One Day in Toronto: musician Eamon McGrath

Singer-Songwriter Eamon McGrath takes us on a tour of his favourite food and drink spots in Toronto

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Eamon McGrath has never been one to take the easy road. Creating music that transcends the boundaries of genre and cultural expectations in the interest of fearless authenticity has always been at the forefront of the multifaceted musician’s method.   

Since releasing his debut album in 2008, McGrath has continued to write and perform all over the world, with each new endeavour reflecting his own evolution within the music industry and society in general. 

His upcoming seventh studio album, Guts--due for release on September 6--is a concept album that challenges, criticizes, and condemns the modern norms of toxic masculinity, misogyny, and sexist hegemony from the viewpoint of a heterosexual man who wants to grow beyond them. 


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Born in Edmonton but based out of Toronto since 2008, the talented singer-songwriter has become well-acquainted with the vast spectrum of cultural offerings the province’s capital city has to offer. 

When McGrath isn’t writing or performing, there’s a good chance you can catch him taking in Toronto’s food and drink scene, which like his music, traverses a diverse compass of variety. 

Here are some of his favourites.



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Contra is the best cup of coffee in the city, hands down--a hidden gem west of The Annex nestled beneath some trees on Shaw Street south of Dupont and perfect for a grab-and-go start to your day. The closest thing to a Montreal-style cafe and patio in Toronto, they make the best breakfast sandwich in the west end, and their coffee is an essential part of dealing with life in the city.



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I just moved into the Junction, a great neighbourhood in Toronto’s west end, and by far the best food (especially for a lunch stop) is When The Pig Came Home. It’s a top-notch deli and coffee shop with killer espresso and jaw-dropping sandwiches. The walls are adorned with custom sandwich orders named after regular customers, so if you come in and put your own spin on their regular menu items, you might even get your name on the wall. I can’t speak highly enough about this place; their extra spicy jerk chicken sandwich is among the best food in the city.



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Venturing up the hill on Christie Street to St. Clair is worth it for Stockyards Smokehouse alone. This place has hands-down the best barbecue in the city and fully transports you to a Texas highwayside shack and is equally delicious.



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A few places on Dundas and Ossington tie this one up for me. Communist Daughter, Red Light, Ossington Stop and The Dakota Tavern are all within a 30-second walk from each other, and are all the types of places where you know at least three people every time you go in.

Watch: Eamon McGrath's official music video for "Guts"