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Baked Goods

Altitude Baking

Posted by Emily Thomas / Posted on May 1, 2009

Altitude BakeryI'd heard of Altitude bakery, but didn't know it was in Leslieville until we were walking past it. It was a rainy day. There were only few people on the street and many of the stores were closed, including the one we had originally come to check out. We walked to Queen St. from the subway because we missed the bus and the next one wasn't due for a half hour. By the time we made it to Leslieville, we were both in pretty bad moods because our plans had been thwarted and we were hungry and rained on. I wanted to blame public transit. Well, I didn't want to blame public transit, but I didn't want to blame myself.
Altitude BakeryThen we remembered Altitude and backtracked to the tiny bakery - which had a lot riding on it.
Altitude BakeryThere's no room to eat inside Altitude (or take photos) so we made up a box (and bag) of baked goods to take home with us. Along with plenty of cakes, tarts, cookies and croissants, they also offer bagels from Fidalgo and loaves of bread from Dough Head Bakery (I've never heard of this bakery, but it sounds good on account of the name). They also bake some lunch items in-house like mini spanokopitas and samosas.
Altitude BakeryBut we wanted sweets. We were generous (to ourselves) with three tarts, two cookies, a rum ball and a big chocolate cupcake with pearly sprinkles in pastel colours sprinkled on top. This shiny thing ($2.50) caught Alyssa's eye as soon as we stepped foot inside and it was an event when she finally consumed it a day later. "I am going to eat the cupcake now," she announced.
Altitude BakeryI don't usually like cupcakes because they're too light and fluffy, but Alyssa's cupcake (of which I managed a bite) was so dense and moist that it was still tasted fresh a day later. The icing was really thick and dark chocolatey.
Altitude BakeryBefore I had eaten a single sweet out of the box, a guest in my home tried to steal the almondine tart ($1.65). Luckily, I caught him and managed a few bites before it was gone. This was my introduction to Altitude tarts, and it was great. The almondine was light, with a fruity bottom layer and a sweet, almond filling like marzipan. The sour cream apple tart ($1.65) was smooth and fresh. All the tarts had a nice crust, not flakey, but thick and buttery.
Altitude BakeryI particularly enjoyed the butter tart ($1.65). In retrospect, I suspect there was chocolate in it. Luckily, this didn't occur to me until after my friend who hates chocolate (but loves shortbread) had happily enjoyed a piece (aside from picking all the raisins out... she really prefers shortbread).
Altitude BakeryAnd what a great rum ball I had ($0.75)! When I cut it into pieces, it filled the room with the smell of booze. I appreciate this. Too many rum balls don't taste like rum.
Altitude Bakery.jpgI'd eaten the French Kiss triple chocolate brownie cookie ($1.25) on the way home from Altitude on the streetcar. It was definitely triple. In the short time it took me to eat it, that cookie filled me with so much chocolate that I fully regained my good mood. It was as though I'd never missed the bus or been rained on, and I was no longer upset with the TTC. The streetcar came in less than a minute, and was speeding across Queen St. in a timely manner. Altitude BakeryAltitude Bakery

Photos by Alyssa Bistonath



Christian Bernard Singer / May 3, 2008 at 10:02 pm
Normally, I bake my own cakes which are always a hit but yesterday, I was running late and had to break down and buy a cake. I came upon Altitude Baking quite by accident and the place evoked a sense of an old world bakery, and so encouraged by hopeful optimism, I bought their Rich Double Chocolate Fudge Cake (the larger version) for my partner's birthday. They advertized it as "to die for" and this was no understatement. I couldn't get over how good it was and everybody loved it too! I will go back absolutely!
Ed / July 8, 2008 at 06:01 am
This is a little gem in a neighbourhoood that hasn't quite shaken off it's humble roots. Quality product, reasonable prices. Now if we can only get someone to serve you at the counter we'll be ready to go. And try a smile from time to time - it won't hurt.
jb / August 24, 2008 at 03:33 am
Could not disagree with you more. Bakery uses cheap ingredients and it shows in the lack of quality in their baking.
/ November 14, 2008 at 11:38 pm
How do you figure they use cheap ingredients?
Every time I have been there, I have not been disappointed. Perhaps your tastebuds need a check
ar / March 5, 2009 at 04:21 pm
i love this place. fresh mini-cini donuts, great soft cookies (skor and peanut butter choc chip best so far), yummy apple tarts in individual sizes. i go every weekend.
SARAH / May 1, 2009 at 10:49 am
Lovely photos..I'll have to check it out.
Sean / May 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm
Oh, oh, oh, the lemon tart looks oh so good!

Thanks for introducing the world to Altitude Baking.
jb replying to a comment from / May 1, 2009 at 11:11 pm
Your taste is up your ass. That is why you like the place
smiley / May 2, 2009 at 03:59 am
I like this place! Every time I go to the beaches I get off here and buy a boxfull of sweets. mmm...
jb is an idiot replying to a comment from jb / August 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm
so how often do you eat stuff from up your ass??? I'm afraid no bakery can match that taste...
Paul / July 15, 2010 at 03:34 pm
Just amazing in this day and age that people can't disagree about a store without getting angry and insulting. Is it worth it????
Tina / January 23, 2011 at 05:21 pm
We've purchased cakes, cupcakes and other items at this bakery but find the attitude of the cashier and others that work there, to be lacking in kindness........I don't know why people have attitude problems when dealing with the public..........a smile of appreciation for the business they receive goes a long way. They shouldn't act as though the public is bothering them.
Vivi / February 12, 2011 at 01:56 pm
Been to Altitude many times and I'll keep going back weekly.

I don't get that comment about cheap ingredients. I LOL at the trollish response from JB. Instead of answering he takes a shot at the other poster.

He probably works for another bakery or has a friend or relative that does. Why else wouldn't he answer the question about his statement? Scared?
Neil / January 10, 2012 at 02:01 pm
Unbelievably tasty tarts and cookies. I am hooked on the quality and kindness at the counter. Breads are awesome- full of flavour and substance. Wow!
Eastender / April 1, 2012 at 10:02 am
When I first moved to the east end this was my
Go to bakery. Prices have since doubled to what they are listed in the review (tarts are $2.50, Pies $18) but still worth it in my oppinion.
Richard / May 18, 2012 at 03:03 pm
The banana cream pie is the best pie I've ever had in my life, period. Great cupcakes and nanaimo bars here as well. As someone mentioned in the comments, my only knock is that some of the counter help could crack a friendly smile once in awhile. We've thought about calling it "Attitude Bakery". Great bakery with a bit of a bad attitude.
Altitude is No More / August 14, 2012 at 11:04 am
Hi BlogTo, sadly time for an update.

I passed Altitude Bakery today, and there is a sign on the door: it has closed for good.
Fred / August 24, 2012 at 07:26 pm
I read a sign saying that says it is basically re organizing to serve us better. What ever that means. I do think they are in trouble....where did all the great staff go?
fres / November 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm
I see movement at this bakery...i think they are opening up again.
Jerry replying to a comment from Christian Bernard Singer / February 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm
Well... let me tell yawl
I worked at Altitude Bakery in the early 90's, under the incredible Dennis Findley, the owner, and operator. I was there when we moved from a back room in his house to its current location on Queen st. E. Man oh man those were good ole days!!!! Dennis was the original Foodie, insisting on nothing but the best ingredients. No Crisco here!!! Not only was Altitude bakery a top notch establishment, It was an INCREDIBLE place to work, and Dennis an incredible man to work for. Dennis is an outstanding man, and a cherished mentor.
Lauren / July 13, 2013 at 08:33 am
Is there any way to get ahold of the old owners? Does anyone have any news or contact info? Thanks!

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