One Day in Toronto: Holmes Family Effect co-host Michael Holmes

The passionate contractor and television personality dishes on his favourite vegan and non-vegan eats in Toronto

The first season of Holmes Family Effect comes to its conclusion this Sunday. So far, the show has showcased the adventures of Mike, Sherry, and Michael Holmes as they traversed from a school in Brampton, Ontario to a charitable organization in Vancouver, B.C., improving both the spaces themselves and the lives of the people who occupy them along the way. 

In addition to his altruistic work throughout the many Holmes family projects over the years, Michael also utilizes his passion for trades to educate future generations through impactful initiatives such as Skills Canada, Conestoga College, and Habitat for Humanity’s GTA Young Professionals Build.  

When Holmes isn’t busy rescuing homeowners from shoddy contractor jobs or DIY projects gone wrong with his father, you can likely find the Holmes Family Effect co-host enjoying Toronto’s diverse food and beverage scene.

Since Holmes currently eats a predominantly plant-based diet, he took some extra time to share both his favourite vegan and non-vegan eateries in his hometown.



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If you are eating a predominantly plant-based or vegan diet, Hello123 is a must. They have a great variety of different options from omelets, pancakes, avocado toast and more. They also have a great awareness for people with food allergies. My wife has celiac disease, and this was one of the restaurants we would visit frequently.


Mildred’s Temple Kitchen has a very unique menu that you won’t find at a lot of other brunch spots in Toronto, or at least not done as well as it is here. If you are in the mood for pancakes, I would recommend ordering the Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes–they will not disappoint–just make sure you bring your appetite. My favourite meal I have had there is a tossup between Huevos Monty and Vedas Choice. They also have some of the best brunch cocktails that you will find in Toronto.



Raw Aura Organic Cuisine is outside of the downtown core, located in Port Credit, but it is worth the drive. It is 100% raw, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free, and none of the dishes disappoint. I think my wife and I have sampled everything in this restaurant! It is run by a lovely woman named Harula who is as sweet as she is talented. From appetizers to the main courses and desserts, you cannot go wrong at this restaurant. They even make delicious smoothies; they make one called “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” that I get every single time.


I am an absolute sucker for a good Neapolitan style, wood fired pizza. Every time I have gone to The Good Son or placed an order for pick-up, I get the same thing: a margarita pizza with chili flakes and chili oil on the side. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it! They have a great vibe inside the restaurant and the servers are very attentive. They also have a great selection of cocktails, beer and wine that go really well with a slice of pizza.



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The Asian-inspired vegan twist on Planta does not disappoint at Planta Queen. I have gone to Planta Queen and shared meals with many meat eaters who left satisfied, full and wanting to come back. If you go or order from here with friends or family, make sure to order from all different parts of the menu so you get to share and sample everything from sushi and dumplings to woks and bowls.

Each dish has a unique flavour to itself and it’s worth trying to sample your way around the menu. The cocktail menu here is also phenomenal. When they open back up and you have a chance to order a drink with your meal, you won’t be disappointed. 


La Palette has to be one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto - period. My wife and I spent many Sunday brunches, lunches and dinners here. The second you step into the doors of La Palette, you feel like you have been transported to a beautiful, quaint bistro in France. The owner Shamez has created an unbelievable menu, as well as an experience that can’t be beat.

If you ever go there and have the pleasure of being served by the incredible Davide, he can take you on a tour around the world with wine, beer and cocktails. I have so many fond memories at La Palette, I highly recommend checking it out.



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If you are a tequila lover like me and my wife, you will love Reposado Bar & Lounge on Ossington in Toronto. From tequila tasting, cocktails and even non-tequila drinks, they have a great variety of drinks to enjoy. We have had many fun nights here and have made some great memories that started at this bar!