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This flower-filled café is so aesthetically pleasing I could cry

At Olivia's Garden, a café and florist at Harbord and Crawford, flowers are more than just a feast for the eyes — they're a delight for the tastebuds, too.

Looking for a place where you can slough off the hustle and bustle of the city and take a moment to pause and enjoy? Olivia's Garden, a jet-black house on the corner of Harbord and Crawford, is the perfect antidote. Its large windows open up to a wonderful world of foliage, greenery and future plant babies waiting to be taken home.

"We're trying to show people that flowers aren't just for special occasions,” explains Jason Korol, the food and beverage director of Olivia's Garden. "We grow edible flowers in our little garden and use them in the drinks. We're trying to make a flow happen in the shop."

From syrups infused with petals to basil flowers scattered on their highly aesthetic avocado toast, Olivia's Garden is all about incorporating the magic of flowers into the everyday. "Sakura blossoms taste a little earthy and grassy. We use them in our signature drink, the cherry blossom matcha. We'll make a syrup with them and we infuse it with the matcha," Korol explains.

The light-filled urban garden also doubles as a café and multi-roaster coffee shop with a monthly rotating selection of beans. “We get coffee from everywhere. I've primarily been in the coffee industry, so I'm really happy to bring a good taste of coffee to the neighbourhood,” says Korol.

Avocado toast at Olivia's Garden on Harbord

At the Garden, they take the familiar (avocado toast) and turn it into something special. "The plates are very simple — it's toast. It's more about the environment that it's created in. We pull a lot of inspiration from whatever we have growing in our garden."

It's the plants, not artificial colours or sweeteners, that give the signature drinks their vibrancy. Yes, the beverages are Instagrammable, but there's more to it than just looks. "The blue-lavender latte is made with butterfly pea flower, micro-ground and flavoured with a house-made lavender syrup," Korol explains. The result is a baby blue latte that could brighten up any afternoon. "When we're surrounded by beauty, and we're present in the moment, then everything kind of follows suit."

Olivia's Garden: Floral arrangement workshops

Flowers are ready for a floral arrangement workshop at Olivia's Garden

Not only can you take a bouquet of fresh or dried flowers home with you, but you can also learn how to create your own floral arrangement at an
in-house workshop. The two-hour class usually takes place on Sundays, and if you get peckish, you can always snack on freshly baked goods.

Olivia's Garden: Matcha

“We source our matcha from Hokusan [Tea Canada]. Rikko over there does an amazing job. She's actually in Japan right now taking care of the next year's matcha harvest and she texts me pictures all the time. So we are very close with our vendors.”

Olivia's Garden: Espresso 

Latte art at Olivia's Garden

“We get our espresso beans from Angry Coffee Roaster. The whole premise is bridging the gap between the specialty coffee industry and the average coffee consumer. They rate their bags from calm to angry. Calm being more relaxed. Angry is more adventurous with higher acidity and more exotic flavours.”

Olivia's Garden, 569 Crawford St.; oliviasgarden.ca

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