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BIG-MONEY DINING TRENDS COME AND GO, but still, Canoe remains perched both physically and metaphorically above them all (or most of them). As the restaurant approaches its 30th anniversary, its self-described mission of “haute Canadiana” remains relevant and exciting. This is, in part, thanks to executive chef Ron McKinlay’s driven commitment to Canadian terroir, be it farmed, foraged or fished. The sourcing begins locally (Tamarack Farms lamb, Holland Marsh onions are among the Ontario mainstays). Springtime is announced with halibut, and then spot prawns from B.C., followed by East Coast lobster and summer’s bounty. In winter the constantly evolving seafood tower remains a local benchmark and an ideal prelude to the kitchen’s signature farmed game. Along with its deft inventiveness, McKinlay’s kitchen displays a fondness for old-school classics like Wellington and pithiviers, which it executes with enviable precision. Desserts are just as polished. The best seats are window-side, where 54 floors up the TD Bank Tower, the views of the city and Lake Ontario are hard to beat.

A great experience — chef McKinlay’s technique is exceptional. Zach Keeshig
Scallops en croûte, in its myriad seasonal variations.

Photography by Hector Vasquez

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