BlogTO describes Parkdale as a "diverse community...home to Tibetan, North African and West Indian enclaves mixed in with some of Toronto's best vintage fashion, furniture and fabric stores". Others, as The GridTO notes, "denigrate Parkdale as a haven for slumming hipsters".
The reality is likely a combination of both descriptions. There is certainly a realness to Parkdale, given its mix of down-and-out denizens, the Tibeten community, roti shops, dollar stores, art galleries, payday loan joints, food markets, and, yes, dozens of enterprises catering to all things hipster. Parkdale mixes seedy with bohemian, a Bushwick in the making.
We started our walkabout at West End Food Co-op, then checked out Philistine, stopped for an awesome brunch at The Sister, then headed to our favourite gift shop, Studio Brilliantine, and, finally, my second-favourite vintage store, House of Vintage.