Despite being called "Little Italy," this neighbourhood is actually a mix of Portuguese, Latino, and Vietnamese residents, along with Italian. In fact, Little Italy is considered one of the city's most multi-cultural communities. That said, the Italian roots of the neighbourhood still have a heavy influence on the area that can be seen through the community's constant stream of festivals, Easter processions, and World Cup celebrations. The eclectic mix of residents in this neighbourhoodare proud to call it home and thoroughly enjoy being within an easy walk of some of the city's best cafes, restaurants, bars, bakeries, and clothing shops. Little Italy is hands-down one of the most bustling and popular neighbourhoods in Toronto.
Little Italy is bordered by College Street to the north, Dundas Street West to the south, Bathurst Street to the east, and Ossington Avenue to the west.
The majority of residences in Little Italy are Victorian-type semi-detached and row houses perched along mature tree-lined streets, particularly along Crawford between College and Dundas Streets. Garages are mainly at the back of the homes along laneways. More upscale homes can be found along Palmerston north of College Street and Dovercourt. Homes in the area tend to be decked out with meticulously-manicured lawns and welcoming front porches.
The price of real estate in Little Italy has skyrocketed over the recent past, largely as a result of a lack of inventory in the area and the sizzling market in Toronto as a whole. That said, there may be a deal to be had for homes that need TLC, though even these tend to be snatched up pretty quickly in bidding wars.
There have also been a few low- and mid-rise condominium buildings built in the area recently, giving people a more affordable option to plant some roots in this highly sought-after neighbourhood of Toronto.
Lifestyle & Recreation
Little Italy is easily one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in all of Toronto. The action is non-stop throughout the week, and intensifies on Friday and Saturday nights as each one of the cafes and bars in the area are filled to the brim with locals and visitors.
With a plethora of shops and eateries, there's no shortage of things to do in Little Italy. The main drag along College Street - between Shaw Street and Euclid Avenue - is the highlight of the area, with some of the most authentic Italian fare and European-inspired fashions found along this stretch. Residents can pick up their daily groceries at any number of produce markets and bakeries in Portuguese Village along Dundas Street.
For the active type, Little Italy offers a local YMCA at 931 College Street, which features a gym, pool, and community meeting rooms. At 722 College Street is the First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre, which offers meeting rooms, lecture halls, a games room, bar, and restaurant. The centre has recently been expanded and renovated.
Families with school-aged children can send their kids to a few different schools in and around the area, including Ossington Old Orchard Public School, Brock Public School, and St. Luke Catholic School.
Buses and streetcars are frequent in Little Italy, moving passengers to and from the neighbourhood with ease. Residents can hop on buses along Ossington Avenue, as well as streetcars along College Street, Bathurst Street, and Dundas Street.
Commuters travelling by vehicle can access Lakeshore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway within a few short minutes.