Hipmunk CityLove, Travel

Exploring Toronto Neighborhoods – Hipmunk City Love

Now that “The Phantom of the Opera” has passed through the big screen and into our home DVD collections, there’s no reason to visit Toronto anymore, right? Wrong! Toronto is a vibrant city with many unique and funky neighborhoods to visit. Go ahead and book that hotel in Toronto, put your walking shoes on, and start exploring!

Exploring Toronto Neighborhoods

Photo by Gemma Gibson via Trover.com

Kensington Market

The Kensington neighborhood is truly the most multicultural melting pot in Toronto. The flavors shine through the shops and restaurants that range from European and Caribbean to Middle Eastern, South American, and Asian. The market itself is as vibrant as any market you’ll find, with stalls selling fruit, spices, and artisan foods. There are also plenty of booths and shops selling the unusual, such as rare vintage clothing.


What big city isn’t complete without a Chinatown? Toronto’s Chinatown is home to 350,000 Chinese-Canadian residents who proudly declare their heritage as most Chinatowns do. Chinese shops, restaurants, and teahouses, all with bilingual signs and menus, jam the streets. Be sure to visit the neighborhood at night when it truly comes to life!

If you’re looking for a more organized tour, you can book a walking tour covering both Chinatown and Kensington Market.

The Art and Design District

This district has several different names besides Art and Design. Any version of West Queen West will point you to the right place. Not only does the neighborhood house the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, but it’s also home to several small cafes and restaurants, earning it the title of one of the coolest neighborhoods in Canada. There are plenty of boutique shops that match the neighborhood’s artistic flare.

The Beaches

Beaches in Toronto? The neighborhood consists of four of them to be exact. Visit the beaches during the summer months, and you’ll be transported from a vibrant city to a laid-back beach vibe. During the summer months, you’ll catch locals sunbathing, playing beach volleyball, or just strolling along the board work. The neighborhood is becoming a popular residential spot with locals, and shops, restaurants, and yoga studios have followed them there. Oh, and there’s even a few ice cream parlors.

Exploring Toronto Neighborhoods

Photo by Ron Rekowski via Trover.com

Little Italy

While Toronto’s Little Italy may have lost some of its Italian flavor, it still deserves a mention on this list because, well, the other is part Italian. There is still plenty of Italian flare in Little Italy, including long time favorite Trattoria Giancarlo. In addition to pizza and pasta joints, the neighborhood has made room for hip wine and martini bars and a few clubs. It’s a combination of the “Sopranos” and “Entourage.”

Getting Around

Toronto is easy to navigate. Either use the subway or buy a hop-on hop-off bus ticket. Toronto welcomes neighborhood exploration with [murmur]. While you’re sightseeing, look for signs that have a green ear logo with a phone number. Dial that number and a voice recording will share an interesting fact about the neighborhood. Where they are located is up to you to discover. However, if you don’t feel like playing Dora the Explorer, you can cheat at check out the [murmur] we site.

What Would You Add to this List?

This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.