I’ve been a confirmed food hall fan since the concept of an all-under-one-roof culinary extravaganza experience was introduced in Toronto. I was one of those waiting with anticipation for the opening of Eataly, which I had read about years before the company announced plans to take on Toronto.
Food halls, not to be confused with the food courts that grace many of our malls, are destinations in themselves, often showcasing local chefs, independent operators and global tastes. Many food halls are also hyper-local, catering to local tastes. They are culinary theatre personified.
So, imagine my delight when Leaside Life publisher Lorna Krawchuk approached me with an idea to write about a Leaside-born and bred food hall, right on Eglinton between Laird and Sutherland. East York Eats emanates from the fertile imagination of Dan Rios of Conspiracy Pizza fame. His pizzeria originally, which partnered with Adam Skelly of Adamson’s, has now joined with five other eateries working independently but also together to produce, as they say, “fresh eats with sweet treats.”
Even though they launched in the midst of the pandemic, in June 2021, they’ve managed to attract a loyal following of food-aware customers attracted to the eclectic eats and the entrepreneurs behind those eats.
Entrepreneurialism is thriving elsewhere in Leaside. With this issue we introduce a new regular column on the Leaside Business Park. Our talented co-op student Claire Hu interviewed the Leaside Business Park Association’s dynamic president Leslie Kellen, who shares his vision for the LBP. Far from being two solitudes, the Business Park and residential Leaside are finding more and more reasons to reach out and connect. Enjoy the issue!