Toronto has emerged as a major style destination. Stores abound with luxury designer items, unique vintage finds and top home décor, and high fashion can be found around every corner.
Shopping in Queen West
Check out our sample itinerary for a day of shopping and exploring in this hippest of the haute neighbourhood.
Queen West is home to some of the city’s most cutting-edge boutiques among the art galleries and hip bars and restaurants.
Places to eat in Queen West
All of this shopping builds up an appetite! Grab a coffee, a snack or a drink to fuel up along the way.
I Deal Coffee
Coffee, sustainability, wine, beer and charcuterie are all on tap here. But the coffee is really the showstopper. 162 Ossington Ave.
Great food and delicious drinks in a cozy and romantic space. 1168 Queen St. W.
Queen West in a day
Morning: Queen & Spadina to Bathurst
Start your morning at Queen and Spadina to breeze through the tried-and-true chain retailers that are clustered around the intersection such as H&M, Urban Outfitters and Adidas. Continue west past the bead and textile shops that line Queen until Bathurst Street, where the Queen West neighbourhood gets a little more eclectic.
Here, upscale interior design shops and clothing boutiques grow higher in number. Stop into Crate & Barrel’s sister store CB2 and Urban Barn, and don’t miss chic boutique Naked Bodyz Fashion Inc. for fabulous gowns and formalwear.
Pass Trinity Bellwoods Park and drop by the cozy vegetarian restaurants.
Afternoon: Queen & Ossington Strip
For a little break from shopping, pop into one of the many galleries in the area such as Stephen Bulger Gallery or Twist Gallery. Or head north up Ossington Avenue and discover the hottest strip for vintage and consignment clothing stores. Shops like I Miss You Vintage Inc. offer a hand-selected mix of merchandise ranging from the 50s to the present day.
Don’t leave the strip without a turnabout at the back alley that runs between Queen and Humbert Street. Here, the local art community has sprayed dozens of garage doors with Grab an Americano from self-proclaimed coffee snobs I Deal Coffee and stroll back down the other side to continue west on Queen. Pop into the many niche accessory shops until you reach the Drake General Store, where Canadiana-themed curiosities range from backpacker’s cologne to DIY moonshine manuals.
Evening: Pub Fare and Patio Crawl
After dark, Queen West’s nightclubs and bars come to life. Watch the evening unfold over cocktails and refined comfort food at the Drake Hotel or take a seat at Nuit Social’s whimsical patio and build your own charcuterie board.
After a day of rack rummaging and people watching, indulge in some well-deserved rest and relaxation at one of Toronto’s downtown luxury hotels. Rest in style at the Shangri-La where you can enjoy the striking cityscape from your spacious suite. Or retire at the Sheraton Centre across the street instead. You’ll wake up in the heart of downtown, ready to explore a new neighbourhood with a brand new outfit.
Fun facts about Queen Street West
- Queen St was originally named Lot St by John Graves Simcoe, who first laid out the city of York
- The longest streetcar route in the world is the 501 Queen route
- Toronto's oldest operating hotel, The Gladstone Hotel, is located at Queen Street West and Gladstone Avenue
- Built in the 1900s, there’s a now buried public bathroom at Queen and Spadina
- Vogue magazine named West Queen West one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world
How to get to Queen Street West
Located in a central area means that getting to Queen West is pretty easy with both public transport and car.
By car: Take the Spadina exit from Gardiner Expressway and go northbound
By TTC: Take Line 1 to Queen or to Osgoode subway station, then walk or take the 501 streetcar westbound