. 

8. Get lost in virtual reality at VRPlayin 

Address: 294 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1R9, Canada


Off-peak hours: $29 

Peak hours: $39 

Operating hours: 

Monday – Friday: 2:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

If you’re looking to get lost in a fantasy world or ride a rollercoaster without the wind and height, then try some games at VRPlayin. This gaming centre uses the latest virtual reality technology!

It offers over 50  games with genres like action, horror, and challenging multiplayer! We recommend Sairento VR where you play as a sword-wielding ninja in a cyberpunk world. 

Pro tip:

If you’re into art, we recommend trying the VR Museum of Fine Art. As the name suggests, this game takes you into a virtual world where you can explore the Museum of Fine Arts and see iconic sculptures and paintings like the Mona Lisa. 

9. Grab a coffee and panini at Think It Cafe

Address: 196 Borden St, Toronto, ON M5S 2N3, Canada 

Operating hours: 

Monday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

For all coffee lovers, you can’t skip out on a visit to Think It Cafe. This cafe specializes in serving panini sandwiches and different coffees that capture the traditional flavours of Italy. 

It has classic and meatless sandwiches like The Spinacino, which includes an egg and lots of spinach. You can also grab a salami-filled cacciatore that goes perfectly with their marocchino, which comes with cocoa powder and frothed milk!

Pro tip:

One of our favourite murals is one that pays homage to Amy Winehouse! This monotone mural has great details and stands out from the rest of the colourful graffiti that surrounds it. 

10. Have the best cheat day at The Dessert Kitchen

Address: 73 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G4, Canada

Operating hours: 

Monday – Sunday: 2:00 PM – 11:00 PM

If flaky-sweet pies aren’t your thing, you can always visit The Dessert Kitchen for the best Asian-inspired desserts! It’s a sweet tooth’s heaven offering shaved ice, Kanten noodles, sweet waffles, and Hong Kong milk tea. 

It’s the best place to taste traditional and contemporary takes on desserts from East Asian countries like Taiwan, Hongkong, and Japan. The kitchen also serves cakes like creme brulee cheesecake and chewy fruit-flavoured daifuku mochi. 

Pro tip:

For anyone craving something sweet and salty, try out the store’s Japdog. This creative dish is an Asian take on the classic hotdog, and it’s composed of a sweet Belgian waffle and a classic grilled sausage topped with seaweed for garnishing! 

11. Shop for bread at Emmer

Address: 161 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1H1, Canada

Operating hours: 

Monday – Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

One place to visit for the best bread and croissants is Emmer. This bakery is loved for its consistency and simplicity. 

The bakery has a warm interior with wooden tables, and you’ll find glass food racks with a variety of fresh baked goods on display.

They serve a delicious pain au chocolat with Soma chocolate that gently melts in your mouth, adding a hint of bitterness. Another noteworthy dish they serve is the Bacon Butty sandwich; it’s bursting with umami flavour, with a touch of brown sauce. 

Pro tip:

We suggest you order Emmer’s honey chai latte. Although the store has lots of coffee options, we think this sweet and nutty drink goes perfectly with every item that the bakeshop serves! 

12. Have a mouth-watering meal at Matha Roti 

Address: 141 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 2M2, Canada

Operating hours: 

Monday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Matha Roti is an East-Indian restaurant that serves mouthwatering roti thanks to their homemade garam masala. This tangy and spicy masala sets it apart from other restaurants.

Dishes here have a touch of fusion, like their Hakka chilli roti, which fuses their garam masala with chilis, rice wine vinegar, raw sugar, and light soy. We recommend ordering their spicy shrimp biryani and their butter chicken roti, which has a savoury flavour. 

It’s one of the places we recommend people on strict diets should visit, as the place has lots of vegan options like their eggplant potato curry, which packs some heat and an earthy taste. 

Pro tip:

For anyone craving a creamy vegetable dish, we suggest ordering asparagus and malai kofta roti.  This delicious dish is a concoction of grated cheese, asparagus, and dumplings drenched in butter sauce that will melt in your mouth. 

13. Appreciate the beauty of Robert Street Park

Address: 60 Sussex Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1J8, Canada

Walking around Harbord Village can be extremely exhausting, especially if you’re trying to see everything the place has to offer. Thankfully, Robert Street Park is just around the corner, and it’s a great place to relax and admire the park’s beauty. 

The park has lots of places to sit, but we think the roofed area featuring cabana chairs is the perfect place to unwind with your feet up! From there, you can also get a great view of the park’s murals, which feature dogs, birds, and people in vibrant colours. 

Also, the park has kidney-shaped greenspace.

Pro tip:

This is one of the best places to bring your kids. There’s a huge playground in the park that features safe climbing platforms, monkey bars, and much more. 

14. Exercise at Central Tech Stadium 

Address: 725 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5S 2R5, Canada 

Operating hours: 

Monday – Sunday: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

If you’re looking to play sports, then you should head over to the Central Tech Stadium. This massive sports centre is home to some of the city’s best sports facilities, including ones for football, frisbee, and track! 

The stadium has a large track and field for running and playing soccer outdoors and an indoor turf field for those who want to avoid the summer heat while playing soccer.

One of the best things about this place is that it’s always teeming with activity. You’ll have an easy time finding people to play any sport with on a regular basis. 

Pro tip:

You can play sports here during the winter. They cover the outdoor track and field so you can still play games without problems even if it’s snowing.