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Restaurants

The Boreal Gelato Company

Posted by Robyn Urback / Reviewed on July 19, 2011 / review policy

Boreal GelatoThe Boreal Gelato Company is a new Parkdale gelato shop and cafe that carries its eco-friendly mandate from construction to cone.

The shop itself is a testament to owner Melanie Clancy's commitment to the environment. The seating is comprised of salvaged church pews, the floors are made of reclaimed wood, and much of the furniture has been repurposed using finds from her grandmother's home.

Boreal GelatoAnd then there's the packaging. It's all biodegradable--from the cups to the spoons and the napkins--and the edible packaging (read: the cones) comes from local, rather than international producers.

Boreal GelatoNext, there's the gelato. It's all made in-house using natural ingredients that are local and seasonal when possible. "Of course, we can't find local pineapple," Melanie says gesturing towards the cooler with its Pineapple Sorbet. "But we're making Raspberry Sorbet now that raspberries are in season, and a few weeks ago it was strawberries."

Boreal GelatoMelanie, who has a background in food, ice cream, and event planning, says she wanted to open a gelato shop where you know (and can pronounce) everything that has gone into your scoop. "Gelato is often healthier than ice cream," she says. "Plus, there's a bit of an artisan quality to it."

Boreal GelatoThere are 10 flavours when I stop by including Banana Chocolate, Pistachio, and vegan Lemon Olive Oil. I select a cup ($4.00) of Pineapple Sorbet, which is really rich in flavour and quite sweet with little bits of pineapple throughout. It's quite creamy for being dairy-free, but the scoop seems a bit small to merit a $4.00 price tag, leaving me to wonder what the kiddie ($2.75) would look like.

Boreal GelatoOf course, it's not just gelato at The Boreal Gelato Company. The shop is part café, offering fair trade, organic Americano ($2.50), latte ($3.50) and more using beans roasted at the Merchants of Green. Boreal also makes smoothies ($4.00) milkshakes ($4.00) and other desserts, and Melanie tells me a sugar-free gelato made specifically for diabetics is currently in the works.

In the meantime, Boreal offers free WiFi, lots of space to kick back and relax, and tasty, rich gelato made of ingredients you'll actually recognize.

Boreal GelatoBoreal GelatoPhotos by Jesse Milns.

Discussion

13 Comments

Gabriella / July 19, 2011 at 02:47 pm
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I tried the lemon olive oil sorbetto in a cup and it was delicious and not way too sweet.

However, while I'm a big believer in quality over quantity, I think they really push it.
raymi / July 19, 2011 at 02:58 pm
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gorgeous and delicious thanks for the tip that's my hood!
David / July 19, 2011 at 03:24 pm
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Very very tasty. Wonderful service, pleasant, and good prices. Honestly, I wish it were summer forever with this place around. Hell, I'm going tonight.
Matt / July 19, 2011 at 04:23 pm
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I stopped in with a friend the other day. Melanie was fantastic and you can tell she CARES!
Benjamin / July 20, 2011 at 12:35 am
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Melanie is just about the nicest person I've met. Love the store. Love the Gelato.
Courtney / July 20, 2011 at 11:54 am
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I went in here the other day and it is quite delicious. A little pricy so I don't think I will be in there regularly, but it makes a nice treat.
Mr hb / July 24, 2011 at 09:46 am
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Love this place, and so glad they opened in my hood!
J.S. / July 24, 2011 at 01:02 pm
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Very expensive for the amount you get. Like…really, really small portions.
Mr hb replying to a comment from J.S. / July 24, 2011 at 11:28 pm
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I disagree about the portions - mine have been huge, but I did notice that the staff are inconsistant with the sizes. I think mine were served by the owner and she gives big scoops, the guy seems to give smaller ones. But still not "really, really small portions" in my opinion. Oh well, it tastes great and is worth it for the quality.
Lyssy D / August 22, 2011 at 10:46 am
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BGC's gelato is so delicious I came to this site to blog (ok gush!) about it! In all of the flavours I've tried (love that they allow you to sample!) I could taste the authenticity of the natural, fresh ingredients. Great service too. Thanks, highly recommended!
Tom / September 3, 2011 at 04:27 pm
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Very tasty gelato indeed. I had the pineapple and coconut which were excellent. But I agree with most of the comments here - definitely overpriced for the amount you get. I'm not looking for super size portions but frankly - a few spoonfuls of ice cream for over 4 bucks is a tad ridiculous. I left wondering if she mistakenly charged me for a large and served a mini so I may go back and give it a second chance.
Rach / March 27, 2013 at 03:46 pm
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I love this place. Everything I've had has ranged from being delicious to insanely delicious. The lemon and olive oil is to die for. The peach, the strawberry, the wild blueberry... so many more... Easily the best gelato in Toronto. The staff is lovely- especially the owner. Yes, it's not cheap, but I'd rather have a mini serving of Boreal gelato than 2 litres of Breyer's. ALSO- delicious brunch! GO HERE.
Rach / March 27, 2013 at 03:47 pm
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PS for former Montrealers- this is Toronto's bilboquet, without the ridiculous line up.

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