Travelers from far and wide flock to Toronto seeking the best cultural experiences Canada can offer. Each neighbourhood has its own unique blend of experiences and attractions, but one street stands out as the cultural hub of the city for both locals and visitors.
The Bloor Street Culture Corridor spans from the luxurious Yorkville neighborhood to the eclectic Annex; it boasts some of the best shops, museums, hotels and dining destinations Toronto has to offer.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a local looking to explore your own backyard, here are the top reasons to explore Bloor Street.
Starting with amazing museums to get your art and history fix: Bata Shoe Museum
The Bata Shoe Museum regularly displays over a thousand shoes and related artifacts, chosen from a collection of nearly 15000 objects, in architect Raymond Moriyama’s iconic, award-winning building. The BSM celebrates the style, development and function of footwear across four impressive galleries, with displays ranging from Chinese bound-foot shoes and ancient Egyptian sandals to chestnut-crushing clogs and glamorous platforms. The Bata Shoe Museum most recent exhibit Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks explores over fifty futuristic designs.
The Royal Ontario Museum is probably one of the coolest looking buildings along Bloor as its mix of futuristic and classic design stop traffic as passerbys gaze at the combination of the heritage architecture with the contemporary Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal- a dynamic cultural destination in the heart of Toronto for all to enjoy. Current exhibitions include Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature and Kent Monkman: Being Legendary with long term exhibitions featuring artifacts from around the world and ocer the centuries.
The best cultural stay:
Canada’s only Kimpton hotel, The Kimpton Saint George, seamlessly integrates Toronto’s culture and personality, with nods to the Annex’s heritage homes within its contemporary design. Inspiring activity and connection are at the heart of Saint George with 188 artfully designed guest rooms featuring local Canadian artists. Complimentary bikes, a bright, open-concept fitness center, yoga mats in every room, morning coffee and tea in the lobby’s credenza and a hosted social hour with wine every day between 5-6 pm are among the unique offerings Saint George has in place to achieve this.
Infact, the Bata Shoe Museum has a partnership with Kimpton Saint George where if you book their BSM package your stay will include tickets to the exhibit.
Shop ‘til you drop along Bloor Street:
If you’re in the shopping mood, the shops along Bloor are some of the best in Toronto. With top designer boutiques lining the Yorkville side such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Balenciaga, be sure to stop into the iconic Holt Renfrew department store. If you are after some more locally owned shops check out Canadian Designer Hillary Macmillan’s shop or if you’re heading towards the Annex side of Bloor check out Juxtapose for its cards and giftable items, Socco Living for aesthetically designed homeware, The BMV bookstore for a library feel with used books and Common Sort for fun secondhand fashion. Grabbing a coffee and strolling down Bloor, weaving your way in and out of shops sounds like the perfect afternoon.
Grab a small bite or sit down for a dining experience:
Dining along Bloor street is just like shopping, there is a spot for everyone to enjoy. Starting in Yorkville you have Eataly: a huge space dedicated to all things Italian with four restaurants and grab and go items a bit further west there is the newly opened Amal restaurant with Lebanese cuisine. Then if you head west you can stop along the way in some great cafes such as L’Espresso Bar Mercurio, Slanted Door, and Nadege. Other notable spots include the asian eatery Superfresh, for brunch try Insomnia and worth a stop is just past Bathurst – Koreatown with lots of tasty Korean street food.