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Living in one of the city’s most connected waterfront neighbourhoods means being steps away from Toronto’s most beloved destinations. So whether you’re catching a concert or a game, meeting friends for dinner in one of the city’s trendiest pockets or simply picking up a few last-minute grocery items, Quay House’s convenient location keeps everything right at your fingertips.

Come along with us as we explore 15 things that are 15-minute walk or less from Empire Quay House. 

1. Sugar Beach

2 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

What was once another unremarkable city parking lot is now one of the city’s hottest summer lounging spots. Located at the foot of Lower Jarvis and just across the street from Quay House, Sugar Beach (so named because of the nearby sugar refinery) is a favourite local destination for taking a promenade through a canopy of shady trees or unwinding under the beach’s iconic pink umbrellas. And while the beach does not allow for swimming in Lake Ontario, that doesn’t stop locals flocking to its sandy shore for great views of the city skyline, scenic lake views and (of course) for the one-of-a-kind Instagram opportunities.

2. Loblaws

3 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

Forgot that secret ingredient needed to make your winning party dish? With grocery retailer Loblaws just a quick jaunt from Quay House, you’ll always have the time needed to run out and get it before hosting.  Locals love this particular location for its wide selection, on-site Starbucks and pharmacy, hot food table and free parking.

3. George Brown College, Waterfront Campus

4 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

Overlooking the Toronto Harbour is George Brown College’s Waterfront campus, a state-of-the-art building that supports academic programs and industry projects for the School of Design, School of Dental Health, School of Health Services Management, School of Health & Wellness and the Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing. The campus also offers continuing education programs. Aside from the acclaimed programs that this campus is known for, students also love the location along the water, on-site coffee shop and Wi-Fi supported common areas.

4. Quay Media Services

4 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

A Corus Entertainment company, Quay Media Services offers a complete suite of media solutions and services — including film locations, television and social media production, post production, animation, FX, MAM Solutions, QC and deliverables — all within its Toronto facility. Their impressive portfolio includes channels like W Network, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada and National Geographic, as well as a leading network of 39 radio stations, making the company a leader in television and radio broadcasting.

5. Sherbourne Common

5 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

Located east of Lower Sherbourne Street, the 1.5 hectare Sherbourne Common spans two city blocks and features plenty of green space for lounging as well as a long water channel with three futuristic art installations. While the park is a great place to relax and unwind under the shady trees on a summer day, it’s also a hot spot for popular summer festivals including Cider Fest.

6. Sur Gallery

6 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

In need of inspiration? Sur Gallery is the city’s first gallery space dedicated to showcasing and promoting Latin-American artists and art projects. Loved by locals because of the representation it gives to a minority community, Sur Gallery rotates their contemporary and conceptual art shows frequently, so be sure to explore their website to see current exhibits and upcoming speakers.

7. Against the Grain

6 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

Bite into global-inspired dishes, tasty tavern offerings and hand-crafted cocktails at Against the Grain. This local gem is a stone’s throw from Sugar Beach, George Brown College and the Sherbourne Common and has ample patio seating during summer months so that you can enjoy views of Lake Ontario and Centre Island while you eat. Best-loved for their selection of delicious burgers and steaks, Against the Grain also attracts locals for its rockin’ live music nights.

8. David Crombie Park

9 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

Home to Toronto’s most recognized basketball court, David Crombie Park is a 1.6 hectare park in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood that features a baseball diamond, an off-leash dog area, two children’s playgrounds, a wading pool and — of course — this art-inspired basketball court. Named after the former Mayor of Toronto, the park is always buzzing with activity during spring and summer months.

9. St. Lawrence Market

10 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

For the best food market in town, look no further than the St. Lawrence Market. This centuries-old Toronto landmark is a short 10 minute walk from Quay House and features over two hundred vendors that sell everything from fresh pasta, fresh cuts of meats, artisanal bread and organic fruits and vegetables. Be sure to visit around lunch time for a selection of mouth-watering sandwiches, pizzas, baked goods and more.

10. The Old Spaghetti Factory

11 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

Originally built as a blacksmith shop in 1898, the building was converted into The Old Spaghetti Factory in 1971 and is now one of the city’s most distinct restaurants. Filled with a collection of unique artifacts and antiques (including an old streetcar and carousel), the restaurant serves up a one-of-a-kind dining experience in addition to delicious Italian-inspired dishes. Their large portions means that no guest has ever left hungry.

11. Young People’s Theatre

11 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

The oldest professional theatre company in Toronto, the Young People’s Theatre is a non-for-profit company that focuses on putting on shows for youth. Parents with young children especially love the theatre because the of the welcoming set up that’s perfect for the age group, and the chance they have to support excellent local talent. Explore their website to see what’s currently playing and upcoming performances.

12. St. James Park

12 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

Quay House residents in need of a place to relax and unwind amongst nature should look no further than St. James Park. Located next to its namesake cathedral, St. James Park is a series of formal gardens that are anchored by a grand gazebo and walking trails that include beautiful flower gardens and tree-lined paths. Loved by locals of all ages — from adults who can’t resist the escape-from-the-city feel, to children who love the farmers’ market-themed playground — the park is a true city gem.

13. Scotiabank Arena

15 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

Whether you want to watch the game or see your favourite artist live, the Scotiabank Arena is the place to be. The multi-purpose venue hosts everything from concerts to hockey, basketball, wrestling and sports events and is only a 15-minute walk from Quay House. No matter what you’re coming to see, the energy in the arena is always electric, and the customer service is always top-notch.

14. Harbourfront Centre

15 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

The Harbourfront Centre provides arts, culture, education and recreation programs all within a collection of distinctive venues in the heart of Toronto’s waterfront. With Lake Ontario as a backdrop, the centre attracts a broad range of people that come to listen to great live music, see striking visual art displays, or be part of cool festivals. And while the Harbourfront’s prime location near the lake, proximity to great restaurants and array of things to do means it’s always busy in the summer, locals also love stopping by during winter months thanks to its seasonal ice staking rink.

15. Distillery District

15 MINUTES ON FOOT FROM EMPIRE QUAY HOUSE

While it might be best known for its annual Christmas Market, the pedestrian-friendly Distillery District is a local hot spot for Torontonians year-round. Lined with cool restaurants, bars and boutiques as well as incredible art galleries, outdoor sculptures and live theatre performances, the Distillery District is undoubtedly one of the city’s trendiest destinations. Be sure to keep an eye out for doors that have signage on them — a lot of them are proud local shops hidden between the restaurants and galleries.

With so much to see and do around Toronto’s eastern waterfront already, it’s unsurprising that the area is on track to transform into the city’s hottest new technology and innovation hub with Sidewalk Toronto, the Waterfront Innovation Centre and Google’s new headquarters all coming to the area. To see more entertainment and dining options, parks, major businesses and grocers around Quay House, click the link below.

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