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The author of Alligator Pie and the forthcoming Melvis and Elvis, Dennis Lee is celebrated for his much-loved children's books and collections of poetry. Here are his favourite places in the city that anointed him its very first Poet Laureate.

Dennis Lee


01 Banjara Indian cuisine

My wife and I usually order the shrimp masala, tandoori chicken and the mushroom curry. I love the sense of bustle: There always seem to be dozens of staff members whizzing about on a million missions. And they enclose the outdoor patio when it gets cold out, doubling the capacity in the winter.
796 Bloor St. W., 416-963-9360, torontobanjara.com

02 Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

I come here a couple of times a month. My wife and I caught the marvellous films Particle Fever, about the discovery of the Higgs boson, and 20 Feet from Stardom; they show how people with larger-than-life dreams lived them.
506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123, bloorcinema.com

03 Paupers Pub

I've been coming here for over 15 years. It's in a big old bank building and is a nice place to have a meeting and to sit and chat with people I know. It's the perfect space to spread out manuscripts or music sheets when I'm working on music writing.
539 Bloor St. W., 416-530-1331, pauperspub.com

04 Sonic Boom

This used to be in Honest Ed's but has since moved. Every time you go in, you hear the click, click, click of people leafing through CDs. They don't just carry teenybopper stuff; they have classical and blues, and the ­selection is really good.
215 Spadina Ave., 416-532-0334, sonicboommusic.com

05 The Toronto Reference Library

Ten years ago, when I was Poet Laureate, I helped develop a series of plaques for the homes of Torontonians
of notable achievement, such as Jane Jacobs and Marshall McLuhan, so we did a lot of research. Every time I'm in the building, the sense of interior space and the huge atrium give me a lift. It's a thing of beauty.
789 Yonge St., 416-395-5577, torontopubliclibrary.ca

06 Soulpepper Theatre

As one of the resident artists, I collaborated on The Lost Songs of Toronto, which was performed at Luminato last June. The theatre is such a dynamic centre. They recently staged Angels in America, which was superb.
50 tank House ln., 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca

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