Queen West mixtape Toronto

10 songs that capture the spirit of Queen West

All this month, we're making playlists about the spirit of select Toronto neighbourhoods. Our third playlist takes a look at classic Queen West.

While it's now known more for shopping, Queen West used to be a lot more wild, and for many years was widely recognized as the epicentre of the Toronto live music scene. Some venues are long gone now, like the Bamboo, the Big Bop, and the 360, but a few of the originals are still around, and are often still booking a similar mix of sounds as they did back in the day.

People often talk about the feel of Queen West music scene of the 80s and 90s, but it's harder to pin down the actual sound. Country and roots rock were always big parts of what people love about the Horseshoe and the Cameron House, but punk rock and new wave are just as big a part of the history of the strip, not to mention the big reggae bass lines booming out of the Bamboo for many years.

If anything, Queen West's musical heyday was defined by the exciting friction between those scenes and sounds, and the unique cross pollinations that occurred.


Which 10 tracks would you use to celebrate Queen West? Make your own Spotify playlist and tweet us the link, or leave it in the comments below.

Image by Aldrin Taroy


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