When you’re talking about life in Ontario’s larger cities, living in Toronto is very difficult to beat.
- The Annex
The Annex is one of my favourite Toronto neighbourhoods — so much so that I actually live here myself. This storied area of Toronto is one of the deepest-rooted neighbourhoods in the city, having first been established in the 1870s.
Back in the late 1800s when it first became a residential neighbourhood, the Annex was quickly inhabited by a large collection of the then-elite society living in Toronto. For that reason, you can find some of the city’s most beautiful heritage homes right here in the Annex.
Located just west of Yorkville (one of Toronto’s most luxurious neighbourhoods) and just north of Bloor Street West (one of Toronto’s most exclusive high-fashion shopping strips), the Annex is surrounded by beautiful, well-manicured downtown areas.
If you are a fan of early Toronto architecture or just architecture in general, then a stroll around the Annex is a captivating way to spend an afternoon.
When it comes to local amenities, there are lots of things to do in the Annex, with a large selection of shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars in the neighbourhood. Head over to Yorkville or Bloor Street to do some high-street shopping, or visit one of the many art galleries, theatres, and bookshops in the area. The Annex has a vibrant arts and culture scene!
Appreciating summertime patio culture is a big part of living in Toronto, and you can explore some of the city’s most popular patios at the numerous restaurants and bars here.
You can find a good mix of homes within the Annex, from recently-constructed condo buildings to the large, heritage-driven Victorian and Edwardian red-brick homes
Whatever type of property you’re looking for, stunning architectural detail and signature Toronto red-brick are sure to be nearby.
What was initially a tight-knit village in the mid-1800s, Leslieville has retained much of its original character and heritage throughout the years. Up until quite recently, Leslieville (and the east end in general) wasn’t necessarily a highly sought-after area for those living in Toronto. However, like many other Toronto neighbourhoods before it, Leslieville has seen a huge upswing in popularity among younger people.
Today, this hip neighbourhood just east of the beautiful Don River is becoming increasingly popular with Toronto’s trendier circles. For ambitious creatives looking to find a somewhat-affordable foothold in the Toronto real estate market (while still staying near like-minded individuals and fun amenities), Leslieville is a very appealing place to live.
Due to the recent surge of hip inhabitants to Leslieville, there is now a terrific collection of trendy businesses here. From independent restaurants, bars, and cafes to specialty food markets and boutique shops, there’s a lot going on in Leslieville.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, Leslieville is also very well-placed. Being just a short jaunt away from the Beaches and a quick walk over to the Don River, stunning nature walks and public outdoor spaces are at your fingertips.
Additionally, getting downtown is as easy as ever, with great access to public transport and roadways. If you need to go a little further than downtown, Leslieville is conveniently placed right by the Lake Shore Boulevard East highway.
New residents to Leslieville can find almost any kind of home here, though the most desirable is definitely the iconic Toronto red-brick houses and buildings.
Look out for availability in the unique industrial lofts that populate this old working-class area, or find a well-kept bungalow near the shoreline.
Originally a farming community situated right along the eastern side of Toronto’s Don River in the 19th century, Riverdale is now a well-known and well-loved Toronto residential neighbourhood.
Sandwiched between the iconic Bloor-Danforth strip to its north and trendy Leslieville to its south, Riverdale is ideally located for those who want to be close to the east-end action while still retaining some peace and quiet.
This sprawling neighbourhood is actually one of the biggest in the city; however, Riverdale has somehow managed to keep hold of its wholesome community feel. You can expect everyone here to be warm and friendly.
The massive amount of public parkland in Riverdale is definitely one of its strongest selling points if you’re a nature-lover. While there are three huge local parks within the area, Riverdale Park is by far the most recognized —and it’s actually where the neighbourhood got its name. However, you can expect to find lots going on at both Withrow Park and Jimmie Simpson Park in the summer months too.
If you’re looking to do some great shopping, the Danforth strip is always a popular destination. Sitting right along the northern boundary of Riverdale, you can find amazing restaurants, bars, cafes, bakeries, delis, and other specialty food shops—and it’s definitely the place in Toronto for Greek food.
Getting around here is also a breeze. Motorists enjoy quick access to the Don Valley Expressway, Lake Shore Boulevard, and the Gardiner Expressway. Public transportation is also within walking distance, as the Bloor-Danforth subway line has five stations that serve Riverdale.
Riverdale is known for its large, character-driven Edwardian and Victorian-era homes. While many are well over 100 years old, their stunning bone structure has lent itself to renovation and upgrades throughout the years.
Riverdale’s beautiful tree-lined streets and public parks and parkettes dot its residential streets, making them perfect for young families.