Tori's Bakeshop (Canary District)
Tori’s Bakeshop specializes in natural and organic vegan baking. All their sweet and savoury treats are baked daily at their Carlaw Ave. wholesale space, and about half the products are gluten-free.
After being open for several years on Queen St. East, they decided to open this cozy but bright new location in the Canary District. The eponymous Tori says she senses this area has a mini Liberty Village feel.
The walls of the narrow space are bathed in a signature pistachio green.
A long pastry case displays goodies and ingredient lists clearly, and you can always ask for any info about any product.
A Slayer espresso machine from Seattle exudes quiet power with elegant dark wood accents on handles. It’s all operated manually which demands attention from baristas, and Tori’s is one of the first in Toronto to get their hands on one of these.
“Butter” croissants ($3.50) are made with Earth Balance, along with simple unbleached flour, soy milk and yeast. The pastry has been folded six times to give it adequate inner layers. Though it doesn’t taste exactly like butter, it’s airy and looks immaculate.
Pop tarts are filled with seasonal fruit, strawberry and rhubarb the day I’m in the shop. Organic produce all comes from Pfenning’s, and sugary sweet coconut vanilla frosting is made simply again with unrefined icing sugar and vanilla bean.
The gluten free vanilla donut ($3) is also soy-free and one of the most popular items here, some even call it the Homer Simpson donut. Even the sprinkles are all-natural. It’s baked instead of fried which gives it a more old-fashioned cake-style donut texture.
The barista recommends the iced coconut mocha ($4.50) that he has every morning.
Savoury lunch focaccia ($6) has basic toppings of a zesty and nutty homemade cashew chevre with bright and very juicy tomatoes and greens that maybe could have been smaller for biting through but brought peppery crunch, all on soft fresh bread.
New since this shop opened is the cruffin ($4.75), an ooey-gooey crispy treat that originated in Australia. They might have made the first vegan one, rolling dough out paper thin and forming it into a cinnamon-bun-like shape, rolling it in sugar before baking and filling it with coconut chocolate fudge.
Narrow bar seating with benches is provided for munching vegan treats and sipping coffees. A patio outside has the option of bright green picnic benches. This family-friendly bakeshop is one of the healthiest ways to indulge in the city.