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Tattoo (New Venue)
567 Queen St W
OPENED Aug 2017
Cool N2
412 Queen St W
OPENED Jun 2017
Nescafé Coffee Taproom
499 Queen St W
OPENED Jun 2017
Saigon Hustle
406 Queen St W
OPENED May 2017
425 Queen St W, Lower
OPENED May 2017
House of VR
639 Queen St W
OPENED May 2017
Organic Nail Bar
496 Queen St W
OPENED Jan 2017
Square Fish
461 Queen St W
OPENED Nov 2016
493 Queen St W
OPENED Nov 2016
Junked Food Co.
507 Queen St W
OPENED Nov 2016
Paranoid Print Co.
609 Queen St W, Basement
OPENED Nov 2016
553 Queen St W
OPENED Nov 2016
Ollie Quinn
387 Queen St W
OPENED Nov 2016
505 Queen St W
OPENED Oct 2016
204 Queen St W
OPENED Oct 2016
Muse Salon
204 Queen St W
OPENED Sep 2016
420 Queen St W
OPENED Sep 2016
The Dime
538 Queen St W
OPENED Aug 2016
350 Queen St W
OPENED Aug 2016
Lululemon Athletica
318 Queen St W
OPENED Jun 2016

Out of Site 2017: Contemporary Art & Music on Queen St. West

September 30, 2017 from 8pm to 4am (during Nuit Blanche)


The Queen St. West B.I.A. is pleased to announce its 9th annual all-night exhibition of art and music by Canadian independent artists during Nuit Blanche.


Out of Site 2017 is curated by Earl Miller and will consider the theme of “play,” featuring artwork by outstanding Canadian independent artists and collectives.


Commissioned Works:

1. Donna Akrey, Public Art / Nonument.  A public sculpture installation in which the word “sorry” is spelled out in large letters. Installed in a parking lot, these letters are intermittently carried around Queen Street West by performers.


2. Leah Bartlett, Dogs Playing Poker.  A participatory theatrical recreation of the famed kitsch “dogs playing poker” painting.


3. Keith Cole.  All The Things That Go Unnoticed That Want To Be Noticed.  A performative walking tour of the Queen Street West area that not only entertains but also raises engaging questions about this urban space.  Among many other things, the performance seeks answers from the neighbourhood’s past to some of today’s pressing social questions.


4. Maya Ben David, Snake Girl’s Hyperbolic Time Chamber.  A performance comprising a revenge-based wrestling narrative where she plays a snake that will battle Nazi scientists to be freed from a giant transparent bubble.


5. Anitra Hamilton, Cock Robin.  A photo collage of a robin atop a grenade provides a commentary on the inherent violence of nature and how that violence often underlies beauty and innocence.


6. Laura Kikauka, The-Never-Ending-Red-Carpet.  A tribute and parody of fashion, addressing the infamous adage, “One person’s definition of good taste is another one’s bad taste.” Kikauka will create wearable garments, “MODified redi-mades” with found objects.


Nuit Blanche Independent Projects:


Studio F Minus, Disturbing Graffiti.  Exploring the use of light as a medium for public art in an urban setting, CITYLights Toronto will create a site-specific installation to illuminate features, public art, and buildings in Graffiti Alley.


Harley Valentine, Future writing exercises on Terrazzo Tower.  Valentine engages with the Cordian element of Terrazzo Tower, rearranging the sculptural piece within its unique urban/pastoral setting.


Cherish Violet Blood, Kitakio'sinnooniks.  A theatrical parody on evening entertainment for roaming insomniacs alike broadcast live from Campbell House Museum over 12 hours. Programming includes audience interviews, invited guests, a midnight tea party, live music, and film screenings.


Several venues along Queen St. West will also be participating with additional art and have applied for extended hours of alcohol service until 4 AM: Nocturne, Bovine Club, Barchef, The Rivoli, Horseshoe Tavern, Wild Wing, and Queen Mother Café.


Art and Entertainment thrive on vibrant Queen West, the historic area that has spearheaded Toronto’s trendsetting culture, and bourgeoning subcultures, for decades.  Known for its mixture of fashion shops, galleries and indie music bars, Queen West is a major shopping district while retaining its unconventional roots, and is a world-renowned hub day and night.


For further information please contact:


Earl Miller, Curator,


Spencer Sutherland, Queen St West B.I.A.,


Sep 26th, 2017
Layers of Rush Lane - Laneway Party
This Sunday, join the Queen Street West BIA in a celebration of community and summer!
Aug 1st, 2017
Hamilton rents out space on Queen Street West to try to get Toronto's attention
Hamilton Consulate will be May 31 and June 1 at The Burroughs at 639 Queen St. W.
May 17th, 2017 : By Samantha Craggs, CBC News
Province plans to overhaul OMB and give more power to cities and citizens
Reformed appeals body to be renamed Local Planning Appeals Tribunal; will provide legal representation to residents for free.
May 16th, 2017 : By Jennifer Pagliaro
Goorin Bros Video

May 5th, 2017
New lounge space House of VR creates immersive experiences in Queen West
House of VR

Owner and general manager Jonah Brotman demonstrates how to play one of the games at the House of VR, which is the first virtual reality lounge in Toronto Tuesday, May 2. The House of VR is a futuristic arcade, gallery and event space located in the historic Burroughes Building. - Dan Pearce/Metroland

House of VR

Co-owners Stephanie Payne and Jonah Brotman are opening the House of VR, which is the first virtual reality lounge in Toronto on Saturday, May 6. The House of VR is a futuristic arcade, gallery and event space located in the historic Burroughes Building. - Dan Pearce/Metroland

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A new adult play experience is ready to transport Torontonians to an alternate reality in style.

The House of VR, located in Queen West, is a lounge and event space set to be a haven for techies in the city ready to experience the world of virtual reality (VR).

Its licensed content has something for everyone, including popular VR games as well as VR experiences in art and design, tourism, entertainment, education, meditation, kids-focused content and live sports.

“VR is a new technology that has infinite possibilities and we’re excited to show people that. It feels like we’re gifting the experience to people, because it’s so new and so fresh,” said co-owner and general manager Jonah Brotman, who teamed up with longtime girlfriend and artist Stephanie Payne and his brother Noah.

Brotman first got the idea for the space after visiting a pop-up VR event at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and thought he could improve the concept and experience. To help do that, Payne was tasked with creating an inviting and bright esthetic to the space, located in the historic Burroughes building, at 639 Queen St. W. This included enlisting local artists for murals and art installations to create Instagram-worthy pieces. Even the bathroom walls can be considered art pieces.

“From the moment people walk in, they’re transported into a different world that is futuristic, fun and playful. It was really important for us to make an artistic and inspiring space. Other (VR) lounges aren’t very inviting, and we really wanted to move away from that,” said Payne, the artistic director for House of VR.

The space is geared toward two types of people: the early adopters who are ready to tackle the world of VR head-on and those looking to take baby steps. It offers two floors housing five view units each. The first floor offers guests a mixed reality green screen experience, where they’re superimposed into the game with hand controllers. It also appears on a television set in the unit, so friends have a chance to see what the user is experiencing. Scattered on both floors are 360-degree viewing pods for those looking to take a more relaxed approach to VR. Here, guests can travel to the Amazon rainforest, walk among the elephants in Africa or simply sit and mediate.

“It’s great for a lot of people who aren’t as technologically comfortable with VR. There’s a bit of an uptake when you put on a headset to learn how to do all that, so it’s great for people to understand it and realize it’s not scary,” Brotman said.

The units are meant for groups of four, to ensure each user isn’t overwhelmed by long periods of “intense gameplay.” All the walls are movable in order to transform it into an event space for interactive art battles, augmented reality art shows or VR party space.

Brotman hopes the House of VR will become a tech hub for a community that’s interested in VR technology and its evolution beyond gaming.

“We are a community of people who believe in the power of art and design. For us, VR is not an Xbox; it’s not a gaming system. It’s much more,” said Brotman.

“It’s really the potential to do anything in these new virtual worlds that people are creating.”

The House of VR’s grand opening is on Saturday, May 6. To learn more, visit

May 4th, 2017 : By Hilary Caton
TTC taking all streetcars off Queen St. for the summer
For the first time in TTC history, there will be no streetcar service on Queen St. Over 43,000 daily riders will be moved by bus.
May 1st, 2017 : By Ben Spurr, Toronto Star
Queen St. West to offer free Wi-Fi in new parkette
Local BIA hopes free Internet will keep people in the neighbourhood and bring "eyes in the park and eyes on the street."
Feb 6th, 2017 : By May Warren
Queen West streetcar riders loving replacement buses
Streetcars are backed up along Queen St. in Toronto on Feb.7, 2017. The streetcar line has 43,000 daily riders.
Streetcars are backed up along Queen St. in Toronto on Feb.7, 2017. The streetcar line has 43,000 daily riders.

Queen Street West has been plagued by construction, including TTC streetcar track repairs, for months, but some area residents are singing the praises of their alternate transit.

Buses have been running on the 501 line since last summer, and while they carry fewer passengers, transit users say they’ve actually improved service.

“Oh my God — It’s amazing! Night and day. They need to get rid of the streetcars for sure,” transit user Angela Griffith told CityNews.

Ameya Deshpande takes the TTC to work every day and says she’s getting to work quicker thanks to the buses.

“It’s actually more convenient at night,” she explained. “As well, the buses are faster than the streetcars.

“Normally, (it) takes me an hour (by) streetcar, but it takes maybe 45 minutes to reach from downtown.”

Riders say the buses come more frequently and the fact that the vehicles can weave in and out of traffic makes their commute a lot easier.

Their reaction isn’t surprising to one transit expert.

“This is the most well-kept secret about public transit — that buses, in fact in many circumstances, perform better than streetcars given the flexibility that they have,” Murtaza Haider, transit expert and associate professor at Ryerson University, explained.

“Streetcars, by default, are fixed-route guided transit systems, so if one streetcar is stuck, all the ones behind it will also be stuck because they can’t overtake it. So, for all sorts of operational efficiencies, in many places buses have been much more proficient and efficient.”

But would the TTC consider ending its bid for more streetcars and return to buses? Spokesperson Stuart Green says no.

“It’s not something that we’re going to start taking away. We’ve got a bunch of new streetcars on order, as you know, and so we’re quite committed to running streetcars,” he said.

According to Green, each new streetcar delivered by Bombardier takes three buses off the road.

“If we were to replace the new streetcars with buses, we’d be having three times as many vehicles on the road, which only adds to congestion, which adds to gridlock,” he said. “It adds to poor air quality, and that’s not something we’re prepared to do.”

It isn’t just the amount of people streetcars move that make them a better choice for downtown streets, according to Green.

Streetcars last a lot longer than a buses do, which means the TTC replaces vehicles less frequently. As well, fewer vehicles are required, which means cheaper operating costs.

Plus there’s the environmental impact.

“The streetcars have no emissions the way a bus would and they actually, in their own rights of way, can reduce congestion quite considerably,” said Green.

Jan 24th, 2017 : By Ginella Massa, City News
Horseshoe Tavern


Jan 22nd, 2017