Today I decided to write about something light, and something fun for anyone visiting or living in the Toronto area.
If you come to Toronto often or live in the area it is likely you have been down Queen Street West plenty of times. However, I think it’s always interesting to gain another’s perspective on the area and learn some fun new things to do if you’re in town.
So, I have compiled a list with some pretty great photos snapped on the way of some activities to do and places to see if you ever find yourself in the Queen Street West area.
1. Graffiti Alley
Location: Rush Lane, Toronto ON
I am sure you have heard of this before, but if you’re new to Toronto (or even if your not) I would highly suggest taking a walk down The Alley. Graffiti Alley is essentially little pockets of the area where the buildings are covered in artwork.
To Do: I never get tired of going here because new art gets added all the time! It is a superb spot to snap a pic (especially if you’re a blogger!), and to see some off-the-cuff street art. Toronto has a lot of hidden talent exposed on these walls.
2. Off The Wall
Location: 450 Queen Street West, Toronto ON
This little print store is my favourite in the city. They do custom framing, and have tons of modern art prints to choose from. The other thing that makes them fun? The furry friends in there! My personal favourite is the Mona Lisa (pictured below). If you like cats and art this is the place for you.
To Do: Pet the cats (obviously), look at the prints, or buy a print (not overly expensive- a nice print in a medium size will be about $35).
Location: 639 Queen Street West, Toronto ON
This store is also one I am always sure to hit up in the area, because on top of fabulously whimsically printed clothing, the upstairs of this store holds a gallery with new installations every few weeks. The pictures below are from the last collection that was there when I went a few weeks ago. I honestly loved every piece. That is what is so fantastic about this street; you can find beautiful new things around every corner. It has so much character and originality and that makes it all the more interesting to visit each and every time.
To Do: If you do choose to check out Nuvango, please hit up the upstairs and check out whatever art is on display. If you don’t find a piece you’re in love with, you’ll at least have some nice pictures for your insta feed.
4. The Black Market
Location: 256 Queen Street West, Toronto ON
The Black Market is the go-to place for cheap “hipster” clothing. They just had a sale on their very popular Graphic tees ($1/shirt). However, even if you’re just window shopping for the day it is still worth checking out for the experience.
To Do: Find a $1 Graphic T that is actually original (AKA, not a Forever 21 “vintage” T).
5. The AGO
Location: 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto ON
I count this as the Queen Street West area because it’s a 5 minute walk down the street. The Art Gallery is a great place to check out. I was just recently there for the Mystical Landscapes Exhibit on until January 29th and it was breathtaking. We were not allowed to take photos. I should know because when I tried to the security guards were watching me like a hawk and whispering about me so I decided against it. However, I did manage to jot down the name of the artist and piece that caught my eye the most and with a little help from Pinterest I managed to find this picture below (which, by the way does it NO justice).
To Do: Grab a sketchbook, take a seat and get inspired! OR; take an insta pic OR; go on Wednesday nights (it’s free) just for fun with friends!
This masterpiece is Eugene Jansson’s Hornsgatan At Night (1902). There were some very striking Van Goghs, but this piece just jumped off the wall at me. In person, it obviously was much more astounding, but this picture gives you the general idea.
I thought I would also include some nice shots of the other beautiful pieces this place has to offer (because you can take pictures outside of the special exhibits).
Down here, is my favourite portrait of all time, The Marchese Casati by Augustus Edwin John (1919) . I have seen dozens of portraits but this one tops the cake for me. I think I love it for exact the reason you may think. Usually, portraits from this age are very serious, no makeup, and usually are of women with dark hair. I love that this one is bright and colourful and that when you look at it you are immediately transported somewhere else. Hands down, favourite portrait to date and well worth seeing if you’re in the area.
Here are a few more pieces I thought were worth sharing for you to see as well:
Well, there you have it, folks. These are just a few things to do if you ever find yourself on Queen Street, but I find it’s always better to keep it short and simple rather than a long exaggerated list. There are more places to see of course, and you can see just where else we traveled recently in this area by following us @fancychairinsta !
Hopefully, this short but sweet list gives you an idea for some activities on a student-friendly budget to do with your friends next time you’re in TO!
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Until next time,
*Please remember unless given credit to another source that these photos are the EXPRESS and SOLE property of FancyChair and are not to be used or redistributed without proper accreditation or permission, in accordance with Canadian Copyright Law. Thank You.*