Neighbourhood spotlight: the west end

I've moved around quite a bit over the course of my life at U of T. Last year, I lived east of campus in Cabbagetown (which I blogged about at the time - see my post here). Prior to that, I lived closer to campus in Harbord Village (which I also wrote a blog post about back in the day). These days, I find myself a bit far west of campus, and I love my new neighbourhood which seems to border on several diverse, vibrant communities in Little Italy, Little Portugal, and Queen West. So if you feel like venturing west of campus, and in this sunny weather you really ought to, here are some of my favourite things to do. Soak up the sun in Trinity Bellwoods Park. On the weekend, I like to go to the park with a book and read, people-watch, and picnic with friends. There's always something to see in Bellwoods, whether it's an art sale or a music festival or just lots of cute dogs. It's a great place to spend an afternoon and there's tons of options for an iced coffee on either side of the park on Queen St. W and Dundas St. W.
People sit in the dog bowl at Bellwoods watching a band at the music festival.
One of my favourite annual Trinity Bellwoods events - the free music festival that takes place every summer.
Get gelato in Little Italy. On a summer evening, grabbing a gelato with friends is the perfect hang. Little Italy has tons of gelato and ice cream places with amazing flavours and tables spilling out onto the sidewalk so you can enjoy the fresh air while you indulge. My personal flavour of choice? I usually can't decide between pistachio and chocolate, so I get both. Stop by the farmer's market in Dufferin Grove Park. A quick walk west leads to Dufferin Grove Park where every Thursday from 3-7 you can get fresh, local produce at the weekly farmer's market! There are also vendors selling ready-made food if you want to grab some dinner and hang out in the park.
Baked goods for sale in baskets on a table including buns, flatbreads, and cookies.
Baked goods at the Dufferin Grove Farmers Market. Image by Gabriel Li via Flickr.
Coffee and stationery. These are a few of my favourite things, and there are lots of shops that offer them around my neighbourhood. Some of my favourite spots to peruse pretty paper are Hanji and the Paper Place, and some of my favourite spots to grab a cappuccino for the walk there are the Tampered Press and Full of Beans. What's your favourite part about your neighbourhood? Share in the comments below or on Twitter or Instagram with the #KeysToHousing. Follow #KeyToHousing to see more of our neighbourhood profiles and resources related to housing, and check out the new Off Campus Housing website if you're thinking about living off campus!

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