Distillery District

The St. Lawrence backdrop is a curious mix of sleek, highrise condominiums and old, commanding industrial buildings that aptly illustrate the area's extensive history in our city. In 1832, much of this small area-which extends from Parliament Street east to Cherry Street, and from the foot of the Gardiner north to Front Street East-was the site of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery. This prosperous distillery became the industrial centre of Toronto, and in its heyday provided over 2 million gallons of whisky for export.

But by the late 20th century, the de-industrialization of the area left the area neglected. Most trade buildings were torn down, leaving empty lots. The area was designated a National Historic Site in 1976, and its protection under the Ontario Heritage Act has helped preserve the Victorian-era buildings standing today. In 2001, the Distillery District was revitalized by Cityscape Holdings Inc., who transformed the area into a cobblestoned pedestrian hot spot, eschewing franchise bids in favour of cultivating local talent. As a result, most of the commercial space in the Distillery is comprised of boutique stores and publicly-funded companies. The region's unique style continues to attract new residents to the area.

Designated a "top pick" in Canada by National Geographic, the Distillery District continues to draw interest with its eclectic mix of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops, and the acclaimed Soulpepper Theatre Company, who often perform at the site's Young Centre for the Performing Arts.

Local Schools
Inglenook Community School, 19 Sackville Street, 416.393.0560
Market Lane Junior and Senior P.S., 246 The Esplanade, 416.393.1300
St. Michael Catholic School, 50 George Street South, 416.393.5387


What's in name? Most residents of Corktown might be able to tell you that their east Toronto neighbourhood was named after the early Irish settlers of the area, who found their way into this Toronto nook in the early 1800s. Most of these immigrants from the County of Cork found themselves employed in the local brewery or brickyard.

Corktown, which runs from Berkeley Street east to the Don River, and Shuter Street south to Lakeshore Boulevard, saw a significant reconstruction in the early 1960s that left many buildings demolished to make way for the Richmond Street off-ramp. Despite the blow to the community, many late 19th century British-style row houses indicative of the neighbourhood's by-gone era have been preserved. The Corktown landscape is a curious mix of industrial underpasses, quaint residential streets, and beautiful long-standing churches and schools. The "Little Trinity Church," built in 1843 by the Irish settlers of the area, still stands at 417 King Street East. The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, built in 1848, was Toronto's first "free school" and can be found on Trinity Street. The school house has been preserved and calls to mind the Gothic revival style was widely revered in that era.

Close to the Distillery District, King Street East, and Front Street East, habitants of Corktown can enjoy the neighbouring amenities like shops, parks, schools, restaurants, and performances by the Canadian Opera Company.

Local Schools
George Brown College, 200 King Street East, 416.415.2000
Inglenook Community School, 19 Sackville Street, 416.393.0560
Market Lane Junior and Senior P.S., 246 The Esplanade, 416.393.1300
St. Michael Catholic School, 50 George Street South, 416.393.5387


Named after one of the city's most well-known parks, this east Toronto neighbourhood-flanked by the Don Valley to its west, Queen Street East to its south, and Danforth Avenue to its north-was formerly its own town prior to being annexed in 1884. Much of the architecture still remains, most notably in the area's prominent Victorian and Edwardian residences, some dating back as far as the Great Depression. With little development in the area, most of these grand homes have remained intact.

Riverdale is a testament to the resilience of strong neighbourhood ties. Once considered a down-and-out area in the 1970's, it is now a thriving residential neighbourhood with flair. Quiet, tree-lined avenues offer the comforts of suburban living, while intersecting main streets bring the excitement of city living.

Residents of this artsy, diverse area are hard-pressed to run out of things to do. East Chinatown on Gerrard Street and Greektown on the Danforth proffer culinary delights, while the booming Queen East pocket houses some of the city's most talked about restaurants and lounges. The expansive Riverdale Park and Riverdale Farm (just a hop across the Don Valley) are year-round community staples, only matched in splendor by the area's other two parks, Withrow Park and Jimmie Simpson Park.

Local Schools
Dundas Junior P.S., 935 Dundas Street East, 416.393.9565
EAST (East Alternative School of Toronto), 21 Boultbee Avenue, 416.393.8442
Eastdale Collegiate Institute, 701 Gerrard Street East, 416.393.9630
Holy Name Catholic Elementary School, 690 Carlaw Avenue, 416.393.5215
Montcrest School, 4 Montcrest Boulevard, 416.469.2008
Morse Street Junior P.S., 180 Carlaw Avenue, 416.393.9494
Pape Avenue Junior P.S., 404 Pape Avenue, 416.393.9470
Queen Alexandra Senior P.S., 181 Broadview Avenue, 416.393.9535
SEED Alternative School, 885 Dundas Street East, 416.393.0564
Withrow Avenue P.S., 25 Bain Avenue, 416.393.9440

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Danforth Village

A lively area in the east portion of Toronto, Danforth Village stretches along the north portion of Danforth Avenue between Chester Avenue and Greenwood Avenue. The neighbourhood's high density of Greek restaurants and shops has earned the moniker of "Greektown" among locals.

As land that was once held by the Church of England, the area was annexed to the City of Toronto in 1908 and began to grow with the completion of the Prince Edward Viaduct in 1918 and the Bloor-Danforth subway completion in 1966. Danforth gained its name from Asa Danforth, an American contractor responsible for the construction of Queen Street and Kingston Road-but curiously, had nothing to do with this particular project. The area has a mix of different architectural styles, almost as distinct as the area itself. Proximity to local amenities like parks, schools and transit make this a desirable neighbourhood for young couples as well as expanding families and retirees.

The Taste of the Danforth, the area's annual street festival, began in 1994 and has since attracted more than a million people to the Danforth. Over the span of two days, visitors can enjoy food samples, a midway with games, children's rides, and interactive sports, and live music performances.

Local Schools
Danforth Collegiate Institute, 800 Greenwood Avenue, 416.393.0620
Earl Grey Senior P.S., 100 Strathcona Avenue, 416.393.9545
Eastern HS of Commerce, 16 Phin Avenue, 416.393.0230
Frankland Junior Community School, 816 Logan Avenue, 416.393.9720
Holy Name Catholic School, 690 Carlaw Avenue, 416.393.5215
Jackman Avenue Junior P.S., 79 Jackman Avenue, 416.393.9710
St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School, 49 Felstead Avenue, 416.393.5546
Wilkinson Junior P.S., 53 Donlands Avenue, 416.393.9575


Cozy semis and row houses, charming local shops, and tree-lined streets are just a few of the things that make the east-end neighbourhood of Leslieville such a draw for new families and young couples. Originally established by local blue-collar workers in the area, the area has enjoyed a housing boom with the arrival of new restaurants, stores, and coffee shops. No longer considered a nesting ground for factory workers, Leslieville is quickly becoming one of the most up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Stretching from Carlaw Avenue east to Coxwell Avenue, and from the CNR tracks south to Eastern Avenue, Leslieville residents enjoy the best of both worlds; there are hidden local gems to keep the quaint village atmosphere alive and well, but there are also funky and trendy shops that add a cosmopolitan flair to the community.

Leslieville is known as the stomping ground for undiscovered artists and features a scattering of small art galleries and specialty shops. Its proximity to Ashbridges Bay and the Danforth draws hundreds of tourists into the area every summer.

Local Schools
Bowmore P.S., 80 Bowmore Road, 416.393.9450
Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute, 16 Phin Avenue, 416.393.0230
Holy Name, 690 Carlaw Avenue, 416.393.5215
Riverdale C.I., 1094 Gerrard Street East, 416.393.9820
St. Joseph, 176 Leslie Street, 416.393.5209
St. Patrick Secondary, 49 Felstead Avenue, 416.393.5546

The Beach

It's not hard to imagine that The Beach, one of the few lakefront areas in Toronto, was once the site of several amusement parks in the early 1900s. This southeastern part of the city attracts hundreds of locals and tourists every summer, and has rapidly become one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Spanning from Coxwell Avenue east to Victoria Park and from Lakeshore Boulevard north to Kingston Road, the Beach is comprised of four separate but continual stretches of beach and boardwalk area: Balmy Beach, Scarboro Beach, Kew Beach and Woodbine Beach. Residential streets in this area are mostly comprised of sweeping Victorian and Edwardian houses, as well as newly constructed homes. An abundance of parks, schools, and shops along Queen Street East can also be found in this picturesque neighbourhood. Kew Gardens, which runs from Queen Street to Lake Ontario, is host to the popular International Jazz Festival. The nearby R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant is one of the city's most admired architectural gems, fashioned in an art deco style with cathedral accents.

The area also has several other claims to fame. The Fox Theatre is one of North America's oldest operating movie theatres, while celebrated pianist Glenn Gould's family home still stands at 32 Southwood Drive. George Davis, an editor with Maclean's Publishing, also grew up in the Beach, and his Tudor-style home can be found on Kingswood Road.

Local Schools
Adam Beck Junior Public School, 400 Scarborough Road, 416.323.2430
Avalon Children's Montessori School, 140 Wineva Avenue, 416.686.6621
Boardwallk Montessori School, 1975 Queen Street East, 416.691.6740
Glen Ames Senior Public School, 18 Williamson Road, 416.393.1800
Kew Beach Junior Public School, 101 Kippendavie Avenue, 416.393.1810
Neil McNeil Catholic Secondary School, 127 Victoria Park Avenue, 416.393.5502
Norway Junior Public School, 55 Corley Avenue, 416.393.1700
Notre Dame High School, 12 Malvern Avenue, 416.393.5501
Williamson Road Junior Public School, 24 Williamson Road, 416.393.1740

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