Art meets commerce on vibrant Queen Street West, the historic area that spearheaded the growth in Toronto’s cultural life in the 1980s and ‘90s. Known then for its mixture of fashion shops, galleries and indie music bars, the eastern part of Queen Street West has become a major shopping district while the western half retains its unconventional roots.
Located just south of the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Queen Street West between Simcoe and Bathurst is the neighbourhood that nurtured young artists for decades. While many of the galleries and artist-run centres are just slightly south of Queen Street West’s official boundary line at 401 Richmond, the specific area is still the home to bars that showcase independent music and comedy acts. Fashion is another traditional strength of the area and one can shop for designer clothes on Queen Street West—or buy fabrics and create your own.
A hub for nightlife fun, Queen Street West is a place where downtown sophisticates meet tourists and other Torontonians at an array of restaurants and bars. During the daytime, shopping rules, with hordes of youths—and the young at heart—buying new hip vinyl, t-shirts and shoes. Embracing the latest in fashion and technology, Queen Street West mixes culture and merchandising together in one dynamic environment.