West Queen West
This ultra-stylish neighbourhood is a favourite of local hipsters, fashionistas, and art enthusiasts. Independent retailers, trendy restaurants, and contemporary galleries reign here.
TOKENS OF TORONTO
Bring home a unique souvenir of your Toronto trip from the Drake General Store. Although there are several locations, the outpost here is the flagship. You’ll find RCMP- and CBC-branded apparel and housewares, as well as the Drake’s signature onesies for kids and adults.
There is also a gourmet food selection that includes maple syrup, tea, and condiments, as well as smaller gifting items like enamel pins, socks, mugs, and blankets. 1151 Queen St. W., drakegeneralstore.ca
MORE THAN JUST ART
Twist Gallery is not your typical art space with crisp, cold white walls. Instead, you’ll find a warm and inviting loft with high ceilings, wooden beams, and arched windows. Here, gallery director Nadia Kakridonis showcases contemporary paintings and photography. The space is also a popular venue for weddings and other celebrations and events. 1100 Queen St. W., twistgallery.ca
HOMEY DINING SPOT
Former Top Chef Canada contestant Vittorio Colacitti’s eclectic restaurant The Good Son is adorned with knickknacks like antique chiming clocks, vintage plates, and framed photographs. The menu of shareable plates features the likes of warm olives, scallops, jerk shrimp, and an arugula and pear salad. The star of the kitchen is the wood-fired oven and grill that’s imported from Italy, from which crispy spicy sopressata and capricciosa pizzas are churned out along with wood-grilled octopus. 1096 Queen St. W., thegoodsontoronto.com
Since it first opened in 1890, The
Great Hall has served myriad purposes: as a community centre with a swimming pool, a track, a bowling alley, a library, a printing house, and then a place for Polish refugees during wartime, and later as a theatre, a visual art gallery, and a private event space. Today, the 20,000-square-foot venue, which is divided into four rooms, is best known as a concert venue. 1087 Queen St. W., thegreathall.ca
MADE IN THE U.S.A.
Shinola is a Detroit-based brand that emphasizes “made in America by Americans.”
The airy shop, complete with bicycles suspended from the ceiling, specializes in high-end timepieces, leather goods, and yes, two-wheeled vehicles. There’s a custom watch bar, as well as supple leather goods ranging from laptop bags and backpacks to wallets and and belts. Less expensive are their linen journals, which can be monogrammed for a personal touch. 1000 Queen St. W., shinola.com
Helen + Hildegard is a modern day herbal apothecary and beauty boutique that stocks items that are consciously sourced from sustainable and responsible supplies. Local and international brands such as Province Apothecary, Rebels Refinery, and Always Bearded can be found here, alongside a selection of therapeutic loose leaf teas and specialty tea accessories. Aromatherapy diffusers and essential oils round out the wellness products. 1174 Queen St. W., helenandhildegard.com
The Great Hall
The Good Son
Drake General Store