Queen Street West - SOHO, Toronto
For something inexpensive to do on a rainy day try visiting The National film board of Canada. It is located on John st. Take the Queen car to John st (West of University Ave. A few blocks west of Osgoode subway station). On thursday nights there are great movies for eight bucks or so. Anytime that they are open, there are numerous private viewing stations, for singles or couples, where you can select any of hundreds of movies to watch for a a buck or two per hour!!! Great documentaries and a way to get to know Canadians and their lives.
This building is considered by some people to be the most beautiful in Canada.
In 1829-32 the Law Society of Upper Canada erected the west wing of the building and named it after William Osgoode, the province's first Chief Justice.
The building has been damaged and repaired many times and now stands in pristine condition. The interior of the building is magnificent memory of the period.
This sandstone structured building was constructed during the period 1886-92 and has served as the meeting place for Ontario's Parliament for more than a century.
Free guided tours of the building are available, phone (416) 325 7500 for tour schedule and booking.
The city is so large and vibrant, it has many unusual and exciting areas. One of them is Queen street, the hub of excitement. My suggestion to you is as follows:
Find an evening when you are free from about 7pm onwards. Goto Yonge Street downtown, byt the intersection of Queen Street. This is by the south side of Eaton Centre. From there, walk west along Queen Street. Almost immediately, you will pass Nathan Phillips Square on your right. At that square, you will likely see the Quaint but stunning Old City Hall and the Modern New City Hall. Nathan Phillips Square
Continue along Queen Street. You will see many exciting unusual shops and thousands of people adding to the excitement. This will really be a rewarding walk. In fact a great idea is to meander your way down this street with a bunch of friends examining and comparing the various unusual shops. You do not need to spend money. You are also obviously welcome to spend money too, that is your choice!
Eventually you will reach the famous Chum City Building. Chum City Building It is worth looking round there.
I also suggest visiting my Toronto Off The Beaten Path Page. There, you can read about the City Council, Nathan Phillips Square, Osgoode Hall and the Mayor's office, which are all in Queen Street.
Parkdale Village is an interesting area to walk in because of its "Bohemian" atmosphere. Unlike many other areas of Toronto that have been ruined by rampant development, Parkdale has retained a good number of its late 19th-century buildings. The neighbourhood has a special feeling, not unlike SoHo in New York, that strongly contrasts with the rest of the city.
People-watchers will not be disappointed if they visit the section of Queen Street that lies west of Dufferin Street. Queen Street West is the main commercial artery of the neighbourhood, while several of the crossing streets have rows of cozy Victorian-era houses. The best among them are Dunn and Cowan Avenues because some high-rise apartment buildings have been built on some of the other streets.
This was the area we stayed in. Once we figured out where we were, the atmosphere around here had an "anything goes" appeal to it. We saw some very colorful and interesting looking people, and the shops had some off the wall apparel and items. The restaurants were good too. I'll probably stay here again.
If you're into shopping and not into looking like everyone else, Queen ST W is a good place to spend a day. There are tonnes of shops ranging from the mild to the extreme to suit all fashion tastes. This is our most trendiest area of the city and the prices range from moderate to pricey depending on what you're getting. There are also lots of bars and restaurants with outdoor patios to allow you to sit back and people-watch if you're in the need of a shopping break.
There are lots of artsy stores, delicious restaurants and cafes. There is also my now favourite Lush shop, as well as an adult goods store where volunteers can dance around very scantily clad on weekends for the reward of a purchase of upto $50 in the store - strictly for exhibitionists.
Shopping on Queen St.
On Queen St. is the kind of shopping you want to do as a tourist in Toronto. There are many cool clothing stores from super cheap grunge style and vintage clothing - to ultra hip fashion! Also, this is where you will find many unique stores to Toronto like skateboard stores and fabulous music stores, the Condom Shack (featuring me [in it] on the picture), the Friendly Stranger (a store with top quality and a lot to choose from when it comes to hemp and weed paraphinelia - makes for a great gift shop!)
If you like such stores as Prada, Gucci, Versace... they are located on Bloor St.
Queen Street West is one of those streets every city should have. It's a street for the uncommon, for the trendy, for the hip. It's also great in the way of neat finds and unusual souveniers.
Toronto's very own Much Music tv station is located on Queen West and you may just catch a glimpse of some famous person doing an interview.
Also there are tons of great stores, from Caban, to Lush, to small boutiques that have the funkiest stuff. For those adults with a sense of humour, try visiting the Condom Shack to find those off-the-wall adult souveniers. In the way of food, a personal favourite is Queen Mother Café and Tortilla Flats. (Tortilla Flats has a great combo platter). In the summer Peter Pan and Tortilla Flats have the best patios IMO. Live music? Check out the Rex, 360, Rivoli and Bamboo. Queen West is a hop skip and a jump away from the theatre and club district of Toronto.
This spa is located in the trendy and eclectic neighborhood of West Queen West. Nestled just off of Queen and King it is a hidden gem! It's not one of those pretentious places where you feel like you must bring out the inner snob, rather it's a very minimalistic and clean spa. It's definitely different from the traditional places, with 3 large screen television sets in the manicure pedicure area to watch DVDs during services, individual hydrotherapy treatments where you can steam or sauna in private! Course, the services were also amazing, customized facials, moor mud wraps that make your mouth water (chocolate mint!) and RMT massages (hello....claimable!!) It might not have all the frills and pretence but if you want a relaxing place to escape in the city, I highly recommend it!
Lively atmosphere and trendy fashions. You can find major labels here like: Guess, Club Monaco, Gap, Zara, Aldo, Aritzia.
Take a virtual tour of queen st w at grandstreets.com. They have panoramic views of the whole street so you can browse all the shops at a glance.
Take a walk down Queen and see how normally staid Canadians can get downright snooty.
It is a nice place to take a stroll, what with all the cafes and shops selling unique items of habadashery.
It also abuts on on Toronto's huge Chinese community on Spadina where I had a blast browsing through all the junk.
Here I must admit that my favorite shop in the world is on Queen Street. It's called Peach Berserk and is owned and staffed by the most talented and creative women in the world. They create beautiful and unique clothes for women (and men too). Stop in and buy something peachy!
We walked around Queen St. West quite a few times, since it was so close by. This cafe(?) looked interesting, wish we had tried it. So many places, so little time!