In case you missed it, Vogue – the bible of style – has declared Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood as the second coolest ’hood in the world. It lost first place to Shimokitazawa in Japan, but managed to beat much-hyped Silver Lake in Los Angeles and buzzy Södermalm in Sweden.
“Queen Street West is a verifiable artery of indie patisseries, homegrown labels, and hidden-from-view galleries,” Nick Remsen writes, before going on to mention the Drake, the Gladstone and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art as further proof of its hipness.
I’d add a few more places to that list of West Queen West cool: Kool Kid (super-cute children’s shop), Trinity Bellwoods (definitely the coolest of parks), Fresh (a vegetarian restaurant that even carnivores like me flock to), my Bosley Real Estate Queen West office (obviously), the Chocolate Lofts (never mind the gorgeousness of the inside at this address…what about that fantastic name??) and the Shopgirls Boutique (if you haven’t been here yet, you really, really should). Don’t even get me started on the yummy places to get an after-work drink on Queen West….
But … is the ’hood really cooler than Brooklyn? Better than Berlin? I must admit I find that idea a little hard to swallow. But maybe it’s because I’ve grown blind to its wonders since I spend so much time on West Queen West.
I’m not trying to knock an incredibly amazing Toronto neighbourhood that just got world press on it — but for argument’s sake, let’s get the conversation rolling about our OTHER super cool neighbourhoods. For example, many consider Ossington to be the current “hipster ground zero” in the city. Kensington Market meanwhile, plays cool to another crowd with it’s vintage style and historic charm. The Junction Triangle has been totally revived as of late and then there’s Leslieville. Call me biased because I’m on the east side of Yonge and over 30 with a kid, but some of the coolest restaurants and best local shopping I have personally experienced in Toronto have been along Queen Street East.
So what say you? Is West Queen West worthy of its Vogue praise? How does it compare with neighbourhoods around the world – and even right here at home?
Discuss. Share. Let’s talk about this!
***Sidenote – if you don’t see me comment right away, it may be because I’m buying real estate in the neighbourhood of West Queen West though….