King West Dance Anyone?

king street

So, what do you think about the King West neighbourhood in Toronto? Do you live there, or know anyone that does?

I ask because I’m thinking of building a new studio out there. But I’m not too familiar with the area. I know it’s trendy, has a rapidly growing population and is relatively close to club district. But that’s about it.

If I decide to put my dance home out there, I’m thinking Bathurst and King. Do you like that area? What’s there to eat? Do people’s bikes get stolen? How is parking?

I’m looking for some quick and honest feedback please, add your comment to this post…

Shawn B

Published by ShawnByfield

Shawn Byfield is a certified public speaker, expert dance coach and entrepreneur. A National authority in dance and veteran in entertainment, film and fashion. Byfield is a DORA AWARD winning choreographer, GEMINI AWARD nominee, and 2x BLACK CANADIANS AWARD nominee. Shawn Byfield loves to travel nationally as an inspiring mentor, adjudicator, public speaker and choreographer.

43 thoughts on “King West Dance Anyone?

  1. YES!!! I have been waiting for you to open your own downtown studio space – I know you have the luck and support to do so and if you need to organize a fundraiser I will hostess the event for free! Please get this project moving – lots of other teachers can pay you to use the space – more classes for the dancing masses!
    Vive King West – that’s the best!
    Thanks for the e-mails – I miss hip-hop dancing….

  2. Shawn, I live in King West! I’m looking to get back into dance. Email me, I’ll give you the low-down…

  3. Parking is atrocious down in that area. There is little to no parking, and it is all pay parking, so it would not be friendly to your clients who drive!

  4. I work and live in the area and it’s great! Lots going on, lots of great restaurants and amazing food. Easy to get to and less chaotic on weekends than the Eaton Center. I would definitly get to more classes!!

  5. THANK YOU everyone for the useful feedback, very valuable! I’m still looking at other locations, I’ll keep you posted on what happens next. =)

    – SB

  6. Hey Shawn – Onika is looking for classes and King West is a great neighbourhood – I think a studio there is a great location. My niece just opened her salon there, “Doo or Dye” on King Street and she’s lovin it. Her name is Tina. Go talk to her, Tell her you teach Onika dance and ask her what she thinks about running the business in the neighbourhood. Tell her “Aunty” sent you. Onika is looking for classes this summer.

  7. I just moved to the area and love it!!! , Always lots happening, so close to the entertainment industry too!

    Good Choice!
    See you class!

  8. Hi Shawn! So happy that you’re close to finding a home for your dance studio. I agree that it’s long overdue. Some thoughts on your proposed location (King & Bathurst)…

    Pros: Location has a great vibe (restaurants, bars/lounges, condos, art galleries, etc.) and has become established as a very hip/arty area; it’s safe; and the location really suits your personality/style – you’re a downtown kinda guy!

    Cons: A wee bit far from St. Andrew subway (20 min walk) and I don’t rely on the streetcar so will have to budget more time to travel to classes (especially in winter); and may have to drive to classes which means parking expenses. (But this is just me being selfish b/c it’s a 10 minute walk to your current location).

    That being said, you are a great teacher, a good spirit and an inspiration. People want to dance with you because your classes are safe and welcoming. A little further travelling won’t stop me from going to your classes and you’ll probably attract new students in that area!

    Good luck, Shawn!

  9. that’s amazing shawn! long overdue…and that is a really good location i think, although i think the location of your classes would be secondary…! hope it all goes well in the process!

  10. Boo hoo…you’re moving further and further for this suburban mom! Ever thought of opening up a studio in the Durham area? I try to get to your class here and there, but it’s about an hour-and-a-half for me. Wherever you do end up, I’m sure I’ll still try to drop in when I can. Cheers and good luck!

  11. I hear it’s a great, up and coming area.
    And there’s easy TTC access. Sounds good to me πŸ™‚

  12. Love this area! Lots to eat, easy to get to by TTC, street parking abundant (off Wellington) – can’t wait!

  13. Hey Shawn,
    I work in the hood (King & Spadina).

    It’s a nice area and safe! Transit is easy – and depending on where the studio ends up, it’s close to Union which is great for the “out of towners”!

    I know I’d be willing to do a lunch time class!!! Especially if I could skip my way down to the studio! πŸ˜‰

    All the best!

  14. When I come to visit T. as long as transit is easy I’ll come dance! Anything that is close to the ttc is cool. My sister lives in that hood now so I’d love to be in that area. Now all I need is there to be classes in December!

  15. Agreed: I really like the area, too! Convenient and central, very fun, and some good dancing in the area (e.g., City Dance Corps). Awesome!!


  16. Just moved into the area and I LOVE It. It totally resonates with who you are and what you are doing. Plus selfishly its closer to where I live!

    Have fun!

  17. As a matter of fact Shawn….I just moved into the area at the beginning of May…..awesome area to put a new studio. Definately would get me to take more classes.

    Good luck and keep me posted.


  18. Hey I used to live in the area a few years back and then moved to Bay and College, now up in Eglinton and Yonge,
    It is a hot happening area to be and further development is in the works. Lots of great traffic, pre professionals, professionals, creatives, artists, dancers, a bit older crowd than Queen St. W. It is very convenient, there are parking spaces if needed, many people cycle in the area to get around. At night time especially Thurs-Sun it comes alive with clubs and other entertainment. I would just consider security in terms of what you are going to have in your space, etc.
    I think it would be great for business; many new people in the area would be interested too. There are already a few gyms and small classes going on but they are not ‘dance’ classes, more work out/not too much fun type of things.
    Anyways if you need any input give me a shout any time. I hope it all works out. Best wishes, and keep me updated.


  19. Hey Shawn,

    I haven’t lived in Toronto for two years, but had to jump in and say that King and Bathurst has a great feel to it. Nice mix of commercial and residential (increasing condo development, always), and there are a few parking lots (although I only drive a bike, which was never stolen there). Pricey, though.

    Isn’t City Dance still down there? One person commented on the night time environment, being close to F.Y.E.O. I’ve never noticed any commotion coming from there, and very likely, being that close could be good for your business – everybody needs fresh moves, right?

    Keep up the good work, you powerhouse!

  20. I think this sounds like a good call! TTC access is a must obviously.. and this would be close to a lot of things. Of course I’m partial to more east-y places since I’m in the beaches when I get to live back in T.O.! But the streetcar = easy transit.
    So excited for this!! Nowhere I’d rather dance πŸ™‚

  21. Hi Shawn,

    My first reaction was “oh no! that’s even further!” since I live in the Beaches…but….on thinking it over more, it may be a faster drive on the Gardner and up Bathurst than the drive into the middle of downtown…not sure. Hopefully there would be more and closer parking too. I am a little bit on the fence, but I would make it work whatever you decide. πŸ™‚

  22. Hey Shawn, King and Bathurst is a fantastic area! Easy commute for me too πŸ™‚

  23. Hey Shawn

    I come in from Peterborough in the summer to take your classes but that area seems great to me. Go with what is in your heart; if people really believe in you and love your classes, they will follow you! “If you build it, they will come.”

    Good luck!

  24. I like the area. Lot of places to eat. I’m a 10-15 minute walk from there, so it works out.

  25. Hi Shawn. Great area, I love it. Lots of entertainment, and easy to get there from my place. Can’t wait till you open it. Good luck.

  26. I live near King and Jameson, so it would be great for me…just a short streetcar ride away. Good luck!

  27. King and Bathurst is a great location, so close to the entertainment district! Liberty Village is great too!
    (Many years ago there was a tap studio near King & Parliament called ‘The Hoofer’s Club’ run by William Orlowski, my first tap teacher. Many good memories on King Street.)
    The streetcar would be a great asset. I think they’re building the home of the Toronto International Film Festival at John St. which is good for the neighbourhood.

  28. I don’t live there and i dont even attend your classes although i would love to soon! However, my sister purchased a place there and i drive by a lot; seems like an up and coming artsy, culturally rich neighbourhood. I would love to live there. I think if I were to look for a place there, a great dance studio would be a definite advantage!

  29. Hey bee. I live on king-bathurst. It’s awesome here, safe and nice. Don’t move any more west than bathurst tho.

  30. Well, since I work at King/John at present, King/Bathurst works great for me

  31. Great area, I’m actually moving King/Dufferin at the end of this month. Not only is it a hip and happening area, but its so close to work too. There are restaurants galore around that area, you can’t go wrong. I was thinking of getting back into the dance classes, this would be perfect for me!!! πŸ™‚ Cheers

  32. Thanks for the comments so far! Kristina, I hope to know by beginning of June. King is more expensive…

    …so if I see a large interest in annual memberships that will definitely help speed up the process. Besides, ANYWHERE we move to, you know I’ll make sure you have a wicked class! =)

    – SB

  33. King W is fabulous. It’s actually where i’m planning on purchasing property one day.

    dooooooo it

  34. I work nearby so it would be convenient for me! (But that’s just my own selfish opinion)

    Quite a bit to eat around here – for “fast” food you’ve got Craft Burger, Lou Dawgs, Zoe’s, a Pizzaolio just opened. There are some nicer restaurants as well and if you’ve got a bit of time there’s quite a bit just North of King on Spadina (including Fresh – my fav!)

    There’s a big parking lot North of King on Portland and more parking next to the Starbucks. Things are a little different at night around here especially with “For Your Eyes Only” being right down the street…

  35. Wicked area, lived there for 3 years.
    Shawn, the location of your studio has a bearing on whether I will purchase the June 15th ending deal. Are we going to find out where the new studio is before then?
    cheers – have a wonderful long weekend.

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