TOP SPOTS: Emily Hampshire

Photo courtesy of Tim Leyes.

Originally from Montreal, actress Emily Hampshire lived in Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood before striking out for L.A. Her latest gig is as the heroine of The Trotsky, Jacob Tierney’s film about a teenager (Jay Baruchel) who believes he’s the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. Emily is Alexandra, the no-nonsense object of his affection and a luminous on-screen presence.  (Think Ally Sheedy’s beautiful younger sister.) She’s especially winning in the scenes with Jessica Paré, who plays her BFF.

Next up? Die, a thriller with Elias Koteas, and Notre Dame de Grace, which reunites her with Baruchel and Tierney (with Scott Speedman thrown in for good measure).

Emily shared some of her favourite spots in Toronto with The Style Notebook.

Best sushi

“Sushi Island (571 College St., 416-535-1515). All you can eat for $12, but you have to finish your plate or they make you feel bad about it.”

Favourite place to go for a drink during the week (and drink of choice)

“I’m a real homebody so the next best thing to Dial-A-Bottle (which, I must say is a pretty fantastic service provided in the T-dot) was to walk two doors down to the Brass Taps Pub (934 College St., 416-533-4333) for a glass of red wine on their back patio.”

Go for a drink on the weekend

“The only thing that would get me to go to a bar on the weekend is the word ‘karaoke…?’ and then you’d find me filling out my song selections at the Gladstone Hotel (having had more than ‘a drink’).”

Top brunch spot

“N/A. Brunch?!…It’s a miracle if I’m out of bed in time for lunch.”

Gym or place to work out

“Ahh! Sigh. Back when ‘getting my butt to the gym’ required me to …cross the street: The YMCA on College and Dovercourt. Best gym ever!”

Place to buy books or magazines

“That place in Yorkville… Press something? International (?). [Maison de la Presse Internationale, 99 Yorkville Ave., 416-928-2328] Well, they’ve got all the good foreign magazines. And when it comes to buying books, I’m kinda hooked on my Kindle now days (and people are always scolding me for that, saying that I’m “hurting” the bookstores or something… but at least I’m saving trees, no?).”

Place to buy shoes

“It’s hard to beat the Holts shoe department.”

Place to buy birthday presents

“Ooh oh! Propaganda has the coolest stuff ever— it carries tons of local designers and one-of-a-kind things. Love it. And miss it now that your question just reminded me of it.”

Favourite overall retail experience

“Winners, Goodwill or a vintage shop. Making a ‘find’ at those places makes me feel super successful. Like I’ve ‘discovered’ something.”

Favourite date spot

Bloor Street Diner for a drink before going to see a movie upstairs. And if that all goes well you can go back for a night cap after the movie.”

Top vintage shop

“Print Fine Vintage (834-A College St., 416-975-8597) at Ossington. It’s a tiny store that most people would miss (had I not just given away my best kept secret).”

Neighbourhood to go for a walk in

“Would it be predictable of me to say College Street and Little Italy? It is a fantastic neighbourhood, and not just because it was mine.”

Place in the city where you feel most at home

“Sigh. On College Street, across from the YMCA, in between the Brass Taps Pub and Print Fine Vintage.”

Best karaoke

“The Gladstone hotel with karaoke host extraordinaire, the one and only Peter Styles. Or you can do what I did and hire him to bring the karaoke to your wedding!”

Below, Emily in The Trotsky, which opens nationwide on May 14. Photo courtesy of Attila Dory.

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