Crossing Spadina, the dividing Berlin Wall of Queen Street, you get a very clear sense of entering what is known as the "hipster" part of Toronto. A Toronto Hipster is a brilliant stereotype for some really awesome and great people who live and breathe Toronto. They're ironic and quirky and if I'll be completely honest, they're everything I wanted to be as a teenager growing up in this city.
Queen West has one of the greatest stretches of shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafes in the city. It also is home to Trinity Bellwoods, that park with the white squirrels that I used to go to to try and be cool.
One of my favourite cafes happens to be a little more west that Spadina, but right before the intersection of Bathurst and Queen. It's called Early Bird Espresso & Brew Bar and on any given day you're probably going to find it packed with people on their laptops, much like I am right this very minute. Every time I pay this place a visit, I'm able to detect some new element of Scandinavian minimalism. From the open-faced sandwiches on rye bread or the crisp white brick interior and scattered plant friends, I can't help but feel at ease with this Nordic Feng-Shui. Yet, I am reminded of where I am: by looking out the window at the sight of the 501 streetcar passing by, with my coffee brewed from Pilot Coffee Roaster beans, and by eavesdropping on conversations I can understand because they're all English and not Danish. This brings me back to Toronto. This also feels like home to me.