Background and HistoryIn the late 1960s, the Bloor-Danforth subway line significantly expanded Toronto's transportation infrastructure. This rapid transit route linked the downtown area with several neighborhoods that are situated on Bloor Street, an important thoroughfare that runs east and west. The new subway system provided a major boost to businesses on this historic thoroughfare that also had lots of dense residential neighborhoods. In 1970, a business improvement association was established specifically for several blocks on Bloor Street that were lined with an array of commercial venues. Since then, the BIA has made tremendous impacts on the success of the Bloor West Village as a vibrant retail and cultural hub in Toronto. Approximately 300 merchants operated in the district when the BIA was first established. Today, this BIA is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the entire Greater Toronto Area. Click to book your Toronto tour.
Food, Retail and Other HighlightsFrom pubs and cafes to bistros and casual restaurants, the Bloor West Village is home to more than 25 dining establishments that are within walking distance of each other. Some of the ethnic cuisine highlights on this street include Korean, Mediterranean, Eastern European and Italian. As you walk past the two and three-level buildings in this vibrant district, you'll see dozens of stores that sell everything from fashionable apparel and electronics to souvenirs and artwork. This thriving retail hub is also a popular marketplace for local artists and craftspeople who offer authentic items with true Toronto-style flair. The Bloor West Village BIA also organizes several cultural events throughout the year. For example, the Toronto Ukrainian Festival celebrates one of the city's largest communities with Eastern European origin. Amusement-style attractions are the highlights of the July Festival that has a fun summer theme. The Halloween Parade takes over Bloor Street and several intersecting streets in the area. This popular commercial district is conveniently located between major green spaces, like High Park and Humber Park. After shopping and dining, you can take a stroll through some of the city's largest and most visited parks, which also have waterfront trails and plenty of family-friendly amenities. For instance, you can hike the trails along the meandering Humber River.
Visiting Bloor West VillageThe Toronto Transit Commission's Bloor-Danforth subway line provides direct service to the Bloor West Village. There is a station at the corner of Jane Street and Bloor Street West. Another station is situated at the intersection of Runnymede Road and Bloor Street West. A one-way ride between this commercial district and Union Station in downtown normally takes just less than 30 minutes. Several TTC bus routes also serve this important retail hub, including the 300A, 300B and 300S. Additionally, the 35A, 35B, 55 and other lines stop near the Jane Street subway station. The Gardiner Expressway is a major highway that also links the bustling neighborhood with other parts of Toronto, such as Etobicoke. Parking on this busy span of Bloor Street is limited, but there are some outdoor lots to accommodate shoppers, such as on Durie Street and Willard Avenue. Bike Share Toronto stations are conveniently set up throughout Bloor West Village, including at the scenic Neil McLellan Park. The George Charter Park is another small community green space that's a great stop for bicyclists. Click here to visit Bloor West Village BIA website.
By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-09-18
Updated On: 2019-09-23
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