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Friday, May 29, 2015

The 5 worst lineups you'll face in Toronto this summer

lineups torontoLineups in Toronto are especially bad in the summer, when the whole city's out and about. It's easier to manage these aggravating setbacks when you know where to expect them and how to avoid or plan around them. From brunchtime hotspots to the most sought-after desserts in town, I've narrowed it down to the worst of the worst queues.

Here are my picks for the worst lineups you can expect in Toronto this summer.

Uncle Tetsu's
I'll never forget the legendary lineup this place had on its opening day -- people were waiting in line for a whopping two hours to get a taste of that spongy Japanese cheesecake. The wait has lessened somewhat, but dessert lovers can still expect to be there for the better part of an hour before their order is taken.

Tip for surviving this lineup: Make sure your phone is fully charged and just grin and bear it.

Bang Bang Ice Cream and Bakery
Even on cooler days, this tiny ice cream shop has a tremendous lineup of people weaving all the way down Ossington. The shop often has to cut off the line an hour before closing time, since it'll take the end-of-the-liners longer than that to finally reach the front counter. But based on the look of those who've finally been served, those homemade ice cream sandwiches are worth it.

Tip for surviving this lineup: They're not open Mondays and only take cash or debit.

Seven Lives
This Kensington Market jewel has had a queue of hungry brunch-goers since day one. Though it's only been open a few years, Seven Lives is one of the city's staple breakfast places, and it shows: weekend morning lineups typically last 45 minutes to get into this So-Cal/Baja-style spot.

Tip for surviving this lineup: Don't go during brunch rush hour (weekend mornings). Try early on a weekday if you can, or go for a late lunch on the weekend.

Any Service Ontario location right after work hours
It's like a stampede as nine-to-fivers pour out of their workplaces and head to tend to current issues with their driver's license, health card, passport, or whatever else. Once 5pm hits, you know you'll be waiting there for at least an hour staring at the promotional posters for safe driving.

Tip for surviving this lineup: Go during the week in the middle of the day. Work regular hours? Some Service Ontario locations take appointments.

Lady Marmalade
This Leslieville brunch spot has a constant lineup, particularly on the weekends, when the wait is half an hour at a minimum. As they're only open during breakfast and lunch hours, you can't beat the busyness by coming in the late afternoon.

Tip for surviving this lineup: They have a policy where all parties must be present in order to be seated. Make sure the whole gang is there when your turn is up.


The ferries going to and from the Island
We've all been there. You're packing up your picnic (or the remnants of your all-day nude fest at Hanlan's) and heading to the dock to take the ferry home when with a groan you realize the lineup to board seems to wind around the entire island. The ferry lineup peak time for going to the Island is typically mid-morning to early afternoon on weekends and the line to get back home is around dinnertime.

Tip for surviving this lineup: When you're Island-bound, bypass most of the line by paying cash. And for your return trip, pay a little extra for the water taxi -- trust me, it's worth it.

What did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Photo of Uncle Tetsu's by Jesse Milns

by Amanda Storey via blogTO

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