west side toronto best

5 things the west side does best in Toronto

The east side vs. west debate is foundational to Toronto's identity. Even if we don't agree on what the dividing line is, allegiances to one side or the other tend to be fierce. There's certainly no denying the east and west have a different vibe from one another. To figure out why that is, all you have to do is look at each one's strengths.

Here are 5 things the west side does best in Toronto.

Restaurants

The west side of Toronto trumps the east for selection of restaurants handily. It's also where the city's fine dining scene is primarily located thanks to the Financial District and King West. There are plenty of reasons for the higher number of restaurants on the west, from foot traffic to demographics.

Bars and nightlife

Perhaps the most obvious difference between each side of Toronto, the majority of nightlife is concentrated in the west. There's a far wider selection of bars and clubs west of Yonge, the party tends to go much later, and there's an entire industry of late night eats in place to support hungry folks after 2 a.m.

Art galleries and cultural institutions

The west does arts and culture the best in Toronto thanks to major institutions like the AGO, ROM, TIFF, MOCA, the TSO, and Harbourfront Centre, but also because the overwhelming majority of independent art galleries are located on this side of the city.

Hotels

The east side will get a boost from the Broadview Hotel, but it'll hardly make a dent in the dominance the west enjoys in this area. Virtually every important hotel in the city is located here, which only makes sense given the previous three items on this list. Hotels like to be near the action promised by restaurants, nightlife, and cultural attractions.

Transit

Subways, subways, subways. Thanks to the University/Spadina Line, the west enjoys better north/south transit options than the east, something that will only become more pronounced as the Spadina Extension opens a gateway to York University and beyond. Don't forget Toronto's bike lane network, either. There's considerably more options in the west.

Stay tuned for what the east side does best in Toronto.

Lead photo by

Ferit Onurlu


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