queen west

Five great new places near Trinity Bellwoods to check out in Queen West

Once named the second coolest neighbourhood in the world by Vogue Magazine, the Queen West area is a source of great pride for Torontonians and the business owners who call it home. With countless experimental restaurants, avant-garde art galleries and some of the hippest shops in the city, the hood is a playground for the chic urbanite looking to satisfy their craving for culture.

Although the pandemic has caused a slowdown of foot traffic in most of the city’s favourite shopping and dining strips, it won’t stop passionate small business owners from making their dreams a reality and starting new ventures — or continuing older ones — despite the current climate. Whether you’re after a cheeseburger, Greek food or an artful scented candle, here are five new (or not-so-new) and noteworthy destinations worth checking out in the Queen West area.

 

Matty’s Patty’s Burger Club

Located on Queen West across from Trinity Bellwoods Park, Matty’s Patty’s opened its doors in October of this year and has been satisfying cheeseburger cravings ever since. Offering seven mouth-watering combos like the double patty cheeseburger with pickled jalapeno mayo sauce, American cheese and a double patty on a sesame bun (with fries, of course), Matty’s Patty’s is a club you’ll want to join.

 

Agora Greek Market

Trip to Greece cancelled because of COVID? Have no fear — Agora Greek Market on Queen West is still serving up all the sweet and savoury Greek food of your dreams in a grab-and-go style market. The word Agora translates to “gathering place” or “assembly,” and while gatherings may be a no-no right now, there’s no reason why you can’t take some delicious snacks like a halloumi pita, a lamb burger or some scrumptious spanakopita to go. Part of the family of restaurants including Mamakas Taverna and Bar Koukla on Ossington, the market has been open since 2017 and is still thriving as a must-visit Queen West destination. 

 

 

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Park & Province

Despite the virtual revolution that’s been eclipsing the retail world even more dramatically since the pandemic hit, online shopping fatigue is definitely a thing, and sometimes it pays to visit a real brick and mortar store so you can see, smell, touch and try the clothes on in real time. Park & Province is a Queen West gem specializing in casual, contemporary menswear and essentials. Some of the shop’s new arrivals include a cosy velour crew neck sweatshirt perfect for WFH days, wool accessories for the coming colder temps or a chic bomber hat to keep your ears warm on those daily walks. 

 

 

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Tusk

This bite-sized independent boutique near Trinity Bellwoods embodies all the reasons why the retail experience is still so valuable in the digital era. A plethora of rich fragrance (chic Boy Smells candles), texture (cosy Paloma Wool sweaters) and colour (art-themed jigsaw puzzles) greets you as you enter the shop, and your eye is immediately drawn to the eclectic mix of clothing and accessories on display. You’ll want to bring Tusk’s entire vibe home with you, and luckily you can with the small-but-mighty shop’s robust collection of clothing and trinkets. Some of the brands Tusk carries include Girlfriend Collective, Rolla’s and House of Sunny, just to name a few.

 

 

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Le Swan

Le Swan can be described in three words that will make your heart sing: French diner food. And cheese, lots of cheese. Available for takeout and Uber Eats, Le Swan serves up cosy and comforting French bistro classics like French onion soup, beef bourguignon and rotisserie chicken with fries perfect for a romantic candlelit night in. With an experienced and passionate in-house sommelier, Le Swan also offers an impressive French wine collection which you’ll need because, well, 2020.

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