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The 8 Best Neighbourhoods in Toronto

The 8 Best Neighbourhoods in Toronto

Figuring out the best neighbourhoods in Toronto can depend on what you’re looking for. You might be gunning for the entertainment (Things to do in toronto at night – row 298), the work hustle, the housing, or just the vibes; nonetheless, there’s no doubt that Toronto has a lot to (Things To Do In Toronto – row 296) offer.

From the artsy vibes of West Queen West to the cozy charm of Runnymede-Bloor West Village, Toronto has something for everyone. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s explore the best neighbourhoods the 6ix has to offer!

The Distillery District

The Distillery District
Image source: The Distillery District

Directions

The Distillery District is like a time machine tucked right in the heart of Toronto! This place isn’t just a neighbourhood; it’s a delightful cocktail of history, culture, and artistic expression.

And the best part? It’s a pedestrian paradise that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a different era — no cars allowed!

Picture this: The Distillery District, where Victorian charm meets modern pizzazz. And it’s got all the Instagram-worthy spots you didn’t know you needed.

But that’s not all! The Distillery District is like the party host that never sleeps. All year round, they throw events, making you want to join the fun. 

Think art exhibitions, live music gigs, and cultural festivals that add that extra oomph to the neighbourhood’s lively vibe.

To give you an idea, when winter rolls around, the place turns into this magical winter wonderland, and the star of the show is their Christmas Market. Imagine fairy lights twinkling everywhere, toasty drinks in hand, and one-of-a-kind gifts around every corner. 

There’s way more to share, and it’s best to enjoy them firsthand. And since it’s a no-traffic zone, you can stroll around without dodging cars, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from downtown Toronto. 

Pro tip:
For your commute, all we have to say is: King subway station, then take the 504 streetcar to Distillery Loop.And don’t miss the Old World charm and light-filled spectacle that’s the annual Toronto Christmas Market. 

Kensington Market

Kensington Market
Image source: Appetite Abroad 

Directions

If there’s one word to describe Kensington, it’s “bohemian. When you wander through those streets, it’s like hopping on a whirlwind tour of the world. 

You’ve got vintage shops, thrift stores, and these adorable boutiques that feel like secret treasure troves packed with clothes, bling, and crafts from just about every spot on the planet. It’s like a fashion and culture rollercoaster, all in one funky neighborhood! 

Foodies, listen up because Kensington Market is your kind of playground. It’s like a global food festival every day of the week. 

Craving tacos? Got it. Yearning for dumplings? They’ve got you covered. 

And if you’re all about that vegan life, well, you’re in for a treat! Basically, whatever tickles your taste buds, you’re gonna find it right here.

But hold on, it’s not just about shopping and grubbing in Kensington Market. This place is like a constant party with live music and cultural shindigs happening all the time. 

You might just stumble upon a street performance that’ll make you stop in your tracks, or maybe catch a spontaneous drum circle that adds a whole new level of liveliness to the neighborhood. It’s basically an ongoing fiesta that keeps the good vibes flowing!

Pro tip:
Here’s your TTC advice: Queen’s Park subway station, then the 506 streetcar westbound.If you’re craving for some tacos, we suggest you try the Pow Wow Cafe tacos served on Ojibwa-style fry bread.

The Annex

The Annex
Image source: SHANE

Directions

The Annex effortlessly blends elegance with a vibrant intellectual and cultural scene. You’ll be walking along these charming tree-lined streets, passing these grand Victorian houses that make you feel like you’re in a period drama. 

But what’s really cool is the buzz of intellectual energy and community vibes that hang in the air. It’s like the posh side of town where everyone’s got a book in one hand and a latte in the other.

Not to mention, it’s home to the prestigious University of Toronto, giving the neighbourhood an academic flair. As you stroll along its leafy streets, you’ll notice a diverse crowd of students, professors, and lifelong learners.

So, you can expect lots of coffee shops, theatres, bookstores, art galleries, restaurants, and bars – and they’re always bustling, day and night. 

And when summer rolls in, those outdoor patios open up, and you can enjoy your meal in the sunshine. It’s like the neighbourhood knows how to keep the good times going all year round!

Plus, in The Annex, you’ll find two fantastic cultural spots. 

First, the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) is a hub of art, culture, and natural history exploration. And nearby, the Royal Conservatory of Music hosts amazing concerts and events with top-tier talent.

Pro tip:
TTC route, Bathurst, Spadina or St. George subway stations.Why not go for a nice walk from The Royal Conservatory to the University of Toronto campus through Philosopher’s Walk? It’s a pleasant and scenic route!

Leslieville

Leslieville
Image source: Wahi

Directions

You’ve got to love Leslieville; it’s like a cozy corner of Toronto that’s known for its creative vibes, old-world charm, and a friendly atmosphere that welcomes everyone – artists, families, and foodies alike.

Speaking of history, Leslieville’s got plenty of stories to tell. Back in the day, it was a bustling industrial hub, and you can still spot traces of that past in the cool red-brick factories and industrial buildings that have been transformed into something completely unique.

Leslieville is kind of like that cool aunt or uncle you always wanted. It’s got this awesome vibe that’s family-friendly but hip at the same time. 

So, no wonder it’s become a hotspot for young families to settle down and a super fun place to explore for everyone else. It’s basically the best of both worlds!

And how about this for a plan? Start your day with a delicious brunch at Lady Marmalade — they’ve got some seriously tasty options. 

Then, when the night falls, head to The Broadview Hotel’s rooftop for cocktails with a view that’ll give you a panorama of Leslieville’s east side. 

Oh, and don’t forget this gem: the Leslieville Farmers’ Market. Seriously, it’s a must-visit. 

You can pick up fresh produce and some seriously cool artisanal goodies, all while giving a high-five to your local community. It’s like a win-win that makes your heart happy! 

Pro tip:
For your TTC know-how: Coxwell subway station, then 22 bus southbound or Queen subway station, then 501 streetcar east.If you’re looking to escape the winter chill, you can give indoor rock climbing at The Rock Oasis a shot.

Yorkville

Yorkville
Image source: Medium

Directions

Yorkville is like Toronto’s little slice of sophistication and style. It’s often hailed as the city’s most luxurious district, and honestly, it’s well-deserved. 

This place is all about the posh boutiques, dining that’s on a whole other level and a lively cultural scene. So, if you’re into life’s finer things, Yorkville is where it’s at!

You see, they’ve got this stretch on Bloor Street West known as the “Mink Mile,” and it’s like a fashion lover’s dream come true. Think Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton – they’re all right there. 

And just around the corner, you’ve got Chanel, along with some seriously chic restaurants and low-key medispas. 

But here’s the twist: back in the day, this place used to be a hippie hangout, and that artsy vibe still lingers in a handful of swanky galleries that have stuck around. It’s like a little bit of history in the midst of all that luxury!

We also like that they know how to keep things interesting all year round. When the chill sets in, they throw the Bloor-Yorkville Icefest, and it’s like a frozen masterpiece with ice sculptures that’ll leave you in awe. 

When summer sizzles, get ready for the Yorkville Exotic Car Show — it’s a parade of fancy rides that’ll make you dream of horsepower.

Pro tip:
If you’re feeling a bit sporty, there’s The Constantine Yorkville Run. It’s this cool charity run they do every year, covering 5 kilometres (or 3 miles, if you prefer). It’s got this high-profile route that’s quite the scene, and the swag they hand out is top-notch. Take the Bay subway station.

Liberty Village

Liberty Village
Image source: The Globe and Mail

Directions

Liberty Village is all about that Gen Z and millennial vibe; it’s a bustling campus mixed with condos. You can feel the energy in the air, especially when there’s a game night with the Toronto Wolfpack or Toronto FC playing. 

The bars, pubs, restaurants, and cafes are buzzing with excitement. But that’s not all; Liberty Village is also a creative hub with old warehouses turned into lofts and studios where production facilities, agencies, and tech firms work their magic. 

Also, why not kick off your day with a cup of joe from Balzac? This cafe is more than just a coffee stop. It’s a go-to spot for quick catch-ups and midday refuelling.

And speaking of treats, when it’s brunch time, we’ve got a few spots to make your taste buds dance with joy. Don’t miss out on Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, School Restaurant, or Brodflour — they have brunch down to an art!

It’s also neat that Liberty Village is the kind of place where you’ll find a little bit of everything in the housing department. You have modern condos, lofts like something out of a design magazine, and charming townhouses. 

It’s no surprise that Liberty Village is a magnet for young professionals. Being close to downtown Toronto and having excellent transit options just makes life here a breeze for everyone.

Pro tip:
Take a load off and unwind with a craft brew at spots like 3 Brewers, The Craft Brasserie & Grill, and Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery. TTC notice here: 504 streetcar to the Atlantic Avenue stop. Or Ossington subway station, then take the 63 bus southbound.

West Queen West

West Queen West Original Source File

Directions

West Queen West is where all the cool cats hang out in the city. You’ve got awesome shopping, loads of art and design spots, live music joints, and food that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance. 

And the best part? It’s all set against this backdrop of historic buildings, giving the place a unique character.

When you wander around these streets, you’re in for some surprises – hidden galleries, drum circles over at Trinity Bellwoods Park, funky ‘art hotels’ like The Drake, and a place known as “Graffiti Alley,” where street art rules the scene. 

Seriously, it’s like the ultimate spot for your next profile pic.

And here’s the kicker: Vogue, yes, Vogue, called West Queen West one of the coolest neighbourhoods on the planet. 

Can you believe it? It’s basically the epicentre of all things cool in Toronto!

We aren’t gatekeepers here, but seriously, you’ve got to try brunch at some of these spots. Check out places like Hello 123, Café Neon, and The Good Son, which have some tasty brunch games going on!

When it comes to finding a place to live, there are all these new boutique condo buildings and even some stylish condominium townhomes. You step right outside your front door, and boom, you’re in the heart of one of the liveliest neighbourhoods in all of Toronto.

Pro tip:
If you’re into it, you can literally dive into the local art scene by checking out the Queen West Art Crawl every September. For your TTC purposes: Queen or Osgoode subway station, then walk or take the 501 streetcar westbound.

Runnymede-Bloor West Village

Runnymede-Bloor West Village
Image source: Life West Real Estate

Directions

Runnymede-Bloor West Village is a really charming spot in Toronto, and it’s all about that close-knit community feeling. You’ll find folks of all ages here, from young families to those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, making this place their home sweet home.

You’ll notice how cozy and residential it gets with those charming tree-lined streets, especially once you wander away from the hustle and bustle of Bloor St. West. 

Speaking of Bloor West, that’s where all the action happens, and they call it Bloor West Village. Head north, and you’ll be in the Runnymede neighbourhood — a two-for-one deal with something for everyone to enjoy!

Pro tip:
If you’re game, you’re just minutes away from High Park, this massive city park that sprawls over a whopping 399 acres. 

You see, you can choose a neighbourhood for its cheap cost of living or even just for a spontaneous adventure as you walk around the city

At the end of the day, it’s all about your preference, what you want to see, your purpose or what you feel like doing at the moment — the great Toronto is at your disposal!

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