The 5 Toronto neighbourhoods everyone should explore during Collision

Apr 27 2019, 1:24 am

In under a month, technology giants and industry leaders from around the world will head to Toronto to attend North America’s fastest-growing tech conference.

Now in its sixth year, Collision was created by the team behind Web Summit, the world’s largest tech event. Collision attracts CEOs of the world’s largest companies, founders of exciting startups, leading investors, and media from more than 120 countries.

And this year, the conference is taking place at Toronto’s Enercare Centre from May 20 to 23 and is expected to host over 25,000 attendees.

While the summit takes place over three days, those visiting the conference will have downtime to explore the city.

Like every big city, Toronto is bursting with a collection of neighbourhoods, each with its own personality and vibe. And in a city that’s constantly evolving like Toronto, it always feels like there’s a new up-and-coming neighbourhood to check out, which can make exploring the city feel a bit daunting.

Whether you’re planning on spending a day or a lifetime in Toronto, the best way to get a taste of the city is by experiencing it first hand.

So when you’ve got time to kill before or after Collision, we recommend checking out these Toronto neighbourhoods first.

King Street West / Entertainment District


If you enjoy performing arts, festivals, sports, and major attractions, Toronto’s Entertainment District is the place to be. Here you’ll find an impressive lineup of bars and nightclubs, hip restaurants, historical theatres and trendy cafés all within walking distance of each other.

Live like a local and get your caffeine fix at Jimmy’s Coffee, healthy eats at District Eatery, sip on indulging libations at Baro, get on island time at Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen, take in the stunning decor at Oretta, check out the most scenic skyline views at Lavelle or the Bisha Hotel, and literally hang with the regulars at Locals Only.

Queen West / Ossington

Queen West/Shutterstock

Vogue previously put Queen West on the map by crowning it one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, and for good reason. The stylish design district is home to award-winning restaurants, art galleries, music venues, and tons of innovative shops and locally-sourced boutiques.

Must-see landmarks in this eclectic neighbourhood include Graffiti Alley, Trinity Bellwoods Park, and artsy hotels like The Drake and the Gladstone Hotel.


Ossington is hands down one of the most happening spots in the downtown core. The number of restaurants, bars and boutiques that have popped up on the strip between Queen and Dundas have transformed Ossington Avenue into a Torontonian’s go-to spot for shopping, drinking, and dining.

If you truly want to experience Ossington like a local, enjoy an Aperol Spritz and a slice of pizza at Superpoint, drink wine on Foxley Bistro’s hidden patio, try craft beer a Bellwoods Brewery, followed by some live music at the Dakota Tavern and dancing and libations at Sweaty Betty’s, Baby Huey’s, or The Ossington.

Old Town and the Distillery District

Old Town/Shutterstock

Old Town is full of photographic gems like the Gooderham Building, which is known as the Flatiron Building to locals, not to mention one of Toronto’s best foodie experiences, the St. Lawrence Market, where you can literally spend an afternoon treating your senses to the freshest ingredients from around the world.

Stroll further east along Front Street and you’ll find yourself at the historic Distillery District, where you can stroll along cobblestone streets and explore the countless artisan shops, boutiques, and art galleries.

You can end your visit to the Distillery District by cozying up by the outdoor fire pit at El Catrin or with a glass of wine at Cluny Bistro as you take in the surrounding charming Victorian-era vibes.

Chinatown/Kensington Market

Kensington market pedestrian sundays

Kensington Market, Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock

Easily one of the most colourful and eccentric ‘hoods in town, Kensington Market attracts thousands of tourists and locals daily. In Kensington Market, you’ll discover cultures from around the world that are represented through its diverse shops, restaurants, and stalls.

A little south of Kensington Market is Toronto’s historic Chinatown, where you can immerse yourself in the local community and visit the many grocery stores and shops bursting with produce and items from faraway lands.

Little Italy

Little Italy Toronto/Shutterstock

Little Italy is lined with trattorias, trendy spots to grab a bite to eat, cafés, pool halls, bars, and plenty of traditional Italian restaurants with checkered tablecloths where you can indulge in a massive bowl of pasta or a killer slice of ‘za.

And what’s even cooler about this gem of a neighbourhood is there was recently a movie filmed and based in Toronto’s Little Italy starring Hayden Christensen and Emma Roberts.

Collision Conference

When: May 20 – 23, 2019
Where:  Enercare Centre, Toronto
Tickets: Available online, starting at $595 – Daily Hive discount code: TheDailyHive

Daily Hive Toronto is a proud community sponsor of Collision Conference

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