WEST QUEEN WEST: GALLERY ROW
West Queen West was the site of a recent hipster renaissance and now boasts the city’s most vibrant arts and culture scene. Note: Save this walk for an afternoon Wednesday–Saturday.
Few galleries open their doors before 11 a.m., and many are closed early in the week.
Start on the north side of Queen St. W. at Crawford St. (via streetcar #501). Walk west past a block of noteworthy eateries. One of the best is the diner Swan (1; 892 Queen St. W.), serving inventive food that’s immensely popular with gallerygoers. Continue to the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (2; #952) to view groundbreaking work from the country’s hottest artists. Beyond the huge Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on your left is Casuccio (3; #972), primarily showcasing Cuban painting, and Propeller (4; #984), which shows more avantgarde pieces. Turn right onto Ossington Ave. to view works at Lennox Contemporary (5; 12 Ossington Ave.), which focuses on painting and printmaking, as well as installation pieces and new media. Return to Queen and turn right. Walk to Stephen Bulger Gallery (6; 1026 Queen), a gorgeous space exhibiting exciting documentary photography. Continue to Studio Brillantine (7; #1082H), whose beautiful collection of design accessories and toys features a few surprises. Wrap up your walk with a see-andbe- seen drink on the terrace of the Drake Hotel (8; #1150), the social epicenter of this recently revived neighborhood. In addition to drawing a chic crowd that often includes A-list celebrities, the hotel has a permanent art collection and hosts nightly art and music events. At Beaconsfield Ave., catch streetcar #501.
Purchase City Walks Toronto.
Text © 2008 Christina Henry de Tessan
Maps © 2008 David Lindroth Inc.
Text by Neil Carlson