Named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Vogue, Queen Street West is one of Toronto’s most interesting areas. From charcoal ice cream to pretty plant shops, Queen West pretty much has it all! It is located throughout the Arts and Design District of Toronto, and it is one of the city’s most diverse and unique neighbourhoods. Queen Street West is one of my favourite spots to visit when I’m downtown; therefore I thought it’d be fun to do a post guiding you throughout the neighbourhood, telling you what to see, do, and eat on one of Toronto’s most iconic streets.
What to See
The Drake Hotel, originally built in 1890, is located on the western end of the street. It is famous for its food, club, cafe, and overall great entertainment. The revamping of the Drake, which took place in the early 2000s, helped turn Queen West into the popular and trendy neighbourhood it now is!
A very popular destination for tourists and locals alike, Toronto’s Graffiti Alley is a kilometre long street full of unique graffiti and impressive murals. It is located on Rush Lane, found between Queen and Richmond. Graffiti Alley is the perfect place to visit for photographers looking for somewhere to get some cool shots, as well as a fun place to visit for someone looking to get an interesting instagram photo. A couple weeks ago while I was exploring Queen West with my friend Lorelei, we accidentally came across Graffiti Alley while looking for somewhere to get some nice pictures. Even though it was pretty cold while we explored it, it was still super fun to walk down the street and admire all of the one of a kind art.
What to Do
Browse the unique shops
Down Queen West, you’ll find dozens of charming and alluring shops. A couple of stores in specific include the Paper Place, a cute stationary store; and Dynasty Toronto, a quaint plant/flower store. Both of these stores, as well as the many other stores throughout the neighbourhood, were super picturesque and had tons of neat trinkets and knicknacks that were fun to look at. Spend an afternoon walking down the iconic street, check out the many cool shops, and be prepared to find tons of cute clothes, trendy trinkets, and stylish souvenirs.
Have a photo shoot
As I’ve mentioned many times throughout this post, Queen West is a very picturesque neighbourhood. Whether you live Toronto or you’re just visiting the city, this area is definitely the spot to visit if you’re looking for somewhere to take some photos. Head to Queen West with a couple of your friends and devote some time to exploring the street and looking for some fascinating photo-ops.
Where to Eat
Fancy Franks Gourmet
Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs is a cute restaurant that offers hot dogs, ice cream, burgers, poutine, and milkshakes. Lorelei and I stopped here for dinner on the day we spent on Queen West, and we both got their classic poutine (it was great!). Definitely check out this restaurant if you’re looking for a quick, basic, and tasty meal.
H2 Kitchen, short for Happy and Healthy Kitchen, is a small, trendy restaurant with many healthy food options. Shown above is their strawberry banana smoothie bowl, which was delicious!
Famous for bringing the popular charcoal ice cream to Toronto, iHalo Krunch is a small dessert shop offering many cold desserts. I haven’t actually ever tried anything from this store, but judging from the photos of it online (and the supposed hour long lines that come from it during summer) it seems really cool!
That’s all for my guide to Queen Street West. I hope you enjoyed!
Thanks for reading!