Queen Street West 1981

Queen Street West 1981
A moody, overcast day on Queen Street West in February 1981.

For many of us, the glory days of Queen Street West was before the street got gentrified. In 1981, you could still find a really good assortment of used book stores, along with lots of other funky stores. The surplus electronics store had a stuffed gorilla welcoming passersby. The area was truly a haven for the arts community.

Queen Street West 1981
The wide sidewalk.

But Queen Street West started becoming more popular. As it did, rents increased, and artists and store owners started moving out. The street is still very popular, but sadly for different reasons than before.

Queen Street West 1981
View towards one of the great used bookstores.

Queen Street West 1981
View of the street with little traffic, now rare.

Queen Street West 1981
View towards downtown, with a PCC streetcar rumbling by.

Queen Street West 1981
A used clothing store. Two doors down, another used book store.