Living Like a Local in Toronto

Rick Campanelli shares his favourite Toronto spots 

After nearly 20 years of living in Toronto, ET Canada co-host Rick Campanelli can’t ever imagine leaving. He moved to the big city from Hamilton in the 1990s and promptly fell in love with it. Now, along with his wife, Campanelli is raising his young family in what he calls “one of the best cities in the world.” Here are some of his favourite spots.

Favourite Neighbourhood

Being of Italian descent, Campanelli says he likes hanging out in Little Italy. He frequents the cafés and bakeries and loves to go there to people-watch. “There’s a wide range of people, from hipsters to elderly Italians—everyone fits in,” he says. One of his go-to spots in Little Italy for authentic cuisine is Café Diplomatico Restaurant and Pizzeria

Where to Have a Drink 

“I really love hotel bars,” says Campanelli. The Park Hyatt Hotel’s Roof Lounge (on the 18th floor) has amazing martinis and a great view of the city, while the Calvin Bar at the Trump Hotel is a great decadent spot, he says.  

Must-Do Activity 

“Taking in a Blue Jays game—when the roof is open. That’s my absolute favourite thing to do with my wife in the summer,” Campanelli says. He advises visitors to relax, drink a cold beer, eat a couple of hot dogs and just enjoy the game. 

Where to Dine

Sassafraz in Yorkville is a favourite; it’s the place where Campanelli and his wife began their love story, and also the venue they chose for their wedding. For a more casual vibe, “Frankie’s makes some of the best burgers in town,” he says.

Where to Spot a Celeb

“Queen Street is where I spot a lot of celebrities,” says the ET Canada co-host. The popular shopping area is packed with restaurants and boutiques and, along with star-gazing, it’s a great place to go for a stroll.  

Best Brunch

“My wife has been bringing me to the Hot House Restaurant and Bar for Sunday brunch for years,” says Campanelli. “It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of goodness.”

Favourite Outdoor Festival 

“The Toronto Jazz Festival is something I always look forward to,” says Campanelli of the annual June event. “They get a lot of great artists.”

Getting There: WestJet flies to Toronto 88 times a day from 17 Canadian, 11 U.S. and 25 international cities.