Riverside, Toronto

Earlier this year, the much-anticipated Broadview Hotel opened in a restored, 125-year-old Romanesque-style building in Toronto. The fact that this building was most recently home to Jilly’s, a notorious strip club that closed down in 2014, aptly illustrates the exciting rejuvenation of Riverside—the east end neighbourhood where the Broadview resides.

Stretching from the Don Valley Parkway to Logan Avenue (west to east), and Gerrard Street East to Eastern Avenue (north to south), Riverside was originally built to house labourers and railway workers in the 19th century. In recent years, however, young families have been wooed by its Victorian and Edwardian cottages, green spaces and friendly vibe. And, thanks to an influx of creatives, the area has also seen a wave of eclectic businesses, including vintage furniture stores and cool food and drink spots. 

Next door to the Broadview, for instance, is the brand-new Eastbound Brewing Co., a 3,500-square-foot brewpub that offers local brews and elevated pub fare. Other neighbourhood faves include French patisserie Bonjour Brioche and coffee shop-bar Boxcar Social, where Americano orders give way to rounds of whisky as night falls. —VH

Highland Park, Los Angeles

Ten years ago, this neighbourhood—just a few stops north of Downtown L.A. on the Metro—was largely considered unsafe thanks to a high crime rate. But now, locals and visitors flock to its tree-lined streets to visit remarkably cool spots like Café Birdie (try the Moroccan-spiced fried chicken), the Bearded Beagle (a spacious shop selling all kinds of vintage goods), and the ultra-retro Highland Park Bowl, the oldest bowling alley in the city (established in 1927). —JB

Hackney, London

Hackney, London

This East London area has emerged as one of the trendiest districts in the city, with cool design stores and clothing shops in a wildly multicultural neighbourhood. To get the true Hackney vibe, visit Broadway Market, a historic shopping street and outdoor market in the heart of the district. Held every Saturday, the market features local vendors selling everything from handmade trinkets to exotic meats and Vietnamese coffee. —JB

Ice District, Edmonton

The opening of Rogers Place arena in September 2016 sparked a boom in this northwest area of downtown Edmonton. An enticing mix of restored century-old buildings and new high-rise condos, the Ice District is still a work in progress, but the energy here is already contagious. Current highlights include the gleaming new arena (home to the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and also a major concert venue), interesting public art displays and Baijiu, a family-style Chinese restaurant in the historic Mercer Building. —JB

Read more: Emerging Places in 2017