Bloor Street West Toronto: Things to See & Do
Published: May 9, 2023
Exploring West Toronto is a walk in the park from UP Express Bloor Station! Toronto is a city of vibrant neighbourhoods chock-full of fantastic parks and trails, must-try restaurants and cool shops. The area in and around UP Express Bloor Station has it all, and if you’re short on time during a long-layover in the city, it makes the perfect destination to stretch your legs and get to explore Toronto’s West end like a local. If you are travelling through Toronto Pearson International Airport and have a long layover of up to seven hours, UP Express can help you get to UP Express Bloor Station. Make sure to purchase your Pearson to Bloor ticket at Pearson airport – then you are on your way to explore the city and experience some of the city’s most interesting and diverse communities.
West Toronto Railpath
Hike, bike, or blade your way across the West Toronto Railpath (WTR). Travelling with a furry friend? UP Express welcome animals on board, you can travel up to two dogs. Just make sure they are leashed. WTR is just steps from UP Express Bloor Station, and there’s more to do than just experience a great route with a view! History buffs will delight at the commemorative plaques detailing Toronto’s transformative industrial and railroad past along the 2.1 km route. Get some Instagram-worthy snaps in front of amazing street art and installations by local artists and groups or simply take the opportunity to stroll or roll along the multi-use path and see what’ll pique your interest.
There are also several easy-to-use Bike Share Toronto docking locations located right at UP Express Bloor Station making bicycle rental easy. Note our bicycle policy onboard has recently changed. Only bicycles that can be folded or stored in an aircraft-ready bicycle box are permitted onboard UP Express.
One of the best ways to get a real taste for what this Toronto neighbourhood is all about is to take the WTR to the end at Dundas Street West to discover Roncesvalles Village and its amazing local businesses. The 1.8 km stretch affectionately known as “Roncy” by locals is an incredible community filled with amazing brunch spots, coffee shops, and unique stores.
Fancy a fresh-out-of-the-oven croissant or scrumptious cookie to continue your exploration around the path? Take a stroll on the WTR north from Bloor Station and drop in at Mabel’s Bakery and Specialty Foods where you’ll want to sample everything they’ve got. Need something more substantial for your epic trek through Roncesvalles? Dig in to some comfort food at The Ace, a local favourite known for their tasty burgers and fried chicken or try some traditional Eastern European soups at Café Polonez.
After looking for your next great read at Another Story Bookshop, grab an amazing hot beverage at must-stop java shop Reunion Coffee. Located right in the heart of Roncy, this buzzing business is known for offering superior blends for the ultimate coffee experience. After exploring all Roncesvalles has to offer, kick back with a pint at Bandit Brewery before heading back to UP Express Bloor Station.
A Historic Revue
Don’t let a rainy day stop you from exploring all this vibrant community has to offer. Catch a flick at the Revue Cinema – Toronto’s oldest operational movie theatre - and feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Built in 1912, this blast-from-the-past theatre on Roncesvalles Avenue is not only a local community favourite, it also brings people together with new and classic movie screenings, sensational film festivals, and more.
Explore Bloor Street West
When you really want to get into the local Toronto west end scene, explore Bloor Street West, not far from the West Toronto Railpath. Grab a bite, check out cool street art and peruse some fun shops in this dynamic community that’s home to so many hidden gems.
Exercise your right to loudly slurp savoury noodles at the Bloor Street West outpost of the popular Kinton Ramen chain. This foodie favourite is a great option for enjoying some Japanese comfort-nosh before heading out to explore. If you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter and sweeter, head over to Outpost Coffee Roasters and fill your senses with the oh-so-delightful scent of your favourite beverage. Or try bright and airy Hanna’s Café and Bakery, for a tasty pastry or a flavourful sandwich. Any way you cut it you’ll be well-caffeinated for a promenade around Bloor West!
Local Shop Love
Steep yourself in fantastic Korean art and design at Hanji’s Gifts on Bloor Street West, where you’ll find beautiful cards, crafts, novelties, gifts and more, sourced from many South Korean and local artists. Peruse Hanji’s wares and pick something up for a friend or family member or, even better, for yourself. Go on, you deserve it.
The jewel in the crown of Toronto’s west end has got to be big and beautiful High Park on Bloor Street West, less than a 10-minute walk from UP Express Bloor Station. This 161-hectare oasis in the city has something for everyone who wants to get out there and enjoy the outdoors. It’s a perfect way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, grab some takeout from one of the restaurants nearby on Bloor Street West or Roncesvalles and have a picnic! If you’re looking for other great places to hike, make sure to check out our list of some of the best spots for hiking in Toronto.
A Year-Round Destination
At any time of the year, take a hike, walk or simply meander around the paths and explore the great outdoors and beautiful gardens of High Park. Take a turn around Grenadier Pond where you’ll discover amazing natural habitats for all kinds of birds, fish, turtles and other wildlife, as well as one of the most beautiful views in High Park. Visit the historic High Park Zoo – originally established in 1893 for deer – and get up close and personal (well, not that personal) with bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, wallabies, emus and sheep. It’s a great outing all year round and, best of all, it’s free.
Out in Bloom
In the early spring, experience the jaw-dropping beauty of the High Park cherry blossoms bursting with colour around Hillside Gardens and Duck Pond. Strolling among these magnificent cherry blossom trees– or sakura in Japanese- is an annual tradition for locals and visitors. Peak viewing times on Cherry Lane can get busy and it’s recommended to check the latest blossom reports to find out when they’re blooming in early spring. You can also avoid the crowds and take a peek at the pretty petals via a virtual tour.
More to See
Take a walk through the past on the WTR to the historic Wallace Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, just steps from UP Express Bloor Station. As you cross the bridge you’ll get a great view of the CN Tower and the trains coming and going. Built in 1907 and protected under the Ontario Heritage Act, it’s one of the few remaining examples of a specific Industrial Revolution-era footbridge. There have been a few updates in the last few years to battle natural and urban corrosion, but this overpass from the past still looks pretty good for its age.
We hope we’ve made it easy for you to come and check out the hidden gems in Toronto’s West end by traveling with UP Express and hopping off at Bloor Station. Whether you’re arriving from Pearson Airport or Union Station, it’s the fastest way to experience incredible parks, trails, local restaurants, shops, and more while avoiding traffic and parking hurdles.
Whether you are heading out to the airport or just exploring the city, UP Express can get you there comfortably and reliably. We’ve made it easier and more affordable for everyone to travel on UP. Teens and post-secondary students receive 40% off standard adult fare when using PRESTO. Discounted fare is also offered to Seniors.