Post-Gayborhoods: Toronto’s Queen Street West Is Wild About Art

Post-Gayborhoods: Toronto’s Queen Street West Is Wild About Art

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Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at a dozen of the most dynamic and interesting post-gay neighborhoods in the United States and Canada. These aren’t necessarily the biggest or the most popular — just a good sampling of especially notable ones. 

To see all the articles in this series, click here.

Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario

Queen Street West in Toronto (Photo: Andrew Collins)

An indie-spirited, artistically inclined alternative to the city’s uber-queer Church Street Village, Queen Street West (aka simply Queen West) is one of several cool neighborhoods west of downtown. It consists of a long stretch of Queen Street extending west from about University Avenue and the Osgoode metro station for many blocks out beyond Trinity Bellwoods Park (a section that’s especially packed with great places to shop and eat) and Roncesvalles Avenue and the Queensway—a distance of more than 3 miles. The bohemian vibe continues north on intersecting Ossington Avenue and then east-west again on Dundas and Bloor streets.

Clafouti in Queen Street West (Photo: Andrew Collins)

Suffice it to say, there’s much to see and do in Queen Street West and nearby offshoot districts. For drinks with liked-minded souls, stumble into Sweaty Betty’s, an eclectic cocktail bar on the Ossington Strip, and the legendary Gladstone Hotel, a diverse arts space, live-music club, restaurant, and affordable, art-themed hotel. Lula Lounge is a fave for Cuban brunch fare and Latin music, and the convivial Rhino Bar & Grill has a great beer selection.

Other options for people-watching and dining include sunny and cheerful Clafouti Patisserie & Cafe and the mod-Canadian, farm-to-table Good Son restaurant and bar.

A Queen Street West Banner (Photo: Andrew Collins)

In August, the neighborhood hosts an LGBT arts showcase, the Toronto Queer Arts Festival.

This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.

(Featured image via Greg/Flickr)

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