In The City With Kids

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Hidden Gems in Toronto: East End  

A donut with rainbow sprinkles on a blue, yellow, and pink background from a hidden gem in Toronto, Glory Hole Donuts.

From delightful doughnuts to bookstore kittens, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in east Toronto. Read on for our 5 favourite hidden gems in Toronto’s east end.

  1. Ella Minnow Bookstore

Ella Minnow Bookstore is an indie bookstore with literature for babies, teens and kids of all ages in between. Their equity and diversity booklists highlight books with positive messages of inclusion, and there’s a cat-themed section, with a portion of profits from sales going to Cat’s Cradle Kitten Rescue. Some days you’ll even find adoptable kittens in store, for kids to read to and maybe even convince their grown-ups to add to the family! 

991 Kingston Rd

  1. Berczy Park Dog Fountain

For free fun––and whimsy––visit Berczy Park Dog Fountain. This fountain is surrounded by 27 cast-iron dog sculptures of all breeds and sizes poised around each of its tiers, their mouths spouting water and their eyes fixed on the giant bone at the top. (Child detectives can look for the solo cat too.) It’s a place to appreciate the lighter side of life, as enthralling for canine visitors as for the humans who love them. 

35 Wellington St E

  1. Udupi Palace

Kids will love going for dosas at Udupi Palace in Little India. These giant paper-thin, crispy crepes are made with fermented batter and served with chutneys and stuffing-like potato and spices. The kids’ menu offers cheese and ketchup or fruit jam dosas to please palates-in-training. 

1423 Gerrard St E 

  1. Ontario Science Centre

This isn’t exactly a “hidden” gem, but we couldn’t really talk about the east end of the city without mentioning the Ontario Science Centre. Designed by famed architect Raymond Moriyama, this science-centric museum and activity centre has been a favourite of both locals and visitors since it opened in 1969. Good luck getting the kids out at the end of the day. 

770 Don Mills Rd

  1. Glory Hole

Glory Hole has inspired doughnuts for every occasion. Rainy weekend? Keep the family busy with the DIY Doughnut Kit, which comes with six doughnuts, three glazes and toppings galore. Or, order the letter-shaped doughnuts and call it a learning opportunity. Sunny weekday? Take the kids to the Upper Beaches location, perch them at the counter, and treat them to neighbourhood-favourite flavours like toast and butter, s’mores or chunky monkey. 

1505 Gerrard St E

Photo: @ghdoughnuts on Instagram

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