Posted by: Waheeda Harris | February 28, 2014

Neighbourhood view: Queen Street West

I have my favourites among Toronto’s neighbourhoods – and Queen Street West has always been an area I regularly go check out – for the restaurants, boutiques and because I can wander down an alley and discover amazing graffiti:

Toronto - graffiti eyes

This neighbourhood had a certain aura when I first moved to Toronto – everyone wore black, especially black t-shirts, black jeans black leather jackets and black Doc Marten’s boots, a post-punk, rock n roll sensibility that marked you a resident, and not just a weekend visitor. And the alleys – well it wasn’t a place for graffiti – just garbage.

Fast forward to 2014 – the uniform is still black – but now you’ll see Canada Goose jackets, toques, Hunter boots and probably a dog as an accessory – but black still does rule. And the graffiti has gotten better:

Toronto - queen west style

I keep my eye on what’s happening way out west – which used to be an edgy stretch of hole in the wall clubs and dodgy bars. Now the runners and cyclists thankfully outnumber the homeless and junkies, but the inventiveness still continues on the back alley walls.

Toronto - graffiti bird lady


  1. Love your eloquent take on the evolution of Queen West.

    • Isn’t it the truth? All still black – just different labels!

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