Loveless Toronto


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Loveless is a cafe and bar on Dundas St. W. at Gladstone. Taking over what used to be Novo Horizonte Sports Bar, it's not too far away from its sibling watering hole Unlovable across the street.

Loveless Toronto

Owner Jamal Watson tells me this place is meant to be a more grown-up, mature version of that first bar (this one's named after the seminal My Bloody Valentine album while the other is the title of a Smiths song).

He wanted to experiment with a different vibe by adding a daytime element, to see what things are like when the sun's up (Loveless opens at 7am).

Loveless Toronto

Decor-wise, the theme here seems to be birds and boats (Watson loves both); taxidermied birds (including a museum-worthy diorama), owl curios and model sailboats acquired from Chief Salvage Co.

There's also Bums/Bunz/Whatever-you-want-to-call-it Trading Zone adorn the back bar area, while plants occupy the front.

Loveless Toronto

On a hot summer night, the picnic tables on the side patio are packed with people, and inside there's a guy taking advantage of the free WiFi, working away on his laptop by the raised garage door looking out onto the street.

Plenty of tea lights at the tables add a romantic atmosphere for those here on dates.

Loveless Toronto

Espresso-based drinks made with Sam James' Cut Coffee beans on a Slayer machine are available day and night (espresso/Americano, $2.50; cappuccino/cortado, $3; latte, $3.50) - you can even have an espresso at 2 a.m. if you want, although Watson adds, "I don't recommend it."

There are plans to add cold brew to the offerings, along with coffee-based cocktails, while those looking for something other than coffee and/or booze can choose from a selection of SerendipiTea organic loose leaf teas ($3/pot) or fresh-pressed juice ($4).

When I visit, beef patties ($3) from Kensington's Golden Patty prove to be a popular snack. There are also doubles ($3.50) as well as Foodbenders sandwiches ($8), and during the day, vegan cookies and muffins ($2-$2.50) from OMG Baked Goodness .

Loveless Toronto

Like the wines ($9/glass), beers on tap ($8) change frequently, with breweries like Beau's, Granville Island, Okanagan Spring, Erdinger, Steigl and Unibroue represented. Tall cans include Woodhouse's lager ($7), Longslice's Hopsta La Vista ($8) and Brickworks' cider ($8).

Happy hour lasts from 4pm to 7pm every day, with Woodhouse going for $5, and on Sundays Jameson is $5 all night long.

Loveless Toronto

Cocktails are a specialty here, with refreshing and refined concoctions like the Corvette Summer ($11), with Tromba Blanco, grapefruit, lime, tonic syrup and soda.

Loveless Toronto

The Elder Statesman ($12) with Havana Club Anejo, St. Germain, lime, cinnamon syrup and nutmeg - proving to be popular choices.

Loveless Toronto

My personal fave is the Pisco Fino Sour ($11), as I've never come across a properly made sour I haven't enjoyed.

It's a frothy and tart mash-up of Pisco, Tio Pepe Fino sherry, lemon, lime, simple syrup and egg whites (trust me - they're a must!) topped with dashes of Angostura bitters. Yum.

It also happens to be British-Aussie bartender Neil Barrie's fave cocktail to make, as he likes giving the drink a final artist's touch with the bitters on the egg white foam. He tells me he works at Dark Horse during the day, so perhaps there's a latte art connection there.

Loveless Toronto

I'm calling it now: this spot will easily become a Dundas West staple, if it isn't considered one already.

Loveless Toronto

Photos by

Jesse Milns


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