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Excursions: Junction Triangle - Henderson Brewing Co.

by Alexandros Varoutas May 19, 2022

Excursions: Junction Triangle - Henderson Brewing Co.

Excursions: Junction Triangle - Henderson Brewing Co.


Excursions is a series of fun and cheap “date” ideas built around different breweries in and around Toronto.

Don’t get me wrong, though. You definitely don’t have to be on a date to enjoy these; they're just as fun with a group of friends. Whether you’re walking, biking, or driving, there's a brewery excursion for you to check out. 

Neighborhood: Junction Triangle
Itinerary: Ethica Coffee Roasters, Museum of Contemporary Art, Henderson Brewing Co., Sugo
Transportation: Walk

Jungle Triangle
Dundas West Station > 850m 10min walk > Ethica Coffee Roasters > 76m 1min walk > MOCA > 98m 1min walk > Henderson > 1km 12min walk > Sugo > 110m 2min walk > Lansdowne Station

Here’s the plan. You start at Ethica, you walk over to MOCA to “ooh” and “ahh” at Canada’s shiny new art museum, head next door to debrief over a beer at Henderson, and then cap the night off with spaghetti and meatballs at Sugo. The perfect day.

 

Ethica Coffee Roasters


Start the day at Ethica Coffee Roasters. What makes Ethica special is that they roast the coffee on-site and also wholesale it. This means two things. First, the beans will be fresh. Probably fresher than you can normally get short of roasting them at home in a frying pan (I’ve tried and it was a disaster. Don't bother.)

 

Second, the turnover is quick because they're always moving product through their cafe and their wholesale accounts so you don’t have to worry about grabbing a bag that’s been sitting on the shelf for six months. The space is beautiful too. High ceilings, exposed brick walls, big windows, all laced with an industrial vibe.

 

And as a bonus, there’s live music every Sunday. Live music in a cute coffee shop. What’s not to love!? Grab a bag of beans to take home or just treat yourself to a really nice cup of coffee.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art


Ok. So you’ve finished your cortado and you need to burn off some energy. Head across the street to the shiny new Museum Of Contemporary Art. (The cool kids call it MOCA by the way.)  This is the latest incarnation of what was originally called the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA) which used to be on Queen Street West. Now it’s located in a former factory that’s been renovated and dolled up. Tickets will run you about $10 per adult which is about the price I’m willing to pay for something I’m not entirely sure I’ll understand. Of course, I paid $16 to see Tenet in theaters and I still don't know what that was about. If you’re
not a super artsy person and aren’t sure what to do at the museum, my advice is to not overthink it. The difference between traditional art forms and contemporary art is that contemporary art lets people express themselves in a more individual way rather than through a specific medium or technique. Just look around and try to read into each artist based on their work. If all else fails, just crack-wise the whole time. People at museums love a joker.

Musium of Contemporary Art

Henderson Brewing Company

Now that you’ve taken in some contemporary art, you’ll want to grab a drink and talk about how you could have made everything there if you wanted to. Head next door to Henderson Brewing Co. The tasting room is practically in the actual brewery and in the summer time the garage doors are open making it a breezy spot for a peaceful beer away from loud streets and traffic. If you’ve never had Henderson beer before I suggest trying Henderson’s Best. In a nutshell, the
brewery is named after Robert J. Henderson, the first person to commercially brew beer in Toronto back in 1800, and Henderson’s Best is an homage to the kind of beer that was probably being brewed back then: a true, English style, extra special bitter. Alternatively, you could try the Rush Canadian Golden Ale. What makes it “Canadian” is that there’s rye in the mash bill as opposed to just barley malt. Similar to what makes rye whiskey Canadian. Oh! Also, Rush was deeply involved in the beer making process and spent a lot of time at the brewery deciding what style it should be. That makes it Canadian, too.
Henderson Brewing


Sugo


Finally, for dinner, walk over to Sugo on Bloor Street. Sugo’s a trendy restaurant that really leans into the Italian-American thing. Instead of boujie menu items and tiny portions you get checkered tablecloths and garlic bread as far as the eye can see. Think classic comfort food like veal parm, caesar salad, and tiramisu. They also sell jars of sugo for you to take home, too.



Alexandros Varoutas
Alexandros Varoutas

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