With condo developers in the midst of castrating Parkdale, the starving artist set that gave the Queen West neighbourhood its cool have fled in search of cheaper digs. Here are a few of the businesses that are transforming Bloordale, the once-sketchy stretch of Bloor between Dufferin and Landsdowne, into the hipster hang-out du jour.
Holy Oak Café
This coffee shop’s strong brew and laid-back decor attracts laptop-toting freelancers, hangover-toting freeloaders, and stroller-pushing mommas. On Wednesday evenings, test your Scrabble skills at their weekly board game night. 1241 Bloor St. W., 647-345-2803.
On weekends, catch up-and-coming local bands on this dive’s small stage. Midweek, drop in for bottles of local brew, decent cheap eats (recommended: The Monte Cristo sandwich) and a jukebox soundtrack of indie rock. 1163 Bloor St. W., 647-430-3834.
This new boutique showcases the finest vintage duds, alongside affordable hipster staples, such as skinny jean purveyor Cheap Monday. At night the boutique doubles as an intimate private party space. 1265 Bloor St. W., 416-551-1635.
Line up with hordes of hungover hipsters on weekends to chow down on the house specialty: waffle bacon – a slice of bacon encased in fluffy batter and dipped in maple syrup (It tastes as good as it sounds.) 584 Lansdowne Ave., 647-342-5058.
Toronto Free Gallery
This not-for-profit art space presents challenging works by today’s up-and-coming artists and social activists. In June, check out works by l’Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable (ATSA) a group whose urban installations ask tough questions about art and terrorism. 1277 Bloor St. W., 416-913-0461.
Image courtesy of deepthinking.