Vogue names Queen West neighbourhood 2nd coolest neighbourhood world wide. But we know this already! The West End of Toronto is bounded roughly by Ossington Avenue to the east, St. Clair Avenue to the north, the Humber River to the west, and Lake Ontario to the south. The West End covers a vast swath of Toronto and includes ethnic enclaves and quiet, residential neighbourhoods inhabited largely by recent immigrants to Canada. In recent years, the West End has undergone explosive growth and gentrification, and is quickly becoming one of the hottest areas in the city in which to live.
WHERE THE MUSIC’S AT
Gallery 345 | WEBSITE
Gladstone Hotel | WEBSITE
Array Space | WEBSITE
Drake Hotel | WEBSITE
FIVE RESTAURANTS THAT WON’T LET YOU DOWN IN RONCESVALLES
The Ace – 231a Roncesvalles Ave
This is a diner done right. A reclaimed 50s feel, a milkshake mixer pouring draft, and a menu full of comfort food make The Ace absolutely perfect for any meal. We could get lost in the old booths or at the low lying bar stools (not to mention The Ace Manhattan – made with Crown Royal Black) any night of the week. If you’re into meals that make you feel good inside then the atmosphere at The Ace is exactly what you’re looking for.
Hopgoods Foodliner – 325 Roncesvalles Ave
Halifax meets Toronto. Hopgoods is on of the best places in town for oysters and a new fresh take on the donair. It’s a great place to bring friends from out to town for a taste of real Canadian Maritime food. The East-coast vide is the creation of chef Geoff Hopgood and it has become a hot spot for celebrities like Robert Downey Jr, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendez. Roncesvalles wouldn’t be the same without it.
Mitzi’s – 100 Sorauren Ave
This little café might not be located right on Roncy but the slight jaunt over to Sorauren is well worth the effort. Known for having one of the best brunches in the city, Mitzi’s offers five or six options that seem to change every time you go (we desperately miss the kimchi, bacon breakfast sandwich!), which guarantees you’ll always find something new and delightful to try. Homemade, seasonally relevant, and locally sourced, these meals are best enjoyed with friends and several strong lattes.
The Westerly – 413 Roncesvalles Ave
French, family-friendly, and laid-back – The Westerly has it all. And that’s probably because they know what they’re doing. Industry vets Beth Davyduke and Tom Earl named the Westerly as a nod to their west coast roots but made sure to carry their fine-tuned love for all things French through the doors with them. Everything is made from scratch, from the pasta to the desserts, and an on-site mixologist makes sure all your meals go down smoothly. Of course, if The Westerly happens to be busy, they’ll just point you down the street to their neighbourhood friends – The Ace!
The Local – 413 Roncesvalles Ave
The Local lives up to its name in spades, and couldn’t be any more local if it tried. You’ll find plenty of beers on tap, local music on stage, to provide you with a relaxed evening out. They serve great pub fare (chili!), and attitude is all about the “locals”. Probably the best place in Toronto to go for an unpretentious pint.