Photo : @harryzy5204 /Instagram
Where lifestyle, culture and home ownership collide
Walk along Queen Street West and you’d be hard pressed to see any changes over the past decade. All the fashion chains you’ve come to know and love litter both sides of the streets with foot traffic that rivals parts of NYC. Queen Street has always been know as that hip part of Toronto that’s just different enough to be “cool”. But venture far enough West along Queen Street and you slowly come to a part so distinctly different that they had to add another “West” to the namesake just to make sure that you knew you were somewhere different. Move along Queen West peeps, this is ‘West Queen West’ – where the word ‘Hip’ has no bounds and all are welcome.
There is something to be said about the neighborhoods hugging West Queen West, they’re a more diverse mixed dish than your grandmother’s famous stew. All kinds of people live in these areas, from the downtrodden artist to the secret plutocrat, and they all call this region their home. It is a unique area in which the old are old, and are ready to pass down their deeds; and as for the young, well, they range from young-and-upcoming to the young at heart. The latter of which is what lights up nights in these areas. Don’t believe us? Walk along Ossington on a Weekend night and let that experience redefine the word “youth” for you. We’re not talking about the reckless binge drinking, “woooo-ing” party type that you might see waddling on King Street, no.
These streets don’t just facilitate nightlife for people; the people are the nightlife. These areas aren’t just places for people to party on. They are social hubs where community and culture collide to create something new, and is then re-invented again every night. The type of unique businesses, boutiques and shops that you see in these communities are indicative of the type of culture that they represent. Cookie cut chains and franchises need not apply. Perhaps that’s why Vogue named Toronto’s “West Queen West” the second-hippest district in the world in 2014; second only to Tokyo’s Shimokitasawa district.
Combine everything you read, and it’s easy to understand why West Queen West is one of the most sought after areas for prospective home-buyers and renters. Everyone wants to either live or work here. From bachelors, students, artists, entrepreneurs to families. It’s the most ideal and well rounded place for all types of life. Those who want to downsize and live a more quaint life tucked away in a picturesque home, now can. For those who want to up-size and renovate decades old lots for something more modern, now can. The young and young-at-heart who want to be close to the hip lifestyle but distant enough for solitude, now can. Those who want to re-energize their artistic needs by surrounding themselves with the most creative and hip minds a neighborhood can offer, now can. And for those who want to start a business counter to the establishment, you wont find a more eclectic and experiential customer base than those on West Queen West. Seriously, we’ll try anything, at least once.