On the grid: neighbourhood guides by local creatives / by Samantha Murray

Design is storytelling. So who better to tell a city’s story than its designers, who live, work and breathe the neighbourhoods they are proud to call home.

Curated by designers around the world, meet On the Grid: neighbourhood guides by local creatives.

On the Grid offers a unique experience for locals and tourists alike to visit neighbourhoods in cities around the world, and explore its design communities’ favourites ­– everything from bars and sweets to parks and fitness. The project was started by design agency, Hyperakt, whose team wanted a platform to share their newly discovered neighbourhood gems after moving into an office in the Gowanus neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York. People around the world got excited about the opportunity to tell their own unique stories, and On the Grid has become a giant collaborative project that is continuing to grow. Currently, there are neighbourhood guides in over 70 international cities, with new cities curated every week. In Toronto alone, there are 19 neighbourhood guides, and five more “coming soon” curated by our fellow design studios.

The beauty of the guides is that they are casual in nature and accessible to anyone with Internet access. There is no hidden agenda, and it is all about sharing tidbits of information and honest reviews about how locals live and love their areas.

We are still newbies in our St. Lawrence/Distillery District neighbourhood but have definitely found some gems of our own. For the best Mexican food around, we head to Cocina Economica, and for a refreshing cold brew on a hot day, we look to Redline Coffee and Espresso. We also LOVE walking around the cobblestoned streets of the Distillery District with its array of shops, food and art to explore. 

We recommend checking out On the Grid for some inspiration before your next free weekend in Toronto, or before planning your next trip!