Relief Line: Your Guide to Toronto’s Hottest New Neighbourhoods
Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Now. Click here to learn more.




Relief Line: Your Guide to Toronto’s Hottest New Neighbourhoods

Toronto: Your urban cornucopia!

Relief Line is your not-so-serious glance at the city we love.

Lovebot on Queen West. Photo by Corbin Smith.

Little Lichtenstein

Move over Chinatown and Little Italy: Toronto’s got a cool new ethnic enclave named after the miniscule, European nation of Lichtenstein. By this time next year you will be impressing your friends with your knowledge of Lil’ Lich’s famous national dish (some sort of pastry?), their weird alcoholic beverage of choice (fermented cabbage?) and their native tongue (guessing it’s, like, German?). Later on you can even expand your horizons by “discovering” that inevitable Korean-Lichtenstein fusion spot. Sure, we might not know much about this tiny, constitutional monarchy and one can question whether these guys really deserve a whole neighbourhood, but you better get on it because in 2016 Torontonians seem set to embrace all things Lichtenstein! (Luxembourg?).

South-By-South-West Queen Street West

This uber-trendy strip on the periphery of West Queen Street West has recently become a magnet for Toronto’s hipsters, scenesters, and elite taste-makers while obviously being way too cool for the likes of you. Existing in a near-permanent state of brunch, SXSWQSW is already world-famous for its melange of boutiques, bistros and bicycle shops staffed by beautiful 20-somethings all trained to ignore anyone wearing that. In fact, even telling you about the coffee-infused bourbon-kombucha enjoyed by the residents is somewhat cruel because you will only ever be welcome in this quarter as an unknowing participant in the live art piece, “Garish Suburbanite Ruins Authentic Neighbourhood.”

Canvasser Town

Do you have a minute? Yes? Great! That’s all the time you need to learn about Canvasser Town or what was formerly known as “Downtown.” First off, what do you know about this up-and-coming community? Nothing? No problem! The young, clipboard-wielding residents are happy to fill you in. Maybe you don’t have time to hear their casual but earnest pleas? Again, no problem! You can just leave your personal information and a good time to for them to call you back and they’ll contact you at home. So now that you know what Canvasser Town is all about, can we maybe count on you for a small donation of—hey, don’t walk away! Please! Dammit. That felt like a sale.

The Hypothetical New Harbourlands

This chunk of hypothetical-but-highly-coveted real estate could possibly emerge somewhere between the Harbourfront and Toronto Island at some point in the future and you just know it will be a massive headache as we fight over how to best use it. Will it be a post-industrial, diesel soaked parking lot plastered in advertisements for Tim Horton’s, or a communal library and sustainable, outdoor green-space criss-crossed with dedicated bike lanes? Who knows but it’s going to be a gigantic pain-in-the-ass listening to both sides bicker about it for a few decades. God, it’s exhausting to even think about. Either way you will definitely want to check it out in the next 10 to 100 years or whenever we become so tired with debating that we finally agree to sell the whole thing to a condo developer.


Tucked away just to the north of old Toronto this up-and-coming neighbourhood boasts attractions like the Living Prairie Museum, the Winnipeg Central Park and the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. Unfortunately “The ‘Peg” (as it’s known to native Torontonians) has recently drawn negative attention because of the political deadlock surrounding the controversial Winnipeg subway extension (tentatively scheduled to connect with the Sheppard line in 2025). Still that shouldn’t stop you from visiting the neighbourhood that includes the beautiful Red River, the historic Exchange District and Toronto’s best chance of making the playoffs in 2016, the Winnipeg Jets.