The large central neighbourhood of Palmerston–Little Italy, located between Bathurst Street to the east, Bloor Street to the north, Dovercourt Road to the west and College Street to the south, is a primarily mature downtown neighbourhood consisting of narrow tree-lined streets full of Victorian semi-detached, detached and row houses with parking off a rear laneway.
Most of the neighbourhood was built in the early 20th century and became home to large numbers of Italian immigrants who arrived in the 1920s, many of whom found work on the railways and in road construction. In the 1990s, gentrification of the neighbourhood began when many young professionals moved in, drawn by inexpensive homes and a strong community.
There are several vibrant commercial strips including Ossington Avenue, Dundas Street and “Mirvish Village” but the heart and soul of the area belongs to Little Italy’s famed College Street. Once Toronto’s pizza and pasta headquarters, it’s now considered a twenty-something’s version of the Club District. Teeming with restaurants, gelato parlours and cafes, fresh fruit and vegetable markets and mouth-watering bakeries, the area’s enduring popularity has attracted all demographic groups from affluent homebuyers, working class families, college students and club kids. In addition to the modern infill homes that are popping up, a few new condo projects are making the College streetscape sizzle.
With a vibrant night life, two bursting summer street festivals, a killer music store, a second-run cinema, Toronto’s best sandwich, this is one of the hottest places to live in the city. Landmarks include Honest Ed’s, Italian Walk of Fame, Royal Cinema, Cafe Diplomatico, Bitondos Pizza, Bar Italia, Riviera Bakery, and Sicilian Ice Cream.