|Next door to...
|Neighbouring Neighbourhoods next door to this one!
|Where in Toronto?
|Boundaries of the 'hood
Danforth Ave., between Chester and Jones Ave. TTC: Chester Station
|Belongs to, falls in, or is a part of...
|• Former municipality Old Toronto
|• Municipal Ward
|• School Ward
|• Community Council
|• Federal Riding
|• Provincial Riding
|• Residents' Association
|• Missed something, put it here!
|Best known for
|• Maybe it's got a cool event
|• or even another event
|• or a secret or whatever!
One Sentence Description
We're the neighbourhood with the coolest tagline!
About this neighbourhood
A large collection of restaurants feature authentic Greek cuisine in this lively area, which also boasts a fascinating mix of specialty shops. "The Danforth" (it was originally known as The Danforth Trail after Col. Danforth, hence the "The" at the front of the name) is also a night owl's haven with clubs and cafés open into the wee hours.
The street is filled with animated fruit and vegetable stands, butcher shops, Greek bakeries and pastry shops, and many European-style cafés and restaurants. The scent of traditional Greek food is everywhere, and in the warmer months, when the glass walls of the restaurants are opened up, the shouts of “Opa!” reverberate.
What's Fun ?
How do people relax here? Pick up ball games or theatresports? Tai Chi or Drumming Circles? One block south of the Danforth, between Logan and Carlaw, you'll find Withrow Park. It's a large park with many 100-year old trees. In the park are public tennis courts, two play areas for children (one has a wading pool in the summer), and an "off the leash" area for dogs. Many locals know it as the dog park. In the valley of the park, there is an outdoor rink with boards for ice hockey and public skating in the winter, ball hockey in the summer. There are schedules posted. Running along Carlaw, you'll find two well-maintained soccer fields with bleachers on one side.
This park is also where locals bring their fireworks on Hallowe'en night. You get a big bang for your buck.
How do people who hang out in this 'hood spend their time? Theatre, stages, cinemas, Mall, Skate Park, whatever... Know a place to chill out? List it here.
Greektown has built a reputation as an excellent dining destination. Many of its restaurants feature open kitchens, where you are welcome to watch the preparation of authentic Greek cuisine. In recent years, a number of non-Greek restaurants have opened, capitalizing on the crowds of hungry visitors which descend upon the area. Weekends are particularly vibrant, when the action spills onto the sidewalks, open-air terraces and onto the street itself.
The annual Taste of the Danforth festival is an outstanding opportunity to sample the various delights offered by Greektown restaurants. Thousands of people converge on the area for a lively weekend celebration, as the many restaurants set up street kiosks to offer samples. Music and other activities are also scheduled. The festival takes place in early August.
Many of the Greek restaurants are quite similar to each other. You can only eat so much shish-ka-bob. A couple of exceptions - Avli has wonderful food. So does Metzes. For Greek pastry pies, go to the Athens bakery. Have a spinach pie, followed by a cream pie with cinnamon and icing sugar. 'Italic text
In the 1800's this area was settled by British, Irish and Scottish. They had market garden farms, which lead to the fruit and vegetable stores along the Danforth. As late as 1905, there was a farm at Pape and Danforth with horses (my neighbour who passed away about 20 years ago in his mid-90s remembers feeding them).
Until the Bloor Street viaduct was built across the Don Valley in 1915, this area was only accessible by crossing the bridges at the south end of the city at Queen Street. Most of the houses and buildings were built between 1910 and the 1930s.
In 1907, there were just 20 Greek names in Toronto’s city directory. Over the years, immigrants came from Greece mainly to work in agriculture or in Northern Ontario’s mines, forests, and railways. The population gradually grew in Toronto, particularly after the Second World War. In the 1950s, the Greek community moved into the Danforth area, which was originally a neighbourhood for Anglo-Saxons, and later an Italian enclave.
Walking down Danforth Avenue today, you can sense the rich cultural heritage. Street signs are in English and Greek, blue and white Greek flags line the avenue, and the classical architecture of the National Bank of Greece and other buildings contribute to the decidedly Mediterranean atmosphere.
Fun Facts: Toronto’s Greek population is the second largest outside of Greece; the largest resides in the borough of Queens in New York. For many years, Andreaous Papendreaou taught economics at York University in Toronto. He went on to become the Prime Minister of Greece.Italic text
Who are the people in your neighbourhood?
Neighbourhood personalities, for example...
the nice librarian
the cool busker
the friendly crossing guard
and where to meet them. Italic text
Housing and Accommodations
What's the housing scene like? How much for how much? Housing has gotten expensive in this neighbourhood. It's become very trendy over the last 15 years with all the restaurants, the Big Carrot health food complex, book stores etc. Smaller semi-detached houses are $400,000 and up, and the larger 3-storey ones are $650,000 and more. And with some, you get street parking. Others have lanes and garages.
Much of the housing stock was built in the 1910's and 1920's. Backyards tend to be tiny. Much of the neighbourhood is and was lined with maple trees that were planted when the houses were built. Unfortunately, they're all coming to the end of their lifespans, so the character of the streets is changing.
Architecture Styles. Price Ranges. How new or old are most of the housing here? Condominiums, Townhouses... Major complexes, best apartment buildings, golden cockroach award? If applicable: Hotels / Motels / Hostels / Bed and Breakfasts for out-of-towners, here's the scoop.'Italic text
Transportation overview, transit options, bike lanes, official routes, highways, Bus. Streetcar. Subway. TTC routes which pass through or cover this neighbourhood. TTC stations / Go Transit / Greyhound Stops
Major Streets and Intersections
Major thoroughfares through this neighbourhood, if any. Existing ones or those planned for the future. Major North-South streets. Major East-West streets.
Parks and Recreation
Indoor outdoor pools, wading pools, waterslides, splashpads, arenas, rinks, golf courses, etc Off leash dog walking areas. Nice places to walk and talk.