Entertainment District / Queen West, Toronto
Toronto’s very own Entertainment District can be found along King Street West between Spadina Avenue and University Avenue. Sitting comfortably between the Fashion District and Financial District, the trendy Queen West neighbourhood is also just to the north (see map below). Formerly the very industrial Garment District, fashion and textiles manufacturing began to leave their large warehouses and factories behind as they moved away from the District in the 1970s.
The Queen West Neighbourhood in downtown Toronto occupies the westernmost portion of Queen Street West from the north side of Adelaide north to the south side of Dundas - from Spadina west to Lansdowne (see map below). Next to the theatre district and close to Chinatown and Kensington Market, the Queen West area has grown into a hub for the arts and is home to a number of notable tourist attractions like the Gladstone Hotel, Trinity Bellwoods Park, the Drake, Graffiti Alley and of course, 299 Queen Street West, the former MuchMusic and Citytv building.
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In the 1980s nightclubs began to move into these vacant spaces. A decade later, the Toronto Entertainment District was actually one of the biggest nightclub hotspots in North America, along with being home to many restaurants and bars.
In the 2000s, the area saw a rich condo constriction boom and many of the remaining historic warehouses and factories were also converted into lofts. While not home to all of the theaters in Toronto like Ed Mirvish Theatre or Massey Hall, the Entertainment District includes hosts The Toronto International Film Festival and is home to many performing arts centres, family attractions, theatres like the Royal Alexandria and Princess Margaret along with the city’s biggest sports teams – The Toronto Argonauts, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors. Close to transit, immensely walkable and always bustling with fine dining, nightlife, festivals and entertainment, the aptly-named Entertainment District is a great place to live. Whether you are planning on living in Toronto’s Entertainment District or want to invest in a condo, the Entertainment District offers everything from newer condos to loft conversions to combination “condotels” – condos with boutique hotel amenities and service.
Walk Score: 99 Transit Score: 100 Bike Score: 63
The Westernmost part of Queen West, or West Queen West, is known as the Art and Design district. This is an upscale, gentrified and trendy area that is home to boutique stores, restaurants, cafes, fabric shops, clothing stores and plenty of live entertainment.
Queen West also has its own Business Improvement Area, representing over 300 business owners and merchants who work hard to keep the neighbourhood a thriving destination. It’s also easy to get around, as the neighbourhood is perfect for pedestrians and transit users with easy access to the 501 Streetcar, which travels along Queen Street every 6 minutes. Many creative types and young professionals make their home here. Queen West is a perfect mix of business and culture, as well as the historic and the modern making it an all-around great place to live.
There are a number of converted former factory lofts here, as well as stylish new condo developments that echo the overall feel of the neighbourhood in their design: diverse, vibrant and hip. Walk Score: 93 Transit Score: 91 Bike Score: 71