Winter can be a drag. It’s cold, wet, and gloomy. But the good news is if you live, work, or just find yourself strolling on the Danforth there are places where you can stay warm. This list includes 10 places to escape the cold while you’re on the Danforth; whether you are looking for something to eat, something to drink, a place to exercise, a place to read, or somewhere to be creative.
For the Foodies
489 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P6
Mocha Mocha is a Latin American infused restaurant that is sure to have your taste buds bursting after one bite. It is located on the Danforth, just east of Logan, with a bright blue sign that beckons all to come and enjoy. Once inside you hear the music and feel the warm atmosphere, and not to mention the smell of amazing food! The staff treat you like family, and they are ready and willing to make sure your experience is something great and memorable. The menu consists of healthy but delicious food choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, it’s good to note that there are plenty of vegetarian options for those out there with dietary restrictions. So go sit inside Mocha Mocha and enjoy the music and lively conversations around you (because the restaurant is always bursting with happy customers). It’s a great way to warm your stomach and your body during this winter season.
Tip: Try the Banana Crepe, it’s to die for.
550 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P7
Who doesn’t love pizza? Well Pizza Libretto knocks every other pizza out of the park. Located near the intersection of Danforth and Carlaw, this fun-loving pizza place can shield you from the cold and give you a deliciously hot and filling meal. Pizza Libretto is a casual and relaxed restaurant where you can enjoy some wine and a full-sized pizza. Also a vegetarian and vegan friendly place, they make sure that everyone can experience what they have to offer. Sit at the bar or sit at a table, their thin crust pizzas and filling appetizers are sure to leave you wanting more.
Tip: Try the Roasted Cremini Mushroom pizza, it literally melts in your mouth.
For the Drinkers
Marvel Coffee Company
792 Carlaw Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P8
If you’re looking for somewhere cozy and intimate that smells like coffee beans, then Marvel Coffee Company is the place to go! Just off the Danforth on Carlaw Avenue, this quaint little café is one of the best places to escape the cold and get a good latte. The place may be small, but it is small in a big way. You can choose to sit on the barstools facing the window and stare out at the busy street, or you can cozy up on the benches in the corner and whip out a good book. The staff is warm just like their caffeinated drinks, and eager to recommend you some of their favourite things on the menu. Go check out this charming café with the cool name and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Tip: Try the Vanilla or Chocolate-Chestnut Macaroons. The perfect snack to go with any drink.
Louis Cifer Brew Works
417 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P1
Nothing warms up your body like beer. Louis Cifer Brew Works is huge, loud, and a great place to drink. With both an upstairs and downstairs area, you can choose to sit at the bar or at one of their intimate booths or tables. Not only does this pub serve alcohol to keep you warm from the cold, but they have brunch (on the weekends and holidays), lunch, and dinner menus with great selection. Located not too far down the Danforth across from Chester Station, it’s a great place to lose yourself in lively conversation and tapped beer.
Tip: Louis Cifer has movie nights with no cover charge on Sunday’s at 6:00pm. Buy some dinner, get some free popcorn, and enjoy a movie on the big screen upstairs.
For the Artists
The Clay Room
279 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
For those of you who aren’t looking for something to put in your mouth but still want to stay warm this winter, The Clay Room is a fantastic alternative. This adorable pottery place located on the south side on the Danforth just a few blocks away from Broadview Station gives you the opportunity to warm up by creating! You may not be sculpting, but they give you an abundant choice of items to paint. Spend your afternoon painting a mug or a piggy-bank and come back in a few days to see the glazed results. It’s fun, warm, and a great way to spend your time!
Tip: Students get a discounted price. If assignments are stressing you out, go ease some tension at The Clay Room.
Fresh Paint Studio + Café
1849 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C 1J3
Fresh Paint Studio and Café is one of the most relaxing places to go and escape the cold. It is a place where you can freestyle paint, or take classes while you munch on decadent treats and drink some coffee. Located two intersections east from Coxwell Subway Station, this little nook sits right on the Danforth, inviting all to come in. The staff are helpful and friendly, and the studio is a comfortable place to spend your time. Dropping in to freestyle paint, you pick a canvas (the starting price is $20), then they set you up, and you get to work. If you need inspiration, the staff is happy to provide photos and other art to get you going. Or if you have an idea already in mind, you can work on that. Stay as long as you want—as long as it isn’t busy. Drink some coffee, tea, or a smoothie. Try one of their delicious brownies, and do some art!
Tip: Wine and Paint night happens on January 31st! Enjoy some wine and be guided through a step-by-step process to recreate a picture.
For those who Work Out
421 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P1
Orangetheory Fitness is a new work out studio on the Danforth. If staying warm this winter isn’t good enough, and sweat is what you need, this is a great gym to try. You select a time slot and train with a physical trainer in a class setting. They combine cardio with endurance for an hour work out, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized. Your health progress and heart monitor is displayed on the screen while you exercise and it is used to motivate you to improve. The work out space is intimate and comfortable.
Tip: Orangetheory has pre-sale rates available now. Take advantage of this deal while it’s still on the table!
403 Danforth Ave, Toronto Ontario M4K 1P1
Redefine Fit on the Danforth is a mere two minutes away from Chester Station. It offers daily pole fitness and yoga classes, weekly core fitness classes, and bi-weekly booty and leg classes! They have an assortment of fitness sessions that focus on specific body parts to help you work on any problem areas. This studio is perfect for toning, stretching, and conditioning your body. They incorporate dance into your lessons to redefine how you work out. This place is fun and innovative. If you’re looking for something new, try Redefine Fit! Burn some calories and enjoy doing it!
Tip: Their introductory membership is $75 for a month of unlimited classes.
For those who Read
348 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1N8
For all the bibliophiles out there that don’t feel content without a book in their hands, Book City is the perfect place to go to efficiently escape the cold. Located a few blocks away from Broadview Subway Station, this book store encourages all to come in! All books and magazines are affordable and easy to find in this quaint and organized store. Book City has a comfortable and friendly environment that makes you want to spend all day inside browsing books.
Tip: Get their loyalty card and get 20 per cent off all new hardcover books, and 10 per cent off of any book at Book City!
Circus Books and Music
866 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1L7
Circus Books and Music is the thriftiest place to go! It is accessible in location: on the Danforth just across from Jones Street. From the records to the rows of books lined on the walls, the store gives a classic vintage vibe that makes you feel soulful and timeless. All books, CD’s, records, and DVD’s are used but chosen based on the quality to make sure you get the most out of every dollar you spend. There is a wide selection of different genres all organized efficiently so that you are never disappointed or feel that you are wasting your time. Whether you’re there to buy, sell, or trade, you will lose track of time circling around the store. Circus Books and Music is hands down one of the best places to spend your time while you’re on the Danforth.
Tip: The owner of Circus Books and Music just opened a spin-off Circus Coffee shop off the Danforth (7 Woodmount Av, Toronto, ON M4C 3X4). After browsing some books go check out the accompanying café.