24 hours in Toronto with RALPH
Contemplation and change are two major themes on RALPH‘s ‘Tables Have Turned’. The disco number from the Toronto-based artist immediately draws you in. The track unfolds beautifully over the three minutes and 21 seconds it spans, floating effortlessly through beautifully melodic pop rhythms and an expertly curated soundscape.
On the track, she laments how she’s lost the upper hand in her relationship. “I had control in the driver’s seat, but my hands are slipping off the wheel” acts as the pre-chorus, settling us into the passenger seat of this disco delight.
We loved the single so much, we thought it would be cool to get an insight into what a day in the life of RALPH in her hometown of Toronto looks like. She’s also put together a bunch of slick pics to accompany her recount. Take a look below:
Toronto is such a sick city and has so much to offer, but ADDITIONALLY it has a lot of amazing female owned businesses that I hugely support and love. I thought it’d be cute to take a little tour of my favorite spots in the city, stopping by some of the best female-run shops! My talented friend Jackie came with, taking snaps along the way.
First stop is my #1 nail spot, Naked Beauty Bar on Dundas West. Owned by two young women from Toronto and staffed exclusively with women, they always have the best playlists and nail technicians. I went with a lilac coloured shellac this time – I’m really feeling shades of purple and yellow for S/S18.
Next up we stroll by Trinity Bellwoods Park, which is big and beautiful and a great place to hang with friends and (sneaky) drink some wine during the summer. I also like to come alone and spread out a blanket for reading, songwriting or people watching. We hit the park at the perfect time, since the blossoms have just appeared and the trees look magical and everyone is feeling excited about summer.
Across the street from the park is Armed, an adorable little jewellery place owned by my pal Desiree. You honestly can’t just window shop here because she has the best gold chains and rings and sunglasses – I grabbed a pair of purple cat eye sunglasses when we stopped in, but could have spent another 20 minutes playing jewellery dress up.
Coffee is my next necessity, so we stop by my go-to cafe, Tucana. Owned by Tenille, a bad-ass lady, Tucana is the best because I can just say “the regular, please” and they know I want a coconut milk Americano misto. It’s always a fun, chatty place since it’s a super popular neighborhood hang and you never know who you’ll bump into – funny enough, the other day I walked in and Kate Nash was sipping a coffee.
After our coffee fix, we pop across the street to visit VSP, a designer consignment store owned by my girlfriend Britt and one of my top 3 favorite places to shop in the city. It has the most gorgeous furniture and is filled with unreal one-of-a-kind pieces. Right now they have a bunch of Beaufille (one of my favorite Canadian fashion lines created by two sisters!) pieces, so I did a little browsing since I always need statement looks. I tried on these insane black satin pants that I’m now obsessed with.
After shopping at VSP, we head east to Kensington Market, one of the most special neighborhoods in Toronto. Full of vintage shops, cafes, bars, dispensaries, ands TONS of food from around the world, Kensington has been one of my favorite places to visit since I was a kid. Although there’s so many stores to choose from, we head to Subrosa, owned by my old friend Erika. She always has amazing vintage Levis and perfectly beat-up tees for really reasonable prices.
After working up an appetite shopping, I always hit Seven Lives for tacos since I LOVE Mexican food. There’s usually a line out the door but it’s worth the wait, since their portions are huge and their tacos are incomparable (and I’ve tried many). Today I get the octopus and the Baja fish and sit outside in the sun, spilling hot sauce onto my Missoni pants whoops.
Upon digesting our tacos, we pause at my fave Kensington Market produce place (aptly called Fruit Kensington Market) to check out their pineapples and avocados. It’s really cheap and their fruit is usually so ripe, it’s my secret spot for fresh groceries.
Migrating back west, we meet up with my friends Steph and Gemma for dinner and drinks at Hello 123 on Queen Street. Owned by my friend Mark Kupfert, of Kupfert and Kim, it’s one of my choice places to eat because it’s beautifully designed AND vegan, so you feel really good about the food you’re eating. I’m pretty big on healthy eating, but I also love places that don’t feel pretentious or kitschy about being plant-based. Plus the drinks are delicious and there’s a patio, which is highly coveted in this lovely city of ours. After a long day of walking around, nothing feels better than a cocktail and your best friends on a patio.
All photos by Jacqueline Ashton