The Annex is one of Toronto’s oldest and most beloved neighbourhoods in Toronto. The Old World feel of the neighbourhood transports you back in time. With gorgeous residential homes built as early as the 1880s, the stunning University of Toronto campus, a plethora of one-of-a-kind shops, beautiful art galleries, trendy eateries and a gorgeous hotel, the Annex is the perfect spot for a Toronto staycation.
From indie elements like the bookshops and cafes, to the iconic concert venue Lee’s Palace, the lively area is filled with a certain charm.
We staycationed at the Kimpton St. George and experienced the wonders of The Annex. Here are our must-see and -do experiences in the area!
#1: Explore the ROM
The Royal Ontario Museum is Canada’s largest museum of art, culture and nature. It draws over a million visitors annually and hosts a variety of different exhibitions.
#2: Catch a documentary at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema is home to many of the city’s independent film festivals including Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival – North America’s largest doc festival, conference and market.
#3: Jam out at Lee’s Palace
Lee’s Palace is an iconic rock concert hall on Bloor Street, recognizable by it’s colourful mural exterior. The two-floor venue has a long history prior to being adapted into a concert venue and nightclub in September 1985. Previously, the historic venue was once home to a movie theatre – and before that a shoemaker shop.
Now, you can take in a variety of music performances at this live music landmark or dance the night away at Dance Cave, the upstairs venue.
#4: Have a pint at Future Bistro
Future Bistro is a favourite for locals. The cafeteria style concept mixed with its great patio has drawn in members of the community since its launch. The homey, spacious spot supports a lively vibe, with pints, hearty European fare and baked goods at the ready.
#5: Relax, eat and stay awhile at Kimpton Saint George
This hotel has all the creature comforts guests could want, while being located in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods. With a wine hour each day – YES, a wine hour – it’s the perfect spot to relax and staycation [Ontario residents can even get up to 20% off their stay].
The Fortunate Fox, which is a hip gastropub on the main floor of the hotel, is a top notch addition to the property. With games like Jenga, darts, and more, the elevated pub offers a familiar yet refreshing experience, making everything from scratch and pairing it with a large selection of local craft beers and cocktails
To add to the Kimpton’s charm, the boutique hotel is decorated with original artwork by local artists. The rooms are vibrant and trendy, while being luxurious and sophisticated. Bikes are available on the property, making exploring the neighbourhood that much easier.