Where can you find bagels in Toronto, like the ones in Montreal?

I’m not sure if you can buy a bagel in the Greater Toronto Area that tastes as good as bagel that you can buy in Montreal.

I’m no expert on the topic. However, for MCHS grads visiting Toronto on the October 17, 2015 weekend, for the MCHS Sixties Reunion, we’ve prepared the following information.

Centre Street Deli in Thornhill

A good place to buy bagels is in Thornhill north of Toronto. It’s a bit of a drive. Here’s a post, from April 28, 2014 (over a year ago), that talks about the Centre Street Deli in Thornhill:

Malcolm Campbell High School (Montreal) Sixties Reunion Committee met recently at Centre Street Deli in Thornhill, Ontario.

Hot Oven Bakery in Toronto

Closer to Old Mill Toronto, you will find the Hot Oven Bakery (Kingsway location) at 2974 Bloor Street West, which is not far to the west from Old Mill Toronto. I’d say it’s about a 20-minute walk. The store sells both Montreal and New York bagels.

There’s also a Hot Oven Bakery at Cloverdale Mall, which is about a 20-minute drive by car, again to the west, from Old Mill Toronto. The bakery also has bagels – but only the softer, New York variety. The original Hot Oven Bakery – it’s since been remodelled – opened at Cloverdale Mall in 1957.

The New York bagels are soft bagels – great if you’re at the stage in life where you’re wearing dentures, as quite a few visitors to Cloverdale Mall are apt to be doing. Well, that’s what I’m guessing; I don’t have solid evidence. The Montreal bagels are a little crunchier, perhaps a little harder on the teeth. But like I say, I’m speculating and possibly don’t have a clue about the topic at hand.

St Urbain bakery in Thornhill

Ron Goldenberg (please see Comment below) as also mentioned St Urbain bakery in Thornhill, at 7077 Bathurst St, Thornhill, ON L4J 2J6.

This is another resource that we will check out in future. We much appreciate knowing of this additional source for bagels in the GTA!

Why Is It So Hard to Get a Great Bagel in California?

Speaking as a non-expert, I would say it’s not easy to find a genuine bagel, anywhere, so far as I know.  A July 23, 2015 New York Times article, regarding this topic, is entitled: “Why Is It So Hard to Get a Great Bagel in California? San Francisco bakeries have tried and tried again to replicate the chewy, crusty perfection of New York’s specialty. They are still trying.”

The article appears to make the claim that if you want to find a good, or rather great, bagel, you have to time-travel back fifty years to New York City.

Kettelmans Bagels

To the above-noted list, by way of a March 2021 update, I can add:

Kettlemans Bagels

I look forward to visiting this newly opened store the next time I am in Toronto. It’s located at a plaza close to the Stay Inn where a number of people stayed during the MCHS 2015 Reunion. The plaza has since 2015 also been the site for the opening of a Farm Boy store, which I have often visited in recent years.

Other suggestions

Let us know, if you have other suggestions – especially if you are an expert regarding bagels!

Why Toronto, Not Montreal?

Speaking of Montreal bagels, the second most frequently asked question about the reunion has prompted us to put together this video:

The top question that we’ve been asked, ever since the planning got underway, is answered by the following video at Vimeo.com, which includes the MCHS school song as a unifying theme:

7 replies
  1. Sonia Herman Shron
    Sonia Herman Shron says:

    The nearest thing to a Montreal bagel I have found in Toronto is from Bagel House. There are two branches, one on Avenue Road, north of Lawrence, and one on Bayview, south of Eglinton. The bagels are really good!

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I will check out Bagel House! Thank you for sharing this information, Sonia. As I recall, you are a 1963 graduate from MCHS? You were perhaps in 11A?

  3. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    By way of a further update, Ron Goldenberg has let us know via Facebook of another source:

    St Urbain bakery: Thornhill
    Address: 7077 Bathurst St, Thornhill, ON L4J 2J6

    Phone:(905) 731-8305

    In my note at Facebook at the MCHS ’60s Reunion page, I commented: “That is good to know about! We have also received messages that the Bagel House in Toronto is a good source; we will buy bagels from the latter location for the get-together that is being planned for the Stay Inn for the evening of Oct. 16, 2015, the day before the Oct. 17 MCHS ’60s Reunion at Old Mill Toronto. I will also check out the St. Urban bakery in Thornhill. These matters are important!”

  4. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    At the MCHS ’60s Reunion Facebook Group, I’ve shared a question for Lois Goldenberg (see below). If anybody else can add to input, regarding the question, please let me know:

    A question for you, Lois. We are planning to have someone buy some bagels from the Bagel House, as part of snacks available for MCHS 2015 attendees at the evening get-together at the Stay Inn on Oct. 16. Can you recommend what kind of bagels to get? Should we supply butter so that people can butter their bagels? Many questions come to mind. I like to get these details right but I am not knowledgeable about bagels. Can you help us to organize our thinking regarding the bagels?

  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Bagels: We have learned, as a result of our research, the following information from Sonia Herman Shron (MCHS ’63) which will serve us well when we buy bagels from the Bagel House, as part of our snacks for the 7:30 pm, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 get-together at The Stay Inn:

    “As a self-appointed Montreal bagel expert, I’m happy to share my expertise!

    “Bagel House bagels are definitely the best. Although they have many flavours (some of which are pretty weird), my suggestion is to stick with poppy seed (black seed, as Montrealers say) and sesame seed (white seed). I would also get butter and cream cheese; keep it simple.”

    [End of text}

    Thank you, Sonia, for this definitive recommendation regarding these details! We will follow your suggestions to the letter.


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