As the most heavily populated province in the country, Ontario is home to a number of world-class cities. These include the country’s capital and a globally recognized metropolis. However, it takes a deeper look to really appreciate the best that the province has to offer. Ottawa, Toronto, and several other Ontario cities are home to some of the coolest neighbourhoods in the country. The next time you’re exploring any of these Ontario cities, be sure to check out these neighbourhoods that have a unique flair and culture all of their own.
10. Byward Market – Ottawa
No matter how you define cool, you can probably find it in Byward Market. Some of the most vibrant nightlife in Ottawa can be found in Byward, and the shopping is the best in the city. This is a very urban, condo-centric neighbourhood, with the population mostly comprised of young professionals. The outdoor market itself is the best in the city, and the National Gallery of Canada is a national benchmark for artistic excellence.
9. The Annex – Toronto
The Annex is a multicultural neighbourhood located north of Bloor Street between Bathurst and Avenue Road. It might be the best place in Toronto to meet people from all walks of life. People from various international backgrounds, some of the city’s most successful elite, and University of Toronto students all rub shoulders in this midtown neighbourhood.
8. Augusta Street –Hamilton
Augusta Street in Hamilton is home to historic landmarks, the best local pubs in town and puts visitors in close proximity to the James Street Shopping District. The real highlight of the neighbourhood is the pubs. A series of locally owned and eclectic pubs with names like the Pheasant Plucker and the Cat’N’Fiddle mean that you can spend as much time as you want at the local watering holes and almost never repeat yourself.
7. Bloor-Yorkville – Toronto
Bloor-Yorkville is cool in an entirely different way from most of the hotspots that make an appearance on this list. Here, you get a taste of the glamour and the luxury that a true metropolis like Toronto can offer. You can watch the glitterati walk by and browse through the shops of globally recognized designers like Hermes and Chanel. Decadence is the name of the game in Yorkville, and for those who enjoy that lifestyle it is the best the city has to offer.
6. Richmond Street – London
London is a college town through and through. While this city is actually the 10th largest in Canada, it feels much more like a quintessential American college town thanks to the University of Western Ontario. Head down to the Richmond Street neighbourhood to get the true “college-town” experience. Most of the hangouts favoured by the college-students are spread throughout this district
5. Old Walkerville Neighbourhood – Windsor
The Old Walkerville neighbourhood lets visitors take a step back into the history of Windsor. Historic buildings and businesses that have been there for generations mingle with hip new restaurants and eclectic shops. The Hiram Walker & Sons head office still stands in the neighbourhood as the best example of the architecture from the time of the former town site’s glory days. The neighbourhood is also home to some of the most architecturally interesting and beautiful buildings in the city of Windsor.
4. Streetsville – Mississauga
Streetsville resembles a hidden European village tucked amidst the hustle and bustle of the more than 5 million people who call the Greater Toronto Area home. It’s a great walking neighbourhood, and nearby Go train stations make it easy to get here from anywhere in the GTA. The local shops and restaurants are tucked in between the Credit River and substantial green space, adding to the small-town feel of this Mississauga neighbourhood.
3. The Distillery – Toronto
The Distillery District was once the site of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery. Now, it is one of the most popular destinations in the city of Toronto. The distillery buildings have been converted into more than 80 shops, featuring the works of local artisans, art galleries, restaurants and more. Highlights include the famous Mill Street Brewpub, and the Soulpepper Theatre Company, one of the most acclaimed theatre companies in the city.
2. The Glebe – Ottawa
The Rideau Canal borders the Glebe to both the south and the east. Skating the Rideau is one of the quintessential winter experiences in Ottawa. A more family oriented neighbourhood than some members on this list, the Glebe exhibits a quiet cool, characterised by a true neighbourhood feel. There are dozens of the best dining options in the city scattered throughout the Glebe, making it one of the most popular destinations for a date night in the Capital.
1. Queen West – Toronto
Queen West is not only one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Toronto, but is generally recognized as one of the coolest in the world. In 2014, Vogue Magazine named it the second coolest neighbourhood on the planet, and today the neighbourhood maintains the same cutting edge vibe that it did a year ago.
This neighbourhood is home to historic art hotels like the Gladstone, live music venues, and secret art galleries that only the hipsters know about. Dining options are mostly locally owned and keyed in to the tastes of the time. There are plenty of locally sourced, ethical meals to be enjoyed here. Ultimately though, Queen West is the coolest neighbourhoods in the province because it has something to offer everyone at almost every hour of the day.
While these are some of the most well-known neighbourhoods in Ontario, there are many others that are just as cool and offer plenty of opportunities. If you are looking for a home for sale in Ontario, make sure you assess your true needs, determine your budget, find a good lender, and a good real estate agent.