Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bagel World - Worth the Shlep North

To Crazy Suburban Mom and all my other lovely friends - I'm sorry I've fallen off the thrift wagon this week. In Toronto, we'd just come back from a week off school. I threw myself back into planning and teaching and in my free time, I was working more on my other much neglected blogs. This post may end up on Five Ways to Disappear, since it's about disappearing into places and spaces in the city. I finally have thrifted goodies for CSM, Chris, and Sharla at Monkey Box. I just have to organize the mailing. Tomorrow, I'm taking Duncan thrifting if it's the last thing we do. Stick around for joy.
Hebrew-esque font greets lures hungry people in to Bagel World: a gem in an otherwise bleak strip plaza at Wilson and Bathurst.

As part of my new year's resolution to get out there and have some adventures, I'm trying to find surprises in the city. We NEVER venture north into North York. I can't tell you anything about this part of the city, except that there's an Ikea up there near the 401 highway. Today, my plan was to take Duncan to the far reaches of the north end of T.O., visit Bagel World (this part of town has a large Jewish population), and head to Earl Bales Park to look for snakes. I know the last bit sounds crazy. I'll get to that story later.
View looking back where the subway was (near the traffic lights).
My poor son. He's a hearty four-year-old, but we did so much walking today, I'm surprised he doesn't have corns or bunions. I banished his stroller when he was two and started dragging him everywhere by foot. No wagons! After the long haul on the subway from our house to York Mills Station, I thought we could walk to Wilson and Bathurst. If only I'd taken a closer look at the map.
Turning the other way, this was the hill we had ahead of us. This hill was maybe a quarter of the journey to Bagel World. Good for flabby moms in their late-thirties, not so good for kindergarten-age kids.

I learned about Bagel World from the show Restaurant Makeover. This restaurant got the food and decor makeover. As I recall from the episode, it was just pretty run-down, but the locals loved it. It looked really nice when the renovation was completed. When we got there, I was expecting it to still have that chi-chi glow to it. Well, it didn't. Still, it looked like a busy restaurant/bakery should and the food was great. What more can you ask for?

Here's the intro of the show. The music is less fiery when you watch the show. I wish they had stuck with this music. Chef Lynn Crawford rules. She's got a new show called Pitchin' In, which I'll have to blog about another time.

Here's what I got: their famous Twister bagel, lovingly made on site, baked fresh each day. Dig the mountain of cream cheese they provided. They also came by with a vat of butter. I wasn't sure what to do with it. Cream cheese and butter together seem over-the-top.
Duncan ordered chocolate chip pancakes and helped me out with the bagel. If Jamie Oliver is reading this, you'll be glad to know that the three pancakes were small and they were not served with maple syrup - just a light dusting of icing sugar. We did a lot more walking when it was over in order to work off the old gut(s).
Only in a bagel restaurant would they have a picture of the Three Stooges in the ladies' washroom.
We walked another marathon walk to Earl Bales Park, but by that point, junior was practically limping, so we turned back. I'll head back to the park another time. I'm trying to overcome my fear of snakes and my dental hygienist told me last week that snakes come out onto the trail at Earl Bales Park to sun themselves. Her mom takes her morning walk there, but the snakes freak her out. I'm pretty sure I developed my fear of snakes from my dad, who comes from Australia - land of the most venomous snakes.

Happy vintage treasures to come,


  1. Hey I remember that place from restaurant makeover too!

    Are the bagels as good as the Montreal ones? I'm sure you know about the feud...

    Tha snakes in the park are freaky!lol!

  2. Ha! I didn't know there was any feud. I just assumed that Montreal was the bagel capital of Canada. Still, the Twister was the best bagel I've had in Toronto. The restaurant looked like it hadn't had a big makeover, but it had soul.
    Bye, Vonlipi. I'm loving that New Mexico plate.


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I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.