Shopping in Queen West

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Queen West is home to some of the city’s most cutting-edge boutiques among the art galleries and hip bars and restaurants. Here’s a sample itinerary for a day of shopping and exploring in this hippest of the haute neighbourhood.

A shop from on Queen West Toronto
Queen West

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 boutiques Champagne and Cupcakes and 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. and 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.

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 vibrant murals. Grab an Americano from self-proclaimed coffee snobs Ideal 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 neighborhood with a brand new outfit.

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