Queen West is the hot place to be right now.
Earlier this summer, the New York Times featured Toronto’s Queen West in its series about creative neighbourhoods.
“But despite these clichés of gentrification, the neighbourhood is like no other. It has charming exaggerations: a retired Victorian fire station (now a drug treatment facility) with a tower like a pilgrim hat; a boutique called Crywolf selling candles scented with ‘Canadian’ odours like Muskoka campfire and Up North S’mores; a cocktail paraphernalia shop called BYOB with 160 varieties of bitters,” wrote the Times' Julie Lasky.
Part of the neighbourhood’s draw: “One might even say it’s in the sweet spot between scared off and priced out.”
And now Queen West is getting even more attention south of the border.
According to fashion bible Vogue, of the world’s hippest districts, Queen West is second, bowing only to Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa.
"Toronto is currently enjoying newfound prominence — and desirability — amongst globe-trotting tastemakers," wrote Vogue’s Nick Remsen. “Queen Street West is a verifiable artery of indie patisseries, homegrown labels, and hidden-from-view galleries — hallmarks of hipness, if ever they existed.”
The Drake, the Gladstone, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Graffiti Alley and the clothing boutique Bicyclette all get shout-outs in the article now published online.
Here’s the complete list of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods, according to the fashion powers that be:
Queen Street West, Toronto
Tiong Bahru, Singapore
Centro, Sao Paulo
Canal Saint-Martin, Paris
Bushwick, New York
Zona Rosa & La Condesa, Mexico City
Silver Lake, Los Angeles
Dashanzi Art District / Beijing
Sorry, Parkdale, Bloordale and the Junction. Queen West is cooler than you. American publications say so.
(Check out what hipster-free Queen West looked like in the early 1900s like over at BlogTO.)
If you were editor for a day, what neighbourhood would you deem the hippest in Toronto? In Canada?