Navigating the path (web exclusive)

Where to eat and how to navigate Toronto's PATH
Where to eat and how to navigate Toronto's PATH

photo by Steve HarrisRecommending just a handful of PATH destinations for the Summer 2011 edition of the Docket was a difficult task, especially given that the PATH is the world’s largest underground shopping complex, comprising about 1,200 shops and employing 5,000 people — which rivals even the West Edmonton Mall in size, though the PATH, sadly, lacks both a dolphin show and a water park.

So if Tex-Mex for lunch isn’t your thing, here are a few other lunch spots that didn’t make the cut:

  • Amaya (First Canadian Place): Pick up some classic Indian food on the cheap.
  • Thai Island (Bay-Adelaide Centre): The best in cheap Thai food, and a definite must if your caseload has you burning the midnight oil.
  • Soup Nutsy (multiple locations): The ultimate in comfort food, Soup Nutsy offers different featured soups every day and posts them on their website. Our beloved food columnist Sara Chan says the Jamaican crab bisque is a must.
  • Fast Fresh Foods (Commerce Court): Amazing salads and sandwiches.
  • Medina (Scotia Plaza): Make sure to try the chicken shish taouk plate at this Middle Eastern food joint.
  • Urban Baker (Metro Centre): This no-frills bakery packs more delicious punch than meets the eye, and is sure to satisfy your morning or mid-afternoon sweet tooth.

Mastering the PATH

Let’s be honest here: The PATH is downright terrifying. Remember the first time you ventured below the surface of the Earth? Chances are, you got completely lost, floundering around in First Canadian Place, losing track of what’s north and what’s south and where the emergency exits are. And it seems like the thousands of people swirling around you all know exactly where they’re going and what they’re doing. I certainly felt this way as I was writing this issue’s Docket. So to help you navigate, here are a few things to help you gain the lay of the land.

The City of Toronto’s PATH guidebook: Though not especially helpful, this fact-sheet put out by the City includes some handy tips for finding your way around. For instance, did you know that the PATH signage around the underground each indicates a different direction: PATH equals SWNE. We don’t totally get why PATH can’t equal NESW, but there you have it.

Map the Path: A new app available for iPhone (and soon for BlackBerry) that helps you navigate where you’re going. In addition to a map, it also includes a directory, so you can painlessly find the closest Starbucks or Printing House without having to read the not-helpful building directories (and may the PATH gods help you if you need to find something located in a different building from where you’ve found yourself).

PATH Deals: Yep, group buying has entered the PATH, and there are some really great deals. Recent bargains include discounts on dry cleaning, custom framing, flowers and lots and lots of that great food we mentioned. Pro tip: If you love group buying sites but hate muddying up your inbox with daily emails, check out, which aggregates all of the city’s deals in one spot.

Photo by Steve Harris