Saturday, April 28, 2012

Queen St West

I've always considered myself a Queen Street Kid. I first moved into the wonderful, Victorian business/residential complex, the Noble Block (1888) in the early 70's and inhabited 3 different apartments in the building before the 80's arrived. Queen Street West remains a favourite haunt for John and I.
The Cameron House has been a hang-out for artists since the 1980's. We fondly remember Molly Johnson's Blue Mondays. Napoleon Brousseau created the huge ants crawling over the building in 1984 and John Abrams painted his new front mural and Tom Dean the side mural in 2011.
Likewise, the Rivoli at 331 Queen West has been a food and entertainment centre since the late 1970's. Many artists like Kids in the Hall and Jane Siberry got their first shows here. Remember Hoi Polloi?
Even some of the new businesses have a funky feel. I like how the old St Stanislaus Church steeple appears to be rising out of the KFC/Taco Bell eatery at Augusta. Sort of looks like a fun-fair cathedral, no?
Love this display of chairs on sale at the Pavilion shop at Tecumseh Street.
A blue-haired employee of Coupe Bizarre checks out the merchandise at Psyche dress shop next door while waiting for the hair salon to open.
One of our fave sections of Queen West is the north side between Dovercourt and Fenning streets. Here locals gather at the Argentinian Cafe, El Almacen.
Next door this funky old structure is home to Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art, one of our favourite private galleries.
This wonderful building with its French arch windows houses an art/event space upstairs and a vintage clothing and night spot downstairs.
Let's end my little tour of some favourite Queen West buildings at The Great Hall (1889) at Dovercourt Ave. It was originally built to house the first West End YMCA and is now a multi-use, rental building. Queen St West in Toronto is endlessly fascinating.

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