Queen Street has always been my favourite street in Toronto. Maybe it's because I grew up (and still live in) the Queen Street East area, but there's just so much going on all the time, and so many different types of things to do and places to enjoy. This Random Sunday Blog is dedicated to this wonderful stretch in Toronto.
Queen Street East (click for larger view):
This is probably where I've spent the most time, and loved every second of it.
-Jonathan Ashbridge Park: Absolutely love it here when the weather is nice. A nice park with a tennis court, and a lot of green around, (and a McDonald's across the street - although I never eat there after a tennis match!). The small grass hills and trees surround the area enough so you're not a fishbowl for everyone to watch, but at the same time it's not secluded from the surrounding area either.
-Rugby Field: Just south across the street from the park is a huge rugby field. It's perfect for running, soccer, football, playing with your dog, or cutting across to the beach. It's usually empty during the day.
-Woodbine Park: If you're not in a hurry to get to the beach, Woodbine Park is a nice oasis to take a walk through. There's a nice pond east of the park, and also a huge gazebo - nice place to play your guitar in the outdoors.
-Woodbine Beach: Of course, this place is my favourite. There are so many things you can do here. Beach volleyball, walking, running, reading... it's a great place to clear your mind as well. There's a small boat house midway through the beach, and if you go behind it, there's an awesome place to just hang out in peace. I could go on about this place, but I'll leave it for now.
-The rest of Queen St. on this map: Even when the Jazz Festival isn't on, the beaches neighborhood is just awesome. Walk through it on a summer evening and visit some of the small businesses there. Some good places to dine as well.
-Altitude Bakery: Although not on the map above, this small bakery store is awesome. The Eclair there is pretty off the charts. I need to come here more often!
-Leslie Spit: If you got a few blocks west, then south and Leslie St., the Leslie Spit is an incredible escape into nature in the city, biking or jogging (rollerblading not recommended!...). The 5km headland is apparently man-made. It's also where I got a chance to snap this photo the last time I went:
One advice: Make sure you head back before the sun sets, or there will be wild rabbits running everywhere, which sort of freaked me out as I also didn't have any flash lights (there are no lamps, etc.). In short, go here at your own risk!
Queen Street ... midway (click for larger view):
I went to elementary and middle school in this area, so a lot of good childhood memories live in the Queen Street (midway... I made this name up) neighborhood, but it wasn't until the recent years that I've really gotten to really like the different places around this area.
-Jimmie Simpson Park: This park is incredibly spacious and the people around here are pretty awesome as well. Tennis court, huge field for anything (soccer, football, guitar under the trees, and there's also a baseball field), hockey rink/rollerblading rink, and a basketball court. Seriously, what's there not to like at Jimmie Simpson on a warm, sunny day?
-Joy Bistro: Right across the street from Jimmie Simpson is this wonderful restaurant that I've yet to try out! I pass by it almost everyday, and everything about it looks great. It screams fancy but casual at the same time, and they seem to always have a basketball game on the television screens every time I pass!
-Dark Horse Expresso Bar: Another place I pass by everyday, but haven't tried yet. It's on the to-do list for spring!
-Lucky Star: An honourable mention to the Chinese restaurant that we went to often as middle-schoolers for lunch!
Queen Street West (click for larger view):
Moving on to the last part of Queen Street that I love, Queen Street West (East of Spadina Avenue). I've only started trekking through this neighborhood in the past couple of years, but I've walked between Yonge and Spadina more times than I can imagine, and it's new to me every time. My favourite store on in this area is obviously Steve's Music Store - heaven on earth. Like the other two Queen Street areas above, there's just so much to do in this area.
Overall, Queen Street between Spadina and the Beaches is the best street in Toronto. I wouldn't live anywhere else in this city! (Even the 501 Streetcar is the best streetcar service and route!)
Well, that's my random (and poorly written) escapade for this Sunday. By the way, remember my last (and first) Random Sunday Blog in January? Good to see you again, Spring. Either you got here quicker than I thought, or time is still speeding up as we grow old.
Queen Subway Station art captured this morning: