The Link’s Best of: Downtown, Mile-End, and The Plateau / by Carl Bindman

Published in The Link 37.02 on Sept. 6 2016

Excerpts from the Orientation Issue "Best of" list.


LPVR // Loyola PS Building Room 141

Le Petit Vélo Rouge isn’t so much a bike shop as it is a bike school. Tucked into room 141 of the more-or-less unknown PS Building on Loyola Campus, the volunteers of this nonprofit will teach you how to do all the stuff you need to do to your bike yourself. Plus, there’s workshops for you to work on skills that you might not get from fixing the odd flat tire or tightening a chain. But no matter if you don’t know the difference between a cone wrench and an ice cream cone, you’re always welcome at LPVR. And if you’re looking to get some volunteer hours in, LPVR is on the lookout for those, too.

Right to Move // Behind The Hall Building

The much bigger sister of Le Petit Vélo Rouge, Right To Move is a do-it-yourself hub in the basement of a building in the asphalt yard behind the Hall building. It smells like machines and learning. Bike parts and tools hang from every place available to hang bike parts and tools from. The workstations are close together, all the better to chat with your neighbor as you both get your hands filthy fixing your own bikes instead of spending money. Generously stocked with material and always manned by knowledgeable volunteers, RTM’s $20 yearly membership will be the best bike-related investment you make all term.


Green Panther // 2153 Mackay St.

Right next to the Hall building downtown, Green Panther is, like, seriously one of the best restaurants in the city when it comes to vegan/veggie stuff. Or just food stuff in general. It’s got a food truck too, if that matters to you. But yeah there’re so many options. It’s awesome. It’s sick. Sick falafel, sick sauces, sick pita bread, sick smoothies, sick desserts, sick salads, and a sick little window seat where you have to take off your shoes and sort of scrunch up and get cozy. Which is fine, because it’s a really cozy restaurant—what’s cozier than drinking water out of old wine bottles? I’ll tell you: drinking water out of old wine bottles AND eating good food. By a window.


Kafein // 1429 Bishop St.

It’s a cafe. It’s a tea-haven. It’s a bar. It’s a jazz joint. It’s a trivia spot. It’s a poetry stage. It’s an art gallery. It’s got chairs—inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs. It’s got couches. It’s got unreal sandwiches with gourmet innards like thick smoked salmon or primo goat cheese. Granola smoothies? You bet. Cookies baked fresh all day long, too. Did I mention the couches? Plus, it’s literally a minute from whatever class you’re in downtown. And, maybe best of all, it carries The Link. Go. Order a mocha. Say I sent you. Enjoy.

Melk // 5612 Monkland Ave.

How to get great coffee and mad pastries on Monkland in four easy steps: first, leave Loyola campus. Then, get on one of the many buses that will take you up towards Monkland. Then, get off around Melk, and go in. Order a coffee and mad pastries. Eat them. You’re welcome.