Queen Street West describes both the western branch of Queen Street, a major east-west thoroughfare, and a series of neighbourhoods or commercial districts, situated west of Yonge Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Queen Street begins in the west at the intersection of King Street, The Queensway, and Roncesvalles Avenue. It extends eastward in a straight line to Yonge Street where it becomes Queen Street East; eastbound Queen TTC streetcars loop at Neville Park Boulevard near Queen Street East and Victoria Park
From Spadina to Bathurst, Queen Street is lined with street-level retail, with upper level apartments. Bates and Dodds, Toronto’s oldest operating funeral home is at 931 Queen St. West, across from Trinity Bellwoods Park and has been in the same location since 1884. As rents rose, most artists began moving westward to this section of Queen. In the early 1990s, the newly vogue area became associated with nightclubs such as the Bovine Sex Club and several antique shops.
Occupying the same area, between Spadina Avenue and Trinity Bellwoods Park south of Queen Street, is Toronto’s Fashion District. In the later 1990s, high-priced clothing stores opened in the same area as the gentrification of the district continued. In the 2000s, the changing character of Queen Street West gave rise to concerns in some quarters over the pace and implications of gentrification.
Between Bathurst Street and Gladstone Avenue is West Queen Street West, also known as the Art and Design District. For this two kilometre stretch, nearly every storefront on the north side is either a gallery, bar, or nightclub (the south side of the street is largely taken up by the buildings and grounds of the former Queen Street Mental Health Centre, now part of CAMH.)
The Stephen Bulger Gallery, founded in 1994, is also located on Queen West, as is the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), which relocated to the area in 2005. The future of the MOCCA in this area is uncertain: in 2013, the developer Urbancorp applied to demolish the MOCCA and the adjacent buildings housing the Edward Day and Clint Roenisch gallery and replace them with the nine storey “MOCCA Condo”.