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The Black Canary Espresso Bar (Yonge)

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on October 10, 2012

the black canary espresso bar yonge torontoThe Black Canary Espresso Bar (Yonge) is the place to get a hot Nutellacino (that is, Nutella Cappucino to the layman) while catching up on the latest disarray in Gotham City. Located inside the new Silver Snail at Yonge and Dundas above HMV, Black Canary is pulling the same Nutella-infused espresso drinks as its location over on Sherbourne, except this spot comes with a great bird's-eye-view of Yonge, and a Batman statue that stares at you while you sip. Trust me — it's more magnificent than menacing.

black canary espresso bar silver snailThe marriage of the new Silver Snail and The Black Canary was a natural one. "My business partner, Mark," says Canary co-owner Luthie Lampa, "is part owner of the Silver Snail. They wanted to put a cafe in the new location, so we figured, 'Why not?' I've always wanted another one."

black canary espresso bar yonge torontoUntil now, there haven't really been any independent cafes at or immediately by Yonge and Dundas. While there's Balzac's on the Ryerson campus and Rise Espresso a little further east, neither are visible from Yonge, and likely, don't have to fork over Yonge and Dundas-sized rent cheques. The Black Canary, on the other hand, has the good fortune (or good planning) of being a business within a business, and will soon boast some street-level signage.

black canary espresso bar yonge torontoEven still, The Black Canary has enjoyed a steady wave of business since the Silver Snail opened its doors about two weeks ago. "It's a totally different scene," Luthie says, comparing this new Black Canary to the cafe on Sherbourne. "We're seeing a lot of tourists, and people with kids. So we're trying to incorporate more kid-friendly drinks."

black canary espresso bar yonge torontoThose kid-friendly drinks include options such as banana hot chocolate and hot chocolate with Nutella, along with The Black Canary's tried and tested roster of menu options. The list is essentially the same, with espresso ($3.00), Americanos ($3.00), macchiatos ($3.25), and more made with Rufino and Detour beans, plus Nutella-infused options such as the beloved Nutellacino ($4.00/$4.75) and Nutella Latte ($4.50/$5.25). You'll also find snacks from Desmond & Beatrice and Queen B Pastry, but unlike on Sherbourne, no sandwiches here.

black canary espresso bar yonge torontoI, of course, opt for the Nutella Latte, and note the tip jar labelled "Donations for Gotham Orphans" while I wait for my drink. As always, it is incredibly smooth and creamy with just the slightest hint of Nutella, which is just enough since I was obliged to lick the spoon once it was crafted. I would've liked it just a little bit hotter, but the drink still managed to disappear within all of five minutes.

the black canary espresso bar yonge torontoThe Black Canary will be sharing the same hours as the Silver Snail, which invites customers to peruse its collection while sipping an espresso or munching on a muffin. However, unpaid merchandise cannot venture into the cafe section, lest any customer risk (direct quote) "Hulk Smash."

black canary espresso bar silver snailPhotos by Morris Lum



Paul / October 10, 2012 at 09:51 am
The Black Canary on Sherbourne is fantastic. Great coffee and great staff. And as the husband is a comic geek, I think we'll be spending some time here.
TJ / October 10, 2012 at 11:16 am
Ouch. $4/4.50 for a Nutella latte. What is this? Starbucks?
Tim Horton / October 10, 2012 at 11:56 am
Is the guy in the stocking cap an employee? A customer? or just a random street person who wandered in?
Sameer replying to a comment from TJ / October 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm
TJ, Starbucks doesn't have a Nutella latte. Try it. It's well worth it!
Sameer replying to a comment from Tim Horton / October 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm
Tim Horton, the guy in the stocking cap is actually a barista, you'll be surprised to know. He brews espresso pretty well. Did you see the argyle sweater or were you just judging where he is from based in where you've been?
bikeroo replying to a comment from Tim Horton / October 10, 2012 at 02:14 pm
Easy there skippy, the guy clearly works there and is not some "random street person who wandered in". No need to be so snarky just because you don't like the way he's dressed.
evan / October 10, 2012 at 05:06 pm
Oh man a cool place to hang out at yonge and dundas?? Sweet! From the look of the coffee pictures they got some quality going on too. I'll be opting for Detour over Rufino though.
Matthew replying to a comment from TJ / October 11, 2012 at 07:23 am
TJ.... Good coffee costs money. So many of us are used to paying low prices for a cup of mediocre (or less) coffee. You get what you pay for. Now, I have not tried the 'nutellaccino' but I do know that Detour roasts some of the best coffees on the market. They are well worth it. $4/$4.50 is a fair price for a good cup. We have to get used to the prices of coffee going up as it will continue to rise. When you look at what goes into it throughout its entire process, it's worth the price.
evan / October 13, 2012 at 01:50 pm
Went by the other day and had a cappuccino, it was good. They need to keep their standards high and keep up with barista training and they could be the best in the area, which could be easy with nothing else decent in the area till you get down to fahrenheit or sam james path. Keep up the good work!
Tim Horton / January 6, 2013 at 04:28 pm
kiss my ass Sameer
Sameer / January 6, 2013 at 04:28 pm
mmm okay!
Arby / February 20, 2013 at 05:16 pm
Black Canary (both shops) is terrific. Thankfully, They haven't ditched the Detour (a roaster).

The staff have to happy to be there for the Silver Snail location to work. I mean 'work' as in 'be a fun espresso bar'. It's very possible that you can get one barista who projects unease, unhappiness, whatever and for who knows what reasons, who regulars will get to know and then try to avoid, but not so as to kill the overall biz. How does a shop owner know? The barista will always be positive, happy and communicative to the owner. Right?

Just a thought.
Rose / November 20, 2013 at 02:23 pm
I love this cafe, it's cool, chill, and close to the Ryerson campus. My only issue is with their coffee, it I go in the morning when I need a pick-me-up but end up just having a tea because the drip coffee is extremely bitter, more so than any other cafe I've been to and I don't always want to splurge on a americano or latte. Other than that, the staff is friendly and the environment is clean and friendly.
Alex / September 26, 2014 at 01:21 pm
I'll second the bitterness - dont they keep the espresso machine at temperature?

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