Walking Tour: Queen Street West

  • Start Intersection of Queen St W and Bathurst St
  • End Grand Electric Parkdale
  • Length 3km; 2½ hours

Start at the corner of Queen St W and Bathurst and head west on Queen, window-shopping and popping into gems like Châtelet for shabby-chic home goods and Type to browse among the books. Walk past Trinity Bellwoods Park, where you'll see local hipsters with their well-groomed dogs and kids playing Frisbee. Take a right onto Ossington Ave, one of Toronto's best strips for food, drink, and people watching. Head up the eastern side of the street, checking out the action at Sweaty Betty’s and stopping for a fancy cone at Bang Bang Ice Cream. At Argyle St, pop into Peace Collective for an irreverent Toronto T-shirt; some of the cash goes to provide food to needy kids. Cross to the western side of the street, stopping for a pint at the superb Bellwoods Brewery if you’re thirsty. If not, plan to come back another time. Continue south on Ossington until it dead-ends at Queen. Take a right, strolling until you reach Craft Ontario, a must stop for art, jewelry and more by local artists; special exhibits are occasionally hosted here. Cross the street to the Theatre Centre, in a gorgeously remodeled historic library. An ‘arts incubator,’ the theater often has interesting shows and events; stop in to see what’s on. Continue west along Queen, passing the Drake Hotel, a live-music venue and after-hours hot spot with a great rooftop bar. Continue west, past the Gladstone Hotel, another nightlife hottie, known for its artful and edgy events such as poetry slams and burlesque shows. Keep walking until you cross Dufferin St. Consider popping into Public Butter Vintage, on the right, with its mountainous collection of vintage clothing (and some of the best prices in town). If it’s just too much to look at, cross the street to House of Vintage, a beautifully curated vintage designer-clothing shop, with prices to match. End your West End spree with tasty tacos at Grand Electric Parkdale – be sure to ask for a table on the back patio.