neighbourhoods Toronto

5 neighbourhoods to stay in when visiting Toronto

Neighbourhoods in Toronto don't always have to house a major tourist attraction to warrant a visit: the city has pockets filled with shops, restaurants, and late night haunts to explore. With hotel rooms aplenty and convenient Airbnb listings on the rise, it's easier than ever to explore neighbourhoods slightly off the typical tourist track.

Here are my picks for what neighbourhoods to stay in when visiting Toronto.

The Annex

A couple of new hotels and a ridiculous number of food options make this Bloor Street neighbourhood prime gallavanting grounds. Stay a few nights at The KimptonThe Annex Hotel, or even a cozy B&B. This student-friendly is highly walkable; maybe do it with coffee from Mallo in hand, and end the day by dancing the night away at Dance Cave

west queen west toronto

A trip to Trinity Bellwoods Park is a West Queen West requirement. You might even stumble on a yard sale. Photo by  Jesse Milns.

West Queen West

It may not be the second coolest neighbourhood in the world anymore, but there's a reason why this stretch of Queen is still so popular. There's lots of restaurants and stores, The Drake and The Gladstone are great stays and always have some sort of party going on. Plus, a sunny day spent at Trinity Bellwoods is basically a rite of passage. 

The Dundas West neighbourhood is home to the some of the most popular restaurants and bars in the city like SoSo Food Club. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

dundas west toronto
Dundas West

This neighbourhood has been 'happening' for a while, but its somehow managed to maintain its low-key cool. This area is exploding with experimental fashion and great restaurants like Antler or Paris Paris. A night out here is bound to be special, with stylish Asian-inspired venues like SoSo Club and Mahjong Bar really stealing the show.  

riverside toronto

Cross the DVP and step into Toronto's burgeoning Riverside neighbourhood. Photo by Dominic Bugatto.


Like brunch? You'll love this vibrant Queen East neighbourhood. Just steps from historic Corktown, Leslieville, and the newly built Canary District, Riverside is a photographer's dream come true. Grab some fair trade coffee from Merchants of Green, play some indoor bocce, and get comfortable at the beautiful Broadview Hotel.
chinatown toronto

Big Trouble Bar is a fun place to meet for food and drinks in Chinatown. Photo by Hector Vasquez.


If you're looking for action, good deals and authentic Asian cuisine, this vibrant neighbourhood is yours to discover. Situated literally right next to another cultural bastion, Kensington Market, you can even explore both eccentric areas in tandem. Hotel Ocho is swanky, but hostels like Two Peas Podshare or nearby Planet Traveler should work too.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez of The Annex Hotel

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