Queen Street West

Queen St W
Queen Street West, just east of Peter Street.

For decades, Queen Street West was the home of the artistic community of Toronto. However, around 1980, the area started to become trendy. The big boost happened when a local TV station bought the ornately decorated building at 299 Queen West. Unfortunately, the higher rents have driven many artists out.

Queen St W
Queen Street West, just west of Peter Street.

Before the mid 80's, you could find the best used book stores here. Now, few are left. Even Bakka Books, a popular science fiction store, has moved out. (It moved to the Yonge Street strip.) Now, the best used book stores can be found near the intersection of Spadina and Harbord, near the University of Toronto.

Today, the real hip and trendy part of Queen Street West is the area to the west of Spadina Avenue.

Street band on Queen Street West

At one time, some people wanted to name the neighborhood "Soho" after a short side street. That proposal was not treated seriously.

Winter scene on Queen Street West
Winter scene on Queen Street West.

I was once told that a group of doctors was using Queen Street West as a sort of real-life Monopoly game. That might explain all the new trendy shops and high rents.

Club on Queen Street West
A restaurant on Queen Street West at Duncan Street, February 1983.