Ah…Italy - The name conjures thoughts of sultry summer days spent lunching at authentic pizzerias, indulging in freshly-brewed cappuccino and listening to the near constant cacophony of little old Italian men arguing with one another while waving a cannoli in the air. In the case of Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood, it’s all that and so much more.
Old World Appeal Meets New World Ideal
College Street running west from Bathurst Street to Ossington Avenue is a perfect example of opposites attract. Back in the 1950s, the area was settled by Italian immigrants intent on bringing some of their home country with them to their new city, and that same intimate, European feeling lingers more than 50 years later. By day the streets thrive with activity, from local grannies doing their shopping at the neighbourhood’s various bakeries and markets, to families out for a stroll and lunch on one of the many patios. Once the sun goes down however, the Little Italy neighbourhood vibe turns festive as a younger, hipper crowd descends on the area martini bars or perhaps to line-up for a movie at the local art house cinema.
Frozen Pleasures and Patio Treasures
It’s no secret that Italians like to eat, so it’s not a surprise that much of Little Italy’s real estate is devoted to top notch eateries that offer not only the expected fare, but a whole array of cuisine that will appeal to even the most discerning of foodies. And the best part (besides the world-class gelato)? Almost every single restaurant upholds the fine Italian tradition of making each meal a celebration: patios encourage a community feeling to the dining experience and since they’re all within walking distance of Little Italy homes, having that extra glass of rich, Italian wine won’t be a problem.
Neighbourhood Pride and Non-Stop Fun on the West Side
Little Italy real estate is typical of the Edwardian period in which many were built: semi-detached with cozy lots that often boast elaborate gardens and welcoming facades that live up to the neighbourhood’s reputation of being one of the friendliest in Toronto. Little Italy homes are ideal for spending lazy evenings on the porch chatting with neighbours and watching the parade of people partaking in area events. Whether its World Cup soccer fans waving their colours or families checking out one of the two street festivals that take place during the summer, they’re always welcomed with open arms because in Little Italy, everyone’s family.