Shopping in King West
Check out our sample itinerary for a day spent exploring this trendy westside shopping district whether you’re on the hunt for modern furniture or eccentric fashion.
Shopping in King West is a genuinely fun experience. Once populated primarily by warehouses and industrial buildings, today it’s a multitude of fashion retailers, high-end lifestyle shops and trendy restaurants that offer a shopping experience like no other. In other words, it’s fit for a king. So let’s explore the street’s best shops, restaurants and more!
Places to eat in King West
You know the best way to stay away from shopping fatigue is to take some nosh breaks. Luckily, King West is full of fantastic options nearly everywhere you look. But here are some of our favourites.
Make your way to Wilbur Mexicana for an upscale Mexican meal. This apothecary-inspired counter serves up Mexican street food like tacos and burritos. 552 King St. W.
Patria’s modern take on Spanish food is an absolute delight. Enjoy classic Spanish cuisine (from tapas to paella), wine and cocktails served in a stylish, airy setting. 480 King St. W.
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
Well hidden in the heart of Liberty Village, Mildred's Temple Kitchen is a gathering place that offers delicious food and unique culinary memories. 85 Hanna Ave.
King West in a day
Morning: King West Fashion District
Your morning begins at the area between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street known as the Fashion District. Once the epicentre of Toronto’s textile industry, the Fashion District is still home to a handful of clothing outlets and is an ideal spot to begin your day of shopping in King West.
From St. Andrew subway station at King Street West and University Avenue, walk west. Along the way, take a browse through Cynthia Findlay Antiques, renowned for its extensive selection of antique decor and jewellery including beautiful vintage engagement rings.
Head north on Spadina Avenue up to Livestock to browse through popular streetwear brands. Continue along Spadina and you’ll spot King Textiles, which has 10,000 sq ft of fabric for those who prefer to fashion their own garments.
Before calling it a morning, pay a visit to Lorne’s Coats to peruse the selection of premium men’s and women’s outerwear.
Afternoon: Liberty Village
Hop on a streetcar and make your way over to Liberty Village, often compared to New York’s SoHo neighbourhood. Located on one of Toronto’s oldest settlements, Liberty Village still contains remnants of its industrial past, only today its one-time-factory buildings have been converted into residential lofts, offices and an eclectic mix of restaurants and retailers.
There’s plenty here to appeal to the trendy and sophisticated shopper. Liberty Village is home to the first West Elm location in Ontario, a brand that specializes in modern furniture, bedding and kitchenware. EQ3, Casalife and Kitchen Stuff Plus all offer additional goodies for the home decor enthusiast.
Fashionistas will love the selection of dresses, jumpsuits and bathing suits at Ohlinda Wear Boutique. Nearby, I Have a Crush on You, boasts an unparalleled selection of unique gifts and trinkets, and Demo Soap is worth entering for the intoxicating aroma alone.
Evening: Dinner and Dancing
As day turns to dusk, head back to your hotel to drop off your shopping bags. Popular hotels in the King West neighbourhood include the Hilton Garden Inn, the Hôtel Le Germain, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Hyatt Regency.
For dinner, the world is your oyster. Choose from among the many restaurants on the King West strip. Afterwards, don your new outfit and dance the night away at EFS—a perfect way to end your day of shopping in King West.
Fun facts about King West
- King Street was not originally as long as it is now—it was extended to its current length in 1901
- The 1849 Great Fire destroyed much of the commercial centre located on King Street, including St. Lawrence Market
- King Street became one of Toronto’s first commercial centres after the construction of Market Square and St. Lawrence Market in early 1800
- The first office block in the city of Toronto was located on King Street
- King Street is one of Toronto’s first streets—it was planned out in 1793
How to get to King West
With multiple transportation options, getting to King West is a breeze.
By bus: Bus 1 offers an easy commute from Union Station
By car: From the Gardiner Expressway, get off at any downtown exit and head North.
By streetcar: 504, 510, 511 all travel along or intersect at King Street West