Harbord Street: Toronto's Best-Kept Shopping Secret
Known to many as Sussex -Ulster, Harbord Village, or The Annex, this diverse area where Good For Her is located offers as much for its Torontonian residents as it does new explorers of the city. Nestled within the neighbourhood’s parameters is Harbord Street, offering all the big city feels while simultaneously providing a quaint and intimate appeal.
As one of the many local businesses rooted on Harbord Street, we wanted to give a shout out to some of our neighbours — because who doesn’t want one of the best croissants in all of Toronto after shopping for sex toys? If croissants aren’t your thing, trust us when we say you’ll definitely find something to enjoy on Harbord Street, whether you are coming in person or want to browse online!
We've rounded up a great list of some of the places to check out as you stroll down Harbord Street; bakeries, art, specialty bookstores, cafes, fine or fast-food dining, fashion, and more.
Neighbouring Good For Her is the Canadian lifestyle brand Kwesiya by designer Fanny Ngantcheu. Renowned for their original uses of block prints and colours inspired by West Africa but truly a vibrant juxtaposition of many cultures — who doesn’t love creative inclusivity? Shop the original high-quality clothes, home decor and get your hands on one of the multi-use scarves; they are a perfect accessory.
Before the pandemic we loved offering our shoppers a warm cup of tea, but now you have the option of a quick stroll west of us to Bampot! It’s a welcoming space to be yourself and relax in the comfort of cozy pillows, board games, and tea — whether you want a classic hot drink or cold, Bompot also offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free snacks. Check them out for upcoming events like improv shows and live music!
Good vibes don’t just come from an excellent sex toy; make a quick stop to The Rock Store and raise your energetic vibrations too. Browse the many healing crystals and tools to bring the right energy to your person or environment. Besides getting lost in one of the prettiest locations on Harbord, sign up for one of the many classes or services offered such as intuitive readings, reiki and astrology.
Named after the Sanskrit word for essence of taste and aesthetic flavour, Rasa is a fusion restaurant owned by the Food Dudes. It’s a must go-to for a creatively delicious brunch, dinner, or drinks. The sleek aesthetic, talented chefs and super friendly staff create a fantastic experience that will no doubt have you back again – for more than just their famous chopped salad and sticky buns!
Newly opened Major Treat Coffee is a fantastic addition to the street. Similar to the Good For Her vision, they pride themselves in offering an inclusive, safe, friendly, and welcoming environment — they even have their in-shop rules on the wall. You might recognize them from their other location on Queen Street, but what sets this Harbord location apart is that they are sharing the space with Emissions Records Shop, who specialize in hard-to-find hardcore and punk vinyl. With your new sex toys in tow, you can grab a coffee and browse through thousands of records and find that rare gem that you can’t get online.
168 Brunswick Ave. (on the corner of Harbord St. and Brunswick) - @majortreatcoffee
Besides enjoying the architectural designs of some of our glass and steel sex toys you might also be in the market for original modern art: Spence Gallery is bringing carefully curated abstract, figurative and mixed media art to Harbord Street. Founded in 2005, the owner’s inspiration was to create an art gallery grounded in inclusion that embraces contemporary art without the entry barriers to acquire such works. Enjoy affordable pieces from new and mid-career artists from Canada and around the world, book a private appointment, or check their website for walk-in times.
Sometimes you just want a quickie, and if some quick eats are what you’re looking for, let it be from Harbord Fish & Chips, who have been at this for 38 years! Their classic menu uses a staple of simple, fresh and reliably delicious ingredients that comes through in the flavours. Order online or simply stop by; you can't miss their bright blue and red exterior.
147 Harbord St. - https://www.harbordfishandchips.com
Your health is an important part of pleasure, from mental health to physical health, and we all need to find the time to take care of ourselves. Studio 79 uses personalized wellness technology to give you a new experience in self-care. No matter what your starting point and your health goals are, Studio 79 can help improve your quality of life with EMS training, infrared pods, body shaping services, body composition analysis, spa services and nutrition coaching.
Another long-standing business and a must for any passers-by along Harbord is the Harbord Bakery & Calandria. With a rich family history that started right here in Toronto in 1929, this bakery is award-winning and feels more like a community, eager to help you celebrate any occasion with a vast variety of hot foods and baked goods. Order ahead online or stop by and see what’s pre-made. Their cakes are A-MAZING and if you don’t pick up some challah bread, were you even on Harbord Street?
115 Harbord St. - http://www.harbordbakery.ca
Bakka Phoenix Science Fiction & Fantasy Bookstore is Canada’s oldest science fiction and fantasy bookstore that came to Harbord Street in 2010. The large space houses new books on the ground floor, used books downstairs, and a top floor that is available for meetings or book clubs. This friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you discover something new or find the niche novel you’ve been looking for.
We mentioned the best fresh out of the oven chocolate croissants in the city, and if you’ve made it this far in our list, here’s the inside scoop – trust us, there’s usually a line outside for these babies! Emmer is an artisanal bakery and restaurant from delicious breakfast sammies and sausage rolls, to an array of breads and also sweet treats such as pain-au-chocolat and other new creations. Everything tastes even better than it looks; this bakery is sure to impress and a welcome newer fixture to the street.
The vast variety of Harbord Street storefronts make us feel right at home with businesses who carry with them a history of self-resilience and growth, as well as the drive to make the exclusive inclusive. They’re all doing it in a way that thrives off integrity, creativity, and a sense of community and it feels great to bring our own sex-positive community and shoppers to this area. Hopefully next time you find yourself looking for something to do, you make your way to Harbord Street — and don’t forget to stop by your friendly neighborhood sex shop and say hi!
A few other businesses you don’t want to miss:
And for a full Harbord Street directory and a clear list of the innumerable restaurants and cafes: