Every large city needs an arts community. New York City has Greenwich Village; Toronto has Queen Street West.
Queen Street West is the half of Queen Street that starts at Yonge Street and runs all the way to Roncesvalles Avenue. It is home to a mix of eclectic shops, record stores and bars, the latter of which play host to indie bands from Canada, the United States and beyond.
Originally called Lot Street, it was renamed in the 1840’s in honour of Queen Victoria. Even as early as 1860 the street was dominated by small businesses, an aspect still largely in effect today.
Only on Queen Street West can you find Kops, an independent record store, located right beside the Condom Shack.
Many buildings on the street are old but varied in architecture styles- a report shows buildings on Queen Street West range from Neo-Classical to Gothic Revival to Post-Modern.
With Canadian Music Week happening, Queen Street West is set to become even more bustling and will be alive late into the night and into the following mornings.
See below for a picture slideshow of a part of Queen Street West, accompanied by the sounds of the street itself. All photos and audio by Michael Thomas.