sterling road toronto

15 places to check out on Sterling Road in Toronto

Sterling Road has left behind its past of manufacturing bicycles and fire hydrants for good coffee, craft beer and contemporary art in the Lower Junction Triangle. Hop off the West Toronto Railpath for this Nestlé-scented industrial strip with attractions from circus arts to Toronto's famous aluminum-factory-turned-gallery. 

Here are some places to check out on Sterling Road in Toronto once restrictions are lifted and it's safe to do so.

Food and drink

Forno Cultura

Sitting on the first floor of the MOCA is the sixth outpost of this popular Italian bakery and cafe. Hit the biscotti bar, shop the pantry or grab a pour-over. 

Ethica Coffee Roasters

Single-origin specialty beans are roasted in a Dutch Giesen roaster at this coffee shop with a high-ceilinged interior. 

Portfolio Coffee

Find imported beans from Brazil, Colombia and Nicaragua that are locally roasted, and offered at lower prices than usual, at this coffee shop on Sterling.

Henderson Brewing

Acting as one of the main anchors of the street is this 9,000-square-foot brewery. Grab a pint in the tap room (or a growler to go) of brews like the flagship Henderson's Best. 

Drake Commissary

This culinary hub is where all the Drake's baked goods and prepared foods are made. Get everything from main meals to cocktails with snacks in a cushy space with a spacious patio. 

sterling road toronto

The Drake Commissary is a destination for everything from cocktails to dinner. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Shopping and fashion

House of Anansi

Buy some books written by some of your favourite Canada writers at the bookstore-meets-headquarters of this venerated publishing company. 

The Fitzroy

Not all special occasions call for brand new dresses. At Fitzroy, you can rent your dream dress, and a bag to go with it, at this dreamy shop in the Sterling Studio Lofts. 

Blind Tiger

Touch up your roots, get some highlights or do a full bleach job at this barber shop and salon near Bloor Street.

Smack Tattoos

Get inked at this tattoo shop where artists have been tatting up folks with custom pieces since 2007.

Make Den

Shop fabric, notions and patterns through this sewing studio's Instagram. Classes on leather, bra-making and fashion boot camps will resume later this year. 

Design

Brothers Dressler

Shop solid wood furniture and lighting from this studio by Lars and Jason Dressler. Visits are appointment-only. 

Pipe and Wood

If you're looking for rustic housewares, look no further than this shop selling everything from coffee tables to kitchen islands.

sterling road toronto

MOCA reopened inside an old aluminum factory in 2018. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Art

MOCA

No visit to Sterling Road is complete without dropping by this multi-floor art gallery, which originally opened in 1999 as MOCCA before dropping the extra 'c' in 2016 and moving to this former factory in 2018. 

Analogue Gallery

The sheer number of rock and rollers photographed and displayed at this gallery will leave you star struck. View the collection by appointment only. 

Art Metropole

After moving from King Street to Dundas West, this longtime artist-run centre and shop founded by art collective General Idea has settled its exhibitions and stock of artsy publications for sale on the first floor of MOCA. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez of Ethica


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