Would you want Drake or The Weeknd as your Toronto tour guide?

The Weeknd’s recent romantic spin around Toronto with Selena Gomez and Drake’s shout-outs to his hometown on his brand new album reveal a handful of local spots dear to the globe-trotting superstars.

From snacks to fun to shopping, the Star examines a few of the places these guys miss when they’re out of town — and some of the ones they make time for when they make it back.

Whose tour around Toronto would you rather take?


Tour Guide: Toronto dark R&B artist The Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye), 27

The Tour: A multi-day hometown date, in the footsteps of Tesfaye and American singer (and Justin Bieber ex) Selena Gomez.

The Food: Lunch at the Thompson Diner — an all-hours spot for comfort eats, beer and cocktails — on Wellington St. near Bathurst St. The place is self-described as a “modern interpretation of the classic diner” and gets good but not rave ratings on Yelp and Tripadvisor. If a burger made from two grilled cheese sandwiches or the “signature” double mac and cheese with truffle oil doesn’t suit you (as we doubt it did Gomez), the menu also has lighter options available.

Save room for dinner at Blowfish, a high-end sushi restaurant and sake bar on King St. W. where the couple was also reportedly spotted.

The Shopping: To Yorkville, of course, with a requisite stop at the Bloor St. flagship of luxury department store Holt Renfrew. Bring your pocketbook . . . so you can buy a nicer one.

The Entertainment: Take in a movie at one of the VIP cinemas at Cineplex Yonge-Dundas — and get the whole room to yourself. The couple reportedly bought out all the seats for a screening of the comedy-horror movie Get Out.

Later, marvel at the aquatic wonders of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada — where Gomez was apparently quite taken by the jellyfish displays, according to the videos posted to Tesfaye’s Instagram feed.

(Here the Weeknd might have taken a page from Drake’s book of romance. The rapper took Rihanna for an aquarium visit when they were both in town late last summer — after which they reportedly got matching shark tattoos, and snuck in a cute CN Tower selfie, too.)


Tour Guide: Toronto-born hip-hop star Aubrey Drake Graham, 30

The Tour: A series of hometown shout-outs made their way into tracks from Drake’s new album, er, “playlist,” More Life.

The Food: This could hint at a new reason for Drake to come home.

On the track “Gyalchester,” he sings (complains?): “Can’t get Nobu, but you can get Milestone.” This lyric was true of Toronto until an announcement came earlier this month that Nobu Hospitality will be opening a condo-restaurant-hotel complex in the city’s Entertainment District.

But it’s not here yet, so for now you’re eating at Milestones. If you want to do one better than that national chain, ask if Drizzy will take you to Fring’s, the restaurant he co-owns on King West. Maybe he’ll even tell you what a fring is.

Local Landmark: Expect to pay a visit to the Bridle Path, one of Toronto’s highest priced neighbourhoods, where Drake appears to reference his tricked-out mansion, singing that he’s “building up a house where they raised me” on new song “Blem.” Plans say the place will include a downstairs pool, basketball court and a bar with distinct spaces for “chilled champagne” and “chilled wine.”

If you need a souvenir, ask for a sample of his own brand of whiskey, Virginia Black. “Who keeps bringing more? I’ve had too many/This Virginia done me off already,” he sings on “Blem.”

The Entertainment: Is Drake more into books than movies? On “Do Not Disturb,” he says he “used to be at SilverCity Indigo.” Yeah, the bookstore chain, but one that’s packaged with a SilverCity multiplex. That narrows your options down to Yonge and Eglinton, Yorkdale Mall and, gulp, Richmond Hill.

That’s right, your tour of Toronto, with Drizzy as your guide, might take you deep into Richmond Hill. We’re not in The 6 anymore, T.O.


Related Posts You Might Like: