A city of Neighborhoods
August 2, 2004 12:24 AM   Subscribe

Toronto's Neighborhoods. A brief primer.
posted by arse_hat (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

That building in the first picture is about 30 metres from where I live. Damn good site.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 12:42 AM on August 2, 2004

Awesome link, I'm moving there in two weeks. Can't wait to explore.
posted by Yiggs at 1:13 AM on August 2, 2004

I've been going to school here for two years, and I've barely explored most of the areas in your "Toronto" links.

Awesome post though, I've learned a few bits already.
posted by phyrewerx at 1:36 AM on August 2, 2004

i was just visiting this site a couple of days ago and thinking it would make a good front page post. i love it and whenever someone wants to know about toronto that's where i send them.

since '75 i've lived and or worked in almost every 'hood listed, but one of my faves is church and wellesley, where i rented my very first apartment & mooned the pope's motorcade one crazy summer afternoon.
posted by t r a c y at 5:00 AM on August 2, 2004

It's fairly complete, actually. (I'm with t r a c y - I can't believe how many of those neighborhoods I've called home over the years.)

I'd have liked a little more folklore for each area, and I'd like to see if this gets updated and added to. But there's a good framework here anyways.
posted by chicobangs at 5:44 AM on August 2, 2004

Wow, thanks! I'm heading up for the first time at the end of the month, and this looks like a great resource.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:47 AM on August 2, 2004

I grew up in Toronto, my parents and grandparents as well - and this is terrific. But where's the West End loving? : ) There are no Etobicoke or York pages - they've got the Humber, but not the historic town of Weston (where my grandparents grew up), or the shopping districts of Kingsway or Bloor West. Mimico is also great - old Polish neighbourhood with a new (and very impressive) waterfront walk and gardens.

(Also Toronto Neighbourhoods, aimed at housebuyers, but still with cool bits of history.)
posted by jb at 5:58 AM on August 2, 2004

Ah, these pages make me miss Toronto very much...
posted by Voivod at 8:34 AM on August 2, 2004

My 'hood-ography, over the last ten years: currently, earlier, earlier still, and the first.
posted by stonerose at 8:44 AM on August 2, 2004

If you liked the site and live in the city (or are going to visit), I encourage you to check out this book as it has lots of great info.
posted by dobbs at 9:11 AM on August 2, 2004

Harumph. None of my current or former neighbourhoods are included, except for York University. Most of what's included is from the pre-amalgamation city of Toronto.

It's interesting, though, and potentially useful as I'm starting to go through the house (or, preferably loft) hunting motions.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:27 AM on August 2, 2004

for a more historical look at the neighbourhoods, check out this site from Toronto.com.

hey, I live right around the corner from this weird house! The Annex now encompasses far more than the area that this site indicates, however.
posted by krunk at 9:43 AM on August 2, 2004

Hasn't the Annex been gentrifying in the past little while? I thought it was smearing out towards Yonge gradually as more yuppies moved into the area.

Personally, I was born in Etobicrack, but lived in Missisauga for most of my live (and Kingston, as of late).

tracy> Where around Church and Wellesley did you live? I've got a pal who's on Maitland right now. It's a great location.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 11:26 AM on August 2, 2004

I'll be moving into the city soon as well. Some of the pictures look really old because there are lots of buildings missing, but then I have to realize that the condo boom has only been going on for about 10yrs.
posted by nprigoda at 11:54 AM on August 2, 2004

Toronto is the largest and most important city in Canada and possibly the most cosmopolitan city in North America.(emphasis mine)

And they're not shy about letting you know this, either ;)
posted by filmgoerjuan at 1:25 PM on August 2, 2004

tracy> Where around Church and Wellesley did you live? I've got a pal who's on Maitland right now. It's a great location.

i lived at bloor and sherbourne when we mooned the pope (3 high rises on the corner, one with a mr sub under it, dunno if they're still there), but my first apt was a few blocks over from maitland on gloucester, which was a nice easy walk to st. joseph street where i worked as the coat check girl at the voodoo club. later i lived in one of the jamestown towers (wellesley & parliament) where our upstairs neighbors (we on the 20th, they on the 21st) filled their living room in with soil and grew veggies and kept chickens - i kid you not. eventually our lvg rm and hallway ceiling caved in from them watering their, uhm, garden. haha, god, i haven't thought of that in ages.
posted by t r a c y at 2:03 PM on August 2, 2004

I lived one block from that wierd house for about a year in 1997. Funny, I'd totally forgotten about it! It didn't have so many nice plants before.
posted by Voivod at 2:54 PM on August 2, 2004

jb, dobbs, krunk; Thanks for the links.
posted by arse_hat at 3:45 PM on August 2, 2004

The Annex is definitely full of yuppies now; it's not all U of T students anymore. I think it's one of the few neighbourhoods in TO where rent isn't decreasing due to the high vacancy rate. Stoopid Annex.
posted by krunk at 4:12 PM on August 2, 2004

Check this out by the way, Toronto related and just hilarious imo (2mb .mov). Humans no!
posted by loquax at 5:50 PM on August 2, 2004

I had missed the York U page. It's not completely accurate. York wasn't really a campus of UofT - though it did bud off Toronto (professors and students left with the intention to form a new liberal arts university), that was long before the Keele campus was built; also I'm pretty sure that the bit about the buildings being for Southern California (and thus being ridiculous in the wind and snow of the wastes of North York) is more legend than substantiated fact. But they did manage to capture both the elegance of Vari Hall, and the monstous nature of the concrete Ross building.

I've got a question about the definition of the Annex. I had always thought of the Annex as being the neighbourhoods on either side of Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst, going right over to Christie Pits, which is still very mixed in income, artsy and studenty (a friend's parents bought a house there for only $200,000). But then people told me, no, the Annex means the really posh area north of Bloor east of Spadina, abutting Yorkville. Which is it? Or has the name (and neighbourhood) shifted over time? (I don't think St George was ever gentrified - it was always mansions).
posted by jb at 6:09 AM on August 3, 2004

Kensington Market is where it's at in Toronto. My favourite part of the city, dating back to the summer afternoon in 1998 that I discovered it. I've always told people that Toronto isn't a city of great sights, but the neighbourhoods are fantastic, and the best reason to visit (and live) here.

I've got a question about the definition of the Annex.

Most people I know seem to define it as the posh area north of Bloor, but also stretching south to College St, a little bit west of Bathurst and over to Spadina or so on the east side.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:31 AM on August 3, 2004

"I'm pretty sure that the bit about the buildings being for Southern California
... is more legend than substantiated fact." Funny I remeber ths same thing
being said about schools in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. A better explanation
of the Annex.
posted by arse_hat at 6:46 AM on August 3, 2004


And I've got a pal on Maitland too, Pseudoephedrine. What are the odds?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 8:17 AM on August 3, 2004

This site has a little more detailed history all the Toronto neighbourhoods. A nice addition to the main link.

(And for the record, I currently live a block from that weird house, too).
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:46 PM on August 3, 2004

Oh, and for the Annex question: the link I posted seems to think it exists north of Bloor between Bathurst and Avenue and south of bloor stretching east and west from Bathurst.
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:50 PM on August 3, 2004

Yes, I think so too. arse_hat's link explains it well - the original land that was "annexed" to Toronto was north of Bloor between Spadina and Bedford. But the neighbourhood is now considered to stretch from Bedford to west of Bathurst (I would say to Christie, since the neighbourhood character only changes after that), and south of Bloor even as far as College. They posted a map here. I feel much better now - thanks to all.
posted by jb at 3:10 PM on August 3, 2004

I live on Palmerston, one house south of Bloor... I consider it the Annex, despite the signs saying Korean Business District or whatever. North of Bloor west to Christie I think should be the current boundaries. I just moved from Markham north of Bloor... I love the neighbourhood!

We should have a mefi meetup at the weird house!
posted by krunk at 8:54 PM on August 3, 2004

I always thought the Annex stopped at Bathurst, at Honest Ed's because at that point every bar has karaoke.

Also, krunk, I love the crap out of that section of Palmerston. I have to cross it a lot and I always walk up or down whenever I get a chance. So pretty. And gates!
posted by SoftRain at 11:28 PM on August 3, 2004

Ah, Palmerston...I spent one of the best summers of my life on that street, just south of Dundas. Close to Queen St. West and Kensington Market, and a gorgeous street to boot. Moved to the east end to find a larger place that me and my girlfriend could afford the rent on, but I'll always miss that 'hood.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:32 AM on August 4, 2004

speaking of my apartment, it was just featured in this week's issue of Eye!
posted by krunk at 10:15 AM on August 5, 2004

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