High Park

The UP Express Guide to Trendy Toronto

Published: March 28, 2024

We all know about downtown Toronto – whether it be on a postcard or the first place you show your friends from out of town, everyone seems to flock downtown for that “Toronto charm” or a selfie with the awe-inspiring CN Tower. While downtown is cool, trendy neighbourhoods have popped up throughout Toronto. Whether it be boutique shops on Queen East or some of the best food in Weston, Toronto has changed, and so have its neighbourhoods.  

In this article, we will use the UP Express to explore some of Toronto’s trendiest parts of the city. So, sit back, relax, and let UP Express be your guide to “Trendy Toronto.” 

Leslieville: Toronto's Most Livable Streetcar Suburb

Street in Leslieville neighbourhood in Toronto

If you're looking for a trendy neighbourhood in Toronto, Leslieville, located at the city's east end, is a bustling community with a laid-back vibe and various trendy shops and restaurants. 

One of the best things about Leslieville is its proximity to UP Express at Union Station. This makes UP Express the best choice to get to and from the neighbourhood, whether you're coming from downtown Toronto or one of the suburbs. 

Once you arrive in Leslieville, you'll find many trendy shops and boutiques. Queen E will be your host for upscale boutiques, unique vintage shops, and the livelihood of an entire small town. Are you getting tired? Stop in for a coffee or drink at one of Leslieville’s top restaurants or coffee shops. Finish the day crisscrossing the beautiful historic homes off Queen E in the beautiful neighbourhood of Riverdale.

Leslieville is the perfect neighbourhood for those seeking a trendy, laid-back vibe with plenty of great shops and restaurants for a day in the city. With its proximity to UP Express, it's easy to get to and from Union Station, making it an excellent destination for visitors and locals alike.

Queen West: Toronto's Hippie Neighborhood with Local Charm

Street sign of Queen Street West

Toronto is known for its diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods, but few are as trendy and hip as Queen West. Queen West is a hub for artists, creatives, and fashion-forward individuals who appreciate the unique and eclectic style the area offers. 

When it comes to shopping, Queen West has plenty to offer. The area has independent boutiques and designer shops, offering everything from vintage clothing to contemporary fashion.

Images of Things to do in Toronto in May

Queen West is known for its thriving arts scene. The neighbourhood is home to several galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists. For a free insight into Toronto’s art scene, step into Graffiti Alley to see where famous Canadian Rick Mercer has been ranting to Canadians on his CBC program “Rich Mercer Report.”

When it comes to dining, West Queen West is a foodie's paradise. The area is bursting with restaurants and cafes, serving everything from classic Italian to modern fusion cuisine. Queen West is one of Toronto’s most diverse neighbourhoods, and the food scene reflects that.  

Queen West is a must-visit neighbourhood for anyone looking for a trendy and vibrant experience in Toronto. And with its proximity to UP Express stations at Union and Bloor, getting there has never been easier. So, hop on the train, take a walk or streetcar, and discover all Queen West offers!

The Junction: Toronto’s Original Troublemakers

Brick wall with shelfs containing various beer cans, beer bottles and rail crossing signs.

The Junction is one of Toronto's most beloved neighbourhoods by locals. Located in the city's west end, The Junction is just a short distance from UP Express Bloor Station, making it an easily accessible destination for a quick trip.  

The Junction has a rich history that dates to the late 1800s. Originally a tiny village at the intersection of four railway lines, The Junction was a hub for industrial activity and transportation. The area was home to factories, warehouses, and rail yards, which employed thousands of people in the early 20th century. Luckily, the neighbourhood is known for its strong sense of community and commitment to preserving its history. For those interested in the junction’s history, the West Toronto Railpath is a must-visit spot. This linear park follows the route of a former railway line and offers a unique glimpse into the area's industrial history.

Railpath with bike lane in Junction neighbourhood near UP Bloor Station

Today, The Junction has transformed into a trendy and vibrant neighbourhood while retaining its industrial roots. Many of the historic buildings in the neighbourhood have been repurposed and transformed into modern shops, restaurants, and bars. The area also has several murals that pay homage to the neighbourhood's industrial past.

The Junction is also home to a variety of trendy shops and boutiques. However, those looking for a watering hole are never far from a place to grab a drink. Despite being a dry neighbourhood until the early 2000s, the Junction has become a bustling spot for local pubs and some of Toronto’s best breweries. Check out our Discover Toronto blog, 12 Must-Visit Local Craft Breweries, for inspiration (don’t forget to drink responsibly).

For more information on things to do in this area, check out our guide on the Junction neighbourhood and all it offers. 

Weston Village: Toronto's Hidden Gem

High Park

When it comes to trendy neighbourhoods in Toronto, Weston Village is often overlooked. For those looking to trend set, Weston is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique and authentic experience that can only be described as uniquely Toronto.  

One of the best things about Weston Village is its accessibility. The neighbourhood is just a short walk from UP Express Weston station, making it incredibly easy to get to and from downtown Toronto, only a 14-minute ride from UP Union Station.  

Once you arrive in Weston Village, you'll be struck by its charm and character. As an ethnically diverse part of Toronto, the area has many historic buildings and landmarks.  

Those looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto will be impressed with the beautiful Weston Lions Park. This park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike and offers a great place to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings along the Humber River. This park is packed with families and young people on hot summer days. 

Green space on a sunny day at Weston Lions Park in Toronto

Weston Village is also known for its abundance of great food from around the world. Whether you're in the mood for one of Toronto’s best burgers or something a little more exotic, you will surely find something that will satisfy your cravings.  

Make sure to plan for a stop at Artscape Weston Common, a community arts hub that features a variety of artist studios and creative spaces. The area is also home to several independent boutiques and shops that offer a variety of unique and exciting products you can’t find anywhere else. 

Weston Village is a must-visit neighbourhood for anyone looking to experience a different side of Toronto. Check out our guide on accessing the Humber River Trail. And with its accessibility via the UP Express Weston station, it's never been easier to get there and explore all this hidden gem offers

Be the envy of your friend group with UP Express

Community is everything in Toronto. From the hustle and bustle of downtown to the quiet coffee shops of Weston Village, Torontonians always want to grow their circle, whether in person or on social media.  

With dependable service, comfortable rides, and in-station and onboard features like power outlets, free Wi-fi and affordable fares, UP Express is proud to connect you to people, places, and experiences in and around the city.