King Street West has drastically changed over the years, moving from industrial warehouses to a condo boom, high-end furniture stores and chic restaurants. We’ve sourced a few historical photos from the 1980s and the stretch along King is almost unrecognizable (thankfully, these old warehouses are now amazing loft spaces).
We love the neighbourhood for it’s vivacious nightlife, exciting theatre (now playing: Kinky Boots!), new developments (check out the incredible renderings for the Mirvish+Gehry towers) and everything in between. Have a crush on King West yet? Here are five reasons you should.
1. TIFF for kids.
Now that TIFF and the Bell Lightbox has moved to the area, it’s a great destination not only for celebrity spotting, but for kids and families as well. The theatre offers specialized events and camps for the young cinematographer including the TIFF International Kids Festival and a really fun digital and interactive playground.
2. David Pecaut Square.
Located near the corner of King and John Street, the public green space is a hot destination year round. Outdoor movies, live concerts and pop-up food vendors, David Pecaut Square is packed with people day and evening. Also not to be missed is the INDULGE Farmers Market (Thursdays), an outdoor food court of homemade jams, pies, locally grown produce and entertainment. Not a bad way to spend your lunch hour.
3. Oh Canada!
Next time you’re walking along King Street, check out the sidewalk. Canada’s Walk of Fame runs 13 blocks past the Princess of Wales and the Royal Alex Theatres with over 150 inductees, honouring the country’s best and brightest. The Walk of Fame began in 1998 with the first stars going to Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot Bobby Orr, and Christopher Plummer.
4. Swimming, swimming...
While Toronto has plenty of outdoor public pools to choose from, sometimes it’s nice to find a quiet spot for lounging and swimming. Did you know that various hotels in the city open up their pools to non-hotel guests for a minimal fee? The Hyatt Regency on King has an incredible rooftop pool available to anyone Thursdays to Sundays throughout the summer. (Note: the pool is under construction this year but opens up again in May).
5. Courtyards and patios.
King Street is known for its abundance of outdoor patios but not everyone knows about the hidden courtyards behind some of the area’s best restaurants. Brassaii on King is a hot spot during TIFF but Torontonians like it for its secret courtyard and backyard oasis. It’s romantic, intimate and a fun destination for an evening drink. Here’s a few more patios to check out, including a couple with a panoramic view of the city.
What do you love about King West? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list!
Photo via Instagram @roof_topper