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Queen Street West, the portion of Queen Street that spans west of Yonge, is one of Toronto's hippest neighbourhoods. Recently labelled as one of the “coolest neighbourhoods in the world” according to Vogue magazine, this happening area has become an international arts centre, and a top tourist attraction in the city.
Queen West is also known as a destination for Canadian broadcasting, music, fashion, performance and visual art. In spite of this, the neighbourhood still has a friendly, community vibe amongst its locals, who range from young professionals and students, to families and bohemian artists.
Unique eateries, cozy coffee shops, cool boutiques and attention-grabbing fashion at every turn is what makes this eclectic strip of Toronto so special. There is no shortage of things to do in this hipster ‘hood.
Grab an artisan coffee and take a stroll along to the beautiful Trinity Bellwoods Park; an iconic hotspot that is not to be missed.
For residents, amenities are just a stone's throw from your front door, with hair salons, spas, fitness studios, grocery and convenience stores all dotted along this west end street. And, should you want to go further afield, you are connected to the rest of this thriving city by numerous transport connections, including a 24-hour streetcar.
Who lives in Queen West?
The Queen West vibe is the result of its young, highly multicultural demographic. Whether your neighbour is a first time buyer, a student or a young professional, you’re bound to meet some interesting characters in this buzzing locality. The Queen Street West area is great for all kinds of households, but singles are the largest group. Families with children in the area tend to have 1 child at home, with a large percentage of young children.
The following data was obtained from the 2016 Trinity-Bellwoods neighbourhood census profile, and the City of Toronto Ward 19 profile. Average prices are determined by the realestatecondos.ca listings.
Population growth: -1.5%
Rent/Own: 50% / 50%
Median Age: 34
Average household income: 105,144
Average condo sale price: $1,105,641.88
Average condo rent price: $4,076.91
Average family size: 2
Population density: 9,570 people per square km
The neighbourhood is located west of Yonge Street in downtown Toronto and is serviced by 24-hour streetcars connecting you to a TTC station in no time.
Catch the 501 Queen streetcar eastbound and connect with Line 2 (Yonge-University) at either Osgoode or Queen stations. From there you can get to Union Station within minutes, granting you access to the rest of the city and beyond.
Or, grab one of the northbound streetcars, the 511 Bathurst or 510 Spadina, which will drop you off at Line 1 (Bloor-Danforth). The 63 Ossington bus will do the same.
The area scores a whopping 97/100 on its Walk Score and a perfect 100 on its Transit Score.
Those who have a car are very close to major arteries in and out of the city, with Queen Street leading onto the Queensway and the Gardiner Expressway just beyond that.
Queen West amenities
Queen West residents can never be out of things to do thanks to its saturation of shops, bars, restaurants, cafes, fitness centres, art galleries and cultural hubs.
Between Yonge Street and Spadina, Queen West has all of your usual tourist and big-brand offerings, with stores including H&M, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Lulu Lemon and Get Outside.
Or, mosey further west where shoppers can get their hands on specialist items from some of the city’s most well-known boutique stores, including the Drake General Store and Hayley Elsaesser to name a few.
Groceries and day-to-day goods are also within reach, thanks to a local Loblaws at Portland and Queen, plus a Shoppers Drug Mart, Beer Store Express, Wine Rack and LCBO.
If all of that isn’t enough, hop on the streetcar or walk west to Yonge Street where you’ll be greeted by some of the biggest names in retail at the revolving doors of Toronto’s famous Eaton Centre.
Well-known restaurants and cafes
Whether it's a juicy burger, an Old Fashioned, or just a good cup of coffee that you’re after, Queen Street West’s diversity means there's something for everyone.
Head to the famous Drake Hotel, where you can enjoy their house burger, one of the best in town. Or, pop into the eclectic Gladstone Hotel where you can sip on an artisan cocktail while taking in some of the cool artwork on display. Plus, at both locations you can bag yourself a hip night’s stay at one of their intricately designed rooms, if you fancy a staycation.
If coffee is your vice, you don’t have to walk far to find a specially crafted brew, with Starbucks, Jimmy’s Coffee, White Squirrel Coffee Shop and Tokyo Smoke, all calling Queen Street West home.
And, from perogies to pasta, the neighbourhood has a rich offering of foods from every corner of the globe. Some of the most known foodie hotspots include Terroni, the Italian mainstay which has grown into a city favorite since its 1992 beginnings. Then there’s Fresh on Crawford, one of Toronto’s most well-known sources for modern vegan and vegetarian food.
You'll never say you’re bored if you live in this vibrant locality.
From 6ix Cycle and Pure Barre for those fitness fanatics, to Twist Gallery and Artscape Youngplace, there’s something to suit all tastes and keep you occupied.
Queen West also welcomes a mix of world famous and humble local bands at the many live performance venues that are dotted up and down the street; Rivoli, Horseshoe Tavern and the Cameron House are all historic Toronto haunts.
Schools in Queen West
Although the Queen West neighbourhood isn’t known for its abundance of schools, there are plenty within walking distance. You can find both public and private, as well as a mix of elementary, junior and Montessori schools in the surrounding areas. Plus, the excellent transport links to the city’s largest universities – University of Toronto and Ryerson University – means that the area is a popular space for students.
Some of the schools within walking distance from the neighbourhood include:
- Alexander Muir Gladstone Public School
- Givins/Shaw Public School
- Charles G.Fraser Junior Public School
- St. Mary Elementary School
- Niagara Junior Public school
Parks in Queen West
Queen West is set right in the heart of the downtown core, which means that there could be more dedicated green space, however, one of Toronto's largest parks is at its epicentre.
Trinity Bellwoods Park is a 14.6 hectare park which was once home to the University of Trinity College, sitting atop (the now buried) Garrison Creek. Year-round this park is abuzz with activity, from outdoor musical performances on summer days, to ice hockey and sledding on even the most frigid of winter evenings.
The park houses three ball diamonds, eight tennis courts, two volleyball courts, an artificial ice rink, a dog off-leash area, a picnic area, wading pool and children’s playground. The park is also home to the Trinity Community Recreation Centre.
There is also a smaller park network to Trinity Bellwoods' south, called Stanley Park. There you'll find more baseball diamonds, a basetball court, playground and small outdoor pool.