dundas west toronto

This is why a neighbourhood in Toronto was just crowned one of the coolest in the world

There are quite a few things Toronto may be known for on the world stage, some of them positive (being a tech hub, the producing Drake and all around being one of the best places to live,) and some of them, less so (having the worst airport, expensive housing and the legacy of our former mayor).

But one thing most Torontonians, like anyone, would probably like to pride their city on is how cool it is — and it's nice when we finally get some international recognition for it, like we just did this month.

Time Out has selected (with the help of experts and crowdsourcing) one T.O. community for its esteemed annual "coolest neighbourhoods in the world" list for 2022, which is a kickass honour seeing as we haven't been featured at all since 2019.

Dundas West was ranked 12th out of the 51 hippest neighbourhoods worldwide by Time Out, with the publication noting its array of "boutique art galleries, snug bars, understated nightclubs and enough cosy coffee shops," as well as unique retailers like Easy Tiger and Rose City Goods, which offer a curated collection of lifestyle goods, largely from local brands, perfect for gifts.

It also points out that the strip has managed to attract new businesses and a younger crowd while also maintaining its Portuguese and Brazilian roots, with staples like the long-running Nova Era bakery, which also got a callout.

Also recognized were popular brunch spots The Federal, Milou and BB's; restaurants Antler and Bernhardt's; bars like the speakeasy-style Mahjong Bar and Bar Mordecai; cocktail-bar-cum-gallery Cry Baby Gallery; and the annual Do West Fest, when the entire area is an absolute party.

But anyone who lives in or frequents Dundas West knows that it's a party most nights anyways, whether you're grabbing a beer at Get Well or Hank's, a show at the Garrison or the Baby G, getting a snack at Hanmoto or Haifa Room, a cocktail at Project Gigglewater, dancing at Bambi's or picking up a cue at City Pool.

And for your hangover the next morning, you'll likely be grabbing a coffee at a seat on the patio at Loveless or R&G (RIP Safehouse,) or one to go from Tucana, picking from the aforementioned brunch places to stuff your face, or heading to Sisters & Co..

Then, you'll be browsing the endless array of shops for knickknacks, plants (shout out to Sham's and R & C,) or thrift finds (Penny Arcade and Expo Vintage are good additions to Time Out's suggestions, or Three Fates if your budget is on the higher end).

Basically, Time Out was right for putting Dundas West on this list — and so high up, as well — because the possibilities are endless, whether you want a big night out or some chill drinks, a day-drunk Saturday or a coffee-fueled and productive Sunday, a night of live music and art or a morning of Portuguese baked goods.

As Time Out writes of its list, "'Cool' is probably the most subjective quality going. But the neighbourhoods we've featured are, simply put, incredible places to be right now."

"They're areas with accessible, cutting-edge culture and nightlife; brilliant and affordable food and drink; lively street life and big community vibes. They're distinctive districts that you can walk across in half an hour or less, but could spend a whole day or more exploring. They're great areas for people to live, visit and stay. They're places that mix up the best of the old and new schools. Locals love them, and you will too."

Thankfully for people who actually like to hang on Dundas West, it seems that the responses from Torontonians online have mostly been of disgust and disbelief, so we don't have to worry about them rushing over anytime soon.

But the rest of the world, maybe.

Lead photo by

Jason Cook


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