Walk the western section of downtown Queen Street and you’ll find local food, fashion, books, and a strong sense of community.
LOCAL STORY An oasis for choosy readers, Type Books is one of Toronto’s best-loved literary boutiques. Aiming for quality over quantity, knowledgeable, friendly staff stock the shelves with classics, worthy bestsellers and obscure gems with an emphasis on Canadian writers. A neighbourhood hub, Type also hosts author readings and showcases local art in its basement gallery.
FRENCH TREAT The aroma of fresh and fluffy confections draws patrons into Nadège Patisserie. Pretend you’re in Paris while enjoying an espresso and croissant on the patio overlooking Trinity Bellwoods Park, or select from bite-sized gourmandise to take home with you—flavoured marshmallows, biscuits, pâtés de fruits and delectable macarons.
SONIC TEMPLE Compact discs may be a dying format, but vinyl records remain resilient. Expand your collection and discover new sounds at Rotate This. One of the city’s leading indie music stores, its shelves are loaded with new releases and used albums by local and international artists from all genres—rock, punk, metal, reggae, electronic and more. The store also sells tickets for many Toronto-area concerts.
A BETTER BREW Your expectations of tea will be forever changed after a visit to Tealish. More than 130 loose-leaf varieties from the world’s top growing regions comprise the boutique’s premium selection, which includes many non-traditional options that are flavoured with everything from fruit pieces to flower petals, for a fragrant drink that can be enjoyed either piping hot or iced.
STYLE SAVVY Unique women’s clothing and accessories are found at Queen Street’s Fresh Collective, one of three chic shops run by a group of local designers. The flagship label, Fresh Baked Goods, features quirky knits and colourful cotton print dresses. Other designers include Paper People Clothing, which uses upcycled fabrics, and Odd Bird Designs, popular for their domino pendants.
HIP AND HOMEY A family-run butcher shop for more than 60 years, Czehoski is now a multi-level haunt for contemporary dining—though its original 1924 sign reminds visitors of the site’s history. Among the haute comfort cuisine offerings are potato perogies and a gooey macaroni and cheese. The cozy rooftop patio is a prime spot for cocktail sipping.