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Richtree Market, Toronto

May 16th, 2009 · No Comments

(Sorry – this post is more about traveling to Toronto – but yes, the Market is in here too, near the bottom)
Richtree Market Toronto Richtree Market Toronto Richtree Market Toronto Richtree Market Toronto
Welcome Back….

Arriving at 6:03am on the red-eye from Vancouver, sore back, sore butt, but happy to be home. Waiting for the Rocket to get downtown, another bus driver stops to wait for his schedule to catch up, comes out, has a smoke. We chat. The journey in from Kipling station – seeing all those beautiful old TTC stations (yes, they have a beauty to them), the Old Mill, High Park – the little brick houses side-by-side near the park. Transfer in the old neighborhood at St George – a woman smiles as she says “excuse me” – I’ve forgotten how friendly people in this city are. Through the new Museum station – Haida and Egyptian columns – memories of taking a trip through Lower Bloor with Mom when it was opened for those weekends a few years back. Finally, back at Union station – near where I lived when I moved back to this place in 2003 – ready to give this city a second chance. Trying to decide – go to the hotel and try to get caught up on sleep – or to a favourite old haunt – the ex-Movenpick-now-Richtree Market to enjoy a coffee and pain au chocolat, maybe read a paper under Calatrava’s soaring arches and feel as though I’m outside on even a still-grey May day in this awesome city.

I choose the latter, and back in BCE Place, I see the arches again, I sit under the umbrella and have a cafe au lait and look up and just let the mind…your mind doesn’t wander in this hallway, under this glass ceiling – it soars.

Everyone is friendly. The lady in the newsstand who apologizes profusely for the fact they haven’t yet recieved the Globe and Mail, and stars a conversation with me, asking why I don’t want a copy of The National Post. The gentleman who shouts out to ask me if I want an omelette – when I say “too early”, he replies “come back to me later please, sir, when you are ready!”.

How could I have lived here and not seen what a great city it is? Is that my problem now – am I just not giving Vancouver enough of a chance?

So much to do here – going to see Gehry’s new AGO. Going to see (with a new set of eyes) Mies’ TD center. See the Jays play. And most importantly – see old friends.

I can’t wait. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Time for another coffee and to get this day going.

…and an addendum:

On my way out – the lovely lady behind the cash register as I go to check out, says “Why, it’s nice to see you again – it has been a long time, hasn’t it?”.

The last time I was here was 2007 – maybe.

I pick my jaw up off the floor.

She continues: “I see 5000 visitors a day, but I never forget a face”.

I’m still in awe. “It’s so nice that you recognize me”, I stutter, “It’s been so long since I’ve been here – it’s so nice to see familiar faces…”

If that’s how this trip is going to go, I can’t wait for the rest of it.

Here’s the food post:
The Richtree Market has turned into a bit of a landmark (in my mind anyway). It has had long hours (7:30am – past midnight 7 days/week) and hasn’t moved since it opened maybe 20? years ago. It used to be part of the Movenpick chain, one of their Marche restaurants, but has at least for the past few years been under different ownership.

The food is tasty, never seems to really change, and there are some highlights. The potato Rosti with smoked salmon – delicious. The dessert crepes – amazingly good. Everything else is between fair and good, and it’s a reasonably cheap place to go grab a meal any time of the day. It’s cafeteria style – so don’t expect someone to wait on you.

The other great reason to come here – see the photos above – is the arches. Santiago Calatrava designed at least this part of the building, and you can sit in this restaurant on the lousiest day of the year and feel like you’re outside on a cafe in springtime. For the price of a coffee and croissant – it’s an amazing feat that used to help me get through the long grey Toronto winters. You can read the papers, see the families, drink half-decent coffee, and just enjoy your morning – plan a trip to the AGO or shopping on Bloor.

…and get recognized, if you’re lucky.

Richtree Market Brookfield Place (was BCE Place)
42 Yonge St.
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1T1

Every day of the year
Mon – Thurs – 7:30am to 12:00am
Fri & Sat – 7:30am to 2:00am
Sun – 7:30am to 12:00am

View Larger Map

Richtree Market Restaurants - Bce Place (Heritage Square) on Urbanspoon

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