West Queen West a Dynamic Neighborhood

Spanning about 2 kilometer that runs between Bathurst Street and Gladstone Avenue in Toronto, West Queen West (WQW) is a trendy district that's lined with hundreds of businesses. Several TTC streetcars run through this densely packed neighborhood that's known for great nightlife, dining, shopping and arts scenes. Colorful murals add dramatic appeal to the brick facades of some properties in this gentrified community. Click to book your Toronto City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Retail, Food and Drinks

West Queen West in Toronto
Toronto’s most dynamic and progressive neighborhood
As you navigate West Queen West, you'll see an array of boutiques and independent shops that offer good bargains on apparel, accessories, electronics, house decor and items in dozens of other categories. From massage parlors and spas to barber shops and fitness clubs, the dense neighborhood is packed with businesses that focus on health and wellness. You can also hop between trendy bars and pubs that offer some of the most vibrant nightlife in Toronto. Of course, you'll also find plenty of galleries and studios that sell authentic paintings, sculptures, photographs, posters and other artwork with local themes. From gourmet pizza and American-style hamburgers to plant-based, premium sushi and spicy Indian dishes, you can satisfy cravings for international cuisine in West Queen West. More than 100 food options are available in this diverse district that embraces foreign and local culinary influences.

Character and Streetscape

West Queen West is a trendy neighborhood with some cool murals that focus on pop culture, music, sports, politics and other hot topics. Decorating small brick buildings, most of the murals were done by freelance graffiti artists and other street artists with distinct urban style. Some notable murals include the Laneway on Gravity Pope, Japantown, Stay True and Blazeworks at Brookfield. Gentrification has recently transformed the character of the historic district with the addition of renovated boutique hotels, contemporary lounges and studios. For example, the historic Drake Hotel and Gladstone Hotel stand as great reminders of the area's stunning evolution over the generations. Click to book your Toronto City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. Despite its dense layout, WQW has some great green space for residents and visitors. The Trinity Bellwoods Park hosts various community events, such as a farmers market and outdoor movie nights. Multiple tennis courts, softball fields, outdoor hockey rink and dog park are some of the recreational facilities at this popular park. A children's playground and the Trinity Community Recreational Centre provide additional activities for people of all ages and physical abilities. The district is also known for its intimate entertainment venues, such as the Lower Ossington Theatre that often hosts musicals and other traditional plays with Broadway inspirations. The Theatre Center is another popular spot for watching local acts in this cool district.

Visiting West Queen West (transportation options)

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You can easily navigate West Queen West on the Toronto Transit Commission streetcars. Running seven days a week, the 501 route operates from the early morning until late evening. Also in service seven days a week, the 301 line offers daytime and overnight rides. Both streetcars follow eastbound and westbound paths along a long stretch of West Queen Street. Additionally, the 301 and 501 streetcars offer convenient transfer to the TTC Yonge-University Subway network, which is locally known as Line 1. Parallel parking is available near most of the businesses, homes and other properties that line the historic street. However, parking garages are limited in this busy district of Toronto. There is only one lane designated for eastbound traffic and one lane marked for westbound traffic. Drivers are urged to be extra cautious as they share the relatively narrow road with the streetcars, which run every 10 or 15 minutes. Click here to visit West Queen West website.
By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-7-20
Updated On: 2019-7-20

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