The Gourmet Next Door

Helen Yurman lives across the road from Manulife Centre with her husband. She’s 69 years old with two kids and two grandkids. And she knows good food.

Since she retired, she’s taken cooking classes in France and Italy. She also mastered the sous vide and hosted more than her fair share of dinner parties.

We sat down with Helen in the concourse-level lounge the other day to talk about why Bloor Street Market’s her go-to grocery store.


MC: I see you have a takeout meal from Bloor Street Market.

HY: Yeah, it’s roasted chicken with seared veggies.

MC: Good choice. Healthy.

HY: Yes. That’s what I love about their take-out section. I was debating between this and the seared salmon, but I wanted something warm. It’s cold out there.

MC: How often do you take out from Bloor Street Market?

HY: Much more so now that I have grandchildren. My son drops them off for the day, and I’d rather play with them than cook. Of course, they always want McDonald’s, but not on my watch.

MC: What do they like?

HY: The older one’s all about the sushi. He loves the ginger and the soy sauce. And he’s getting really good with chopsticks. Better than me for sure.

MC: You’re not into the Asian foods?

HY: Actually, I love Asian food. Aisle 5’s my home away from home (editor’s note: Aisle 5 has sauces and marinades from around the world), but that’s also because the younger one’s all about Thai spicy. We don’t like it, but it’s not about us anymore.

MC: Do you bring the grandkids food shopping?

HY: Are you kidding? That’s the best! We couldn’t really do it before because the carts weren’t big enough for them to sit in. But now that the older one can walk on his own, the “Boor Market” is one of his favourite places.

MC: What’s his favourite take-out?

HY: Definitely the chicken fingers. And I can’t blame him. They’re excellent.

A Bloor & Better Way To Take Out

As part of the President’s Choice family, bloorstreet market on the concourse level sells most of what you’d expect to find at a regular Loblaws. But given the number of people who work in the area, along with the influx of young professionals moving into the neighbourhood, it was important that they go above and beyond at the prepared foods counter. They’ve gone much further than that, both in quality and breadth.


Picnic time
Earlier, we looked at a few places in the area to set up shop with a blanket and a bite. As for what to pack, sandwiches at the bloorstreet market don’t disappoint. Meat and veggie options are made daily, as are the fresh salads behind the counter. This creamy broccoli creation pairs fantastically with a bloorstreet curry chicken sandwich.



Last-minute hosting
bloorstreet market’s takeout counter has been a lifesaver for many of the residents in 44 Charles Street, the apartments above Manulife Centre, with a full selection of entrées like BBQ ribs, sweet & sour chicken and others. Gorgeous sides like roasted potatoes and asparagus are always available as well, and the dessert counter is exactly what you’d expect from a President’s Choice experience  we’re big fans of the butter tarts.



The little details
Any table looks better with fresh flowers on it, and you can pick up a bouquet to match your meal at bloorstreet market. A full arrangement will look great on a dining room table while a single flower in a cup adds all kinds of charm to a picnic table.


And as for drinks, the LCBO is four doors down from bloorstreet market, and houses one of the best vintages sections in the city.