Vogue Magazine recently named West Queen West one of the 15 coolest neighbourhoods in the world. As fellow Torontonians beam with pride, the trendy neighbourhood west of Bathurst Street deserves the prestige title for its wealth of independent shops, funky design stores, art galleries and restaurants. Vogue refers to the beloved neighbourhood as “a verifiable artery of indie patisseries, homegrown labels, and hidden-from-view galleries—hallmarks of hipness.” We can’t help but agree.
Now considered “world renowned,” Queen West is ranked second next to neighbourhoods in Tokyo, Stockholm and Paris. There’s much more to love about the area including its Victorian houses and new condo buildings like 8 Gladstone by Streetcar Developments. Here are 15 more reasons why West Queen West is Toronto’s trendiest neighbourhood (and better than Paris).
1. The Drake Hotel. One of the city’s west end boutique hotels, the Drake is utterly cool and an essential hot spot. Check out its pub Monday nights for free food and cheap drinks.
2. Gladstone Hotel. There are 37 art-designed rooms in this unique accommodations including a “food suite” featuring marshmallow pillows and a Fruit Loops armoire. Enough said.
3. 24-hour streetcar service. Hop on the streetcar day or night and travel to the heart of the city within minutes.
4. Design shops galore. Check out custom furniture shops like Style Garage.
5. Dark Horse Coffee. One of the city’s favourite coffee houses.
6. Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). It’s free or pay what you can!
7. Nadège Patisserie. A popular bakery with French pastries and hand-crafted macarons.
9. Tons of restaurants and pubs offering fun atmosphere and good food.
10. Takeout ribs at BBQ joint, Smoque N’ Bones.
11. Daily independent art shows.
12. Minutes away from the Ossington Strip, Spadina, and the Entertainment District.
13. Vintage stores.
14. Graffiti Alley. A local tourist attraction with street art.
15. Artscape Youngplace. A former school transformed into a cultural art hub.