garden patio toronto

Toronto's secret garden patio is opening for the season

Prepare to enter a secret, lush garden patio, tucked away at the back of a gorgeous independent coffee shop.

Cafe 23, a Parisian-style cafe just steps away from Trinity Bellwoods, is known for its classic French pastries sourced from local bakeries and fresh bouquets of flowers from Crown Flora Studio.

What fewer people know about is its secret backyard patio.

"I'm from France and Cafe 23 has a very European vibe. Cafes are very important in my life — it's part of our culture. I wanted to create a homey space with lots of charm," Parisian-born owner Vanessa Sansonetti told blogTO.

Sansonetti's background in architecture, eye for design and love for plants influenced her choice of decor.

From the Joy Division album cover mural, to the myriad of plants, art and books for sale, the space is much more than a cafe.

"You really don’t expect that kind of patio in the back on Queen St. When I got the spot and saw this jungle out back, I saw the potential for it to be a very cute garden," Sansonetti admitted.

A wall of ivy cascades down the wall of the cafe's back patio out back with another smaller patio upstairs on a wooden deck.

Cafe 23 opens its doors to the public June 11 at 7 a.m. as part of the Step 1 reopening and can hold 20 people safely. They've been working around the clock to prepare, adhering to the new rules and regulations.

"I want to make sure we are making things safe for our customers and doing things carefully, while providing a lot of charm," Sansonetti said.

Lead photo by

Cafe 23


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