Little Italy Toronto is a popular district near the downtown core and other districts including Kensington Market (to the east) and Trinity-Bellwoods (to the south). Although the neighborhood is known for its plethora of Italian and Italian-Canadian owned restaurants and businesses, it is also home to representatives of many other cultures. In recent years, the neighborhood has experienced some renovations and gentrification that have led to new influxes of money from young professionals who are moving to the area to take advantage of the relatively cheap prices of the early 1900s, Edwardian homes that line the side streets of the neighborhood. There are tons of Little Italy Toronto restaurants and shops as well as a nice selection of trendy cafes and bars, along with a few night clubs for those seeking good nightlife in this area.
There are a lot of things to do in Little Italy Toronto, from leisurely walking down the street and checking out the various vendors selling everything from wine and cheese, to clothing and jewelry, to simply people watching from the comfort of one of the cool cafes while you sip on a perfectly crafted espresso. Although the exact borders of Little Italy Toronto are somewhat indistinct, the entire are centers around the attractions and activities along College Street. The intersection of College and Grace Streets and the surrounding areas is where you will find some of the finest Little Italy Toronto restaurants. Besides the large Italian-Canadian population in the neighborhood, there is also quite a good number of Latin American and Portuguese residents, adding even more flavor to the international mix that inevitably makes its way into the neighborhood’s restaurants and specialty food stores.
An absolute must in terms of things to do in Little Italy Toronto, is taking plenty of time to explore as many of the specialty food shops as possible. You will find freshly made pasta, a number of uniquely Italian specialties cooked and prepared fresh everyday, a variety of cheese shops, and several of the city’s best bakeries. If you love eating and shopping, then Little Italy Toronto is going to be a place that you definitely enjoy.
Little Italy is considered one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city by many of its residents and many others who visit the city of Toronto as a guest. It is a warm and welcoming environment where you will find, especially in the warmer months, old Italian women sitting on their Edwardian porches, talking among each other and occasionally waving to the passers-by. You are able to enjoy an excellent dinner while also being in a completely unpretentious environment.
In the summer it is a lot of fun to just stroll the streets and take in the vibe of the neighborhood, complete with the music coming from the area bars, the street performers and vendors, and the late-night cafes and clubs. There are a lot of things to do in Little Italy Toronto beside just eating and drinking. The shopping scene is awesome, and the cafes are also not to be missed. It is true, however, that Little Italy Toronto restaurants are some of the best around and certainly the best places to get Italian food in the city of Toronto.
Image: Sam Javanrouh (Flickr)