While we know anything and everything you desire is just a short elevator ride away at Thompson Toronto, here’s a list of great bars, restaurants, shops, and venues around King West Village that might just entice you to grab some fresh Canadian air and take a stroll outside.
Magic Pony – 680 Queen St. West Toronto
Whether you consider yourself a contemporary art connoisseur or just a big kid at heart, Magic Pony will have something for you. Opened in 2002, this part studio, gallery, and retail space promotes the best in young contemporary art and rare designer toys. Featuring illustrations, graphic design, urban art, and pop surrealism in an array of mediums; Magic Pony’s Gallery is a cultural hub for both local Toronto talent and world-renowned artists alike. You can check out a list of upcoming events and exhibitions here.
Thor Espresso Bar – 35 Bathurst Street
We can’t seem to tell which is better – Thor’s rich silky espresso or its super cool, super Scandinavian design. Featuring a hand-built espresso machine imported from Seattle entitled “The Slayer”, this small and cozy spot has quickly become a favorite of village locals. And did we mention they serve some of the best handmade pastries on earth? Serving up Banana Coconut Muffins filled with Dulce de Leche and fresh Whoopie Pies sandwiched with vanilla buttercream, we’ll take a trip to Thor’s over IKEA any day.
The Cameron House – 408 Queen St
Live music your thing? Us too. The Cameron House has been a staple of the
downtown Toronto music scene since opening its door to musicians in 1981.
Originally a hotel in the 1920s, this community-based space for music, performance, and visual arts has been described as Toronto’s crossover of the Chelsea Hotel and CBGB’s. The intimate venue featuring movie theatre seating, a classic bar, and low Sistine Chapel-esque ceilings, is a great spot to grab a drink and catch a show almost any night of the week. Check The Cameron House’s lineup here.
Bambi’s – 1265 Dundas St West
Don’t let its name fool you. The drinks, like a brew of gin, mint and lemonade called The Dildo, poured at this unmarked spot below a Portuguese sports bar are anything but innocent. Bambi’s is a favorite dive for local musicians, artists, and other creative types serving artfully mixed cocktails without the pretentious vibes (surprising, right?), The spot doesn’t usually pick up until around midnight and if making a fool of yourself singing Toni Braxton is your thing, check out their Karaoke night every Wednesday. Just make sure you have an extra couple Dildos before you hit the stage. Yes, we said it.