Happy National Ice Cream Day! Right in the middle of the hot, sticky weather, the third Sunday of July is to celebrate this sweet summer treat. The event was officiated in the United States by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and since then Canada has adopted the celebrations as well. It is just another great excuse to go a grab an ice cream cone this summer with a friend. Toronto has many locations to help you celebrate this day, all with their own unique flair. From the classic ice cream flavours to extravagant creations, you can find your perfect scoop in local shops around Toronto. In reality, any ice cream is good ice cream, but here are a few places around the GTA that will serve up delicious creamy confections to help you make the most of this day.
This small set of ice cream shops is the most popular and raved about provider of sweet treats in Toronto, and all for good reason. As soon as you enter the store you can smell the sweet smell of freshly made waffle cones. At the Beaches location, it is obvious that only the freshest and best quality ingredients go into making their ice cream. The entire area creates the perfect atmosphere for this thriving ice cream shop with a bustling array of people dog walking near the local parks, greenery and beach. The waffle makers are featured in the window of the store, and behind the ice cream counter you can see a stove that is used to help prepare all the ingredients. Ed’s Real Scoop features over 100 different flavours, and the store selection changes almost daily. Ed’s features all the frozen treats you could imagine from ice cream, sorbets, sundaes, milkshakes and gelato. A flavour that is raved about often is the “Burnt Marshmallow”, but the countless other flavours offered makes it difficult to choose. It is the perfect match of quality and quantity here at Ed’s Real Scoop. The ice cream is rich, and certainly creamy. Their website attributes these qualities to their unique technique of slowly churning their ice cream to make it as dense as possible.
Locations: 2224 Queen St E, 920 Queen Street East, 189 Roncesvalles Ave
This ice cream is the perfect creamy concoction that will remind you of sitting in Cottage Country on a deck beside a lake on a hot summer afternoon. This company is 100% Canadian operated and owned by the same family for 75 years. Their stores are scattered across the cottage country, with their first store opened in Bobcaygeon. Even though there are no Kawartha Dairy locations in the GTA, there are many suppliers of their famous ice cream here in Toronto. Stores that sell Kawartha Dairy ice cream can be identified by the iconic pink ice cream sign used to advertise their famous ice cream. Kawartha Dairy ice cream is perfect to try if you are a lover of the classics like chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. However, with over 36 different creations of ice cream, it’s recommended to try some of their other famous flavours such as Moose Tracks or their signature Muskoka Mocha.
Find Kawartha Dairy ice cream at: The Perfect Scoop – Liberty Village – 100 Western Battery Rd, Retail 2 & 3, The Ice Cream Junction – Junction – 3103 Dundas St West
Located in posh Yorkville, down a small stairway is a small ice cream shop that boasts using the finest quality ingredients made in small batches for their ice cream. It is the perfect area to grab an ice cream in one of their fresh made waffle cones and stroll around the shops and restaurants to people watch. Summer’s is home to an original ice cream flavour called Toronto Pothole, a blend of almonds, marshmallows, peanuts, chocolate chunks, road tar and gravel! The founders of Summer’s helped continue a family tradition of homemade ice cream that began in Czechoslovakia in the 1930’s when they opened a small store in 1984. Since then they have gained much popularity with locals and quite a few famous visitors. Celebrities that have made a stop into Summer’s over the years while in Toronto include Gene Simmons, Jully Black, Robert Downey Jr., Marie Sharapova, Julianne Moore and many more.
Location: 101 Yorkville Avenue
On a hot sticky afternoon Greg’s Ice Cream is a sanctuary. A white board in the middle of the quaint shop reveals the creative flavours of the day, described as “flavours of the moment”. During a visit, there were a lot of fruity flavoured options offered on the board, all of which are extremely refreshing after escaping the heat. The staff there is friendly, and encouraged sampling of any ice cream to ensure guests were delighted with their final decision. (A personal favourite was Raspberry Lemon!) Located near the campuses of The University of Toronto, students frequent the shop but it is obvious that many adore Greg’s Ice Cream. The walls of the shop are covered in fan art made by visitors, raving about how much they love Greg’s Ice Cream creations. The art ranges from impressive sophisticated drawings, to delightful doodles and then the excited scribbles of children, all who have happily visited in the past.
Locations: The Annex – 750 Spadina Avenue, The Distillery District – 32 Gristmill Lane
This chain of stores is the perfect ice cream stop for those who love to load their desserts with countless toppings and mixins like fruit, nuts, candies, chocolate chunks, cookie dough or sauces. The possibilities and combinations are endless at Marble Slab, you can choose a specialty designed concoction provided by the store or you can create your own. When the hard part of choosing what you want in your ice cream is over, you then see your creation all mixed together before your eyes on a frozen marble slab. Although this store is a little pricier, the portions and quantity of mixins available make it worth it.
Locations: 330 Yonge St, 70 Weston Rd #109
Of course there are countless ice cream shops that could have been mentioned, all worthy in their own unique way. What shop will you be visiting or what flavour will you be indulging in on National Ice Cream Day?