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Toronto/East End

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East Toronto is an area of Toronto.

Districts[edit]

  • Leslieville - A popular "up and coming" neighbourhood east of the Don Valley Parkway, which divides the city. Known for artsy shops, antiques, and the city's best-value restaurants, strolling along its streets in summer is a popular pastime.
  • Greektown - Located on Danforth Avenue from Broadview to Jones, "The Danforth" is a delightful place to spend a summer afternoon shopping, especially if you like Greek food. Very popular with locals. Don't miss Taste of the Danforth Taste of the Danforth, when a section of Danforth Avenue is closed for a weekend to celebrate the area's diverse food (Greek, Caribbean, African, Latin American) and culture.
  • Cabbagetown - Located along Parliament Street, north of Dundas Street, this is a neighbourhood of historic Victorian houses, once home to poor Irish immigrants (who reportedly grew cabbage on their frontyards, giving the area its moniker), now home to residents who have restored them while maintaining the neighbourhood's original character. Just to the east you will find Riverdale Farm, with access to Toronto's fantastic parks system, winding for miles throughout the Don Valley.
  • The Beach - Along Queen Street East, east of Woodbine you'll find a trendy neighbourhood of young professionals, cafés, beaches, a boardwalk, and a fantastic summer jazz festival.
  • Church/Wellesley - Toronto's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual (LGBT) district. Toronto rivals San Francisco as the LGBT capital of North America, with the Pride festival, usually the last week in June with the parade on Sunday, draws tourists from all over the world as the streets fill with proud LGBT people (and others enjoying the party).
  • Little India - Shops, restaurants and festivals with a South Asian flair stretch for approximately six blocks along Gerrard St East, west of Coxwell Avenue.

Understand[edit]

East Downtown: Roughly bordered by Jarvis St. in the West, the Don Valley in the East, Bloor St. to the North and Lake Ontario to the south. One of the city's oldest neighbourhoods, the East downtown is a tremendously varied area that contains some of the poorest and wealthiest enclaves in the city.

In the south, the Portlands contain Toronto's industrial core, and are also home to the Distillery District, a refurbished 19th century distillery that used to be a prominent location for film shoots and is now home to a number of restaurants, art galleries, coffee shops, and bars.

To the north, a largely residential area contains some of Toronto's oldest Victorian townhouses and rowhouses, as well as a variety of shops and businesses along King St., Richmond St., Adelaide St., and Queen St, including a multitude of antique shops and high-end furniture shops. North of Queen St., some of Toronto's oldest housing projects can be found, including Moss Park and Regent Park, which is currently in the process of being demolished and rebuilt into mixed-use / mixed-income housing. In the streets surrounding these housing projects, one can find million-dollar Victorians on the same block as group homes, rooming houses, and homeless shelters.

Many of the city's outreach programs and institutions are located in the east downtown, which attracts a large transient population to the area. The area can often present striking contrasts, with charming, tree-lined residential streets opening up to poverty-stricken avenues where conspicuous homelessness and drug use is prevalent.

Along Jarvis St., and Sherbourne, some of Toronto's old Victorian mansions can still be found, if not visited.

At Sherbourne and Wellesley is the massive low-income housing complex, St. Jamestown, home to an extremely varied population of recent immigrants from all over the world.

Adjacent to St. Jamestown is the neighbourhood of Cabbagetown, with its restored hundred-year-old Victorians and quiet, tree-lined streets. Cabbagetown's main commercial thoroughfare is Parliament, which becomes quite vibrant north of Carlton, with a variety of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and retail stores. East End: Made up of Riverdale, Leslieville, East York & the Beaches. The East end is a varied, vibrant part of town. Largely residential, the East end is defined by its major thoroughfares (Queen St. E, Dundas St., E, Gerrard St. E, the Danforth), where the majority of the attractions are located, and the residential streets where most of the neighbourhood's residents live. These residential streets are quiet and shaded by old oaks and maples, and contain old homes and townhouses of an astonishing variety of architectural styles.

Embedded within these residential streets are a number of large parks, including Riverdale Park, with its breathtaking view of the skyline, Withrow Park, Greenwood Park, Jimmie Simpson Park, Kew Gardens, Beaches Park, and countless smaller neighbourhood parks.

Two of the highlights of the East End are the Danforth, which is the heart of Greektown, the largest Greek neighbourhood in North America, and Queen East with its diverse offerings.

Greektown stretches from Broadview Ave. to Donlands Ave., and is full of Greek restaurants and businesses, as well as bars, cafes, and retail shops. Because the subway runs along Danforth, there is a substantial population in the area as well as a steady stream of non-residents who visit the neighbourhood's shops and restaurants, making it a busy, bustling, vibrant place, especially on weekends and during the summer, when the Tastes of the Danforth festival brings over one million participants to the neighbourhood over two days in August.

The other major highlight of the East End is Queen East, which stretches for many blocks from Broadview all the way to Neville Park. Along the western portion of Queen East, an enormous revitalization effort has been under way, transforming an area that was once known for little more than its booze-cans, cheap diners, and tacky furniture shops into one of the hippest up-and-coming areas in the city. A plethora of new restaurants, eateries, bars, bakeries and shops have made this a real gastronomic destination, and since it has been the centre of Toronto's film industry for years, the Queen East has finally reached a tipping point, drawing in hip, young, upwardly mobile people from all over the GTA, transforming the area from a low-rent backwater into a trendsetter reminiscent of Queen West in the early 90's.

If you venture further east on Queen, past Woodbine, the long-established Beaches neighbourhood attracts thousands of visitors during the summer, who dine and drink in its restaurants and bars, walk the boardwalk by the lake, sunbathe on the sand beach, bring the kids to the park at Kew Gardens, or walk around the residential streets with their unique homes and laid-back atmosphere.

Of course, these are not the only attractions the East End has to offer: there's also Chinatown East along Gerrard @ Broadview, a smaller, quieter version of Spadina's Chinatown with many fresh food markets and restaurants; the Little India neighbourhood on Gerrard between Greenwood and Woodbine is especially lively in the summertime when South Asians from all over the GTA descend on the neighbourhood to catch a Bollywood flick at one of the only Bollywood movie theatres in the city, enjoy barbecued corn on the street, chew paan purchased from one of the specialized vendors, browse the many shops, jewelry stores, and sari boutiques, or eat in one of a number of South Asian restaurants.

Get in[edit]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Open Improv Jams every Sunday night at Artists' Play Studio Theatre, 290 Carlaw Ave. Unit 101 [1]. Enjoy a night of improv at the Artists' Play Studio Theatre.
  • It's a long way from the city centre, but the Metro Toronto Zoo [2] is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day. On the outskirts of the beautiful Rouge Valley, the zoo is a must-see. With over 10 km of trails and over 5000 animals, it is of the world's largest zoos.
  • Experience the Zion schoolhouse. Children can dress up in period clothes and experience a day in the life of a schoolchild in 1919 – right down to the stern headmistress.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Venture into the East at the Gerrard India Bazaar at Coxwell and Gerrard. Great for picking up bargains like an armful of bangles, and to shop for takehome souvenirs.

It's a foodies delight in East Toronto, with a wide variety of speciality shops to satisfy your inner gourmand. The Olive Pit, (805 Queen St) and Taste the North Sense (375 Danforth Ave) are just a few of the gourmet shops that offer a internation selection of cured meats, olives, cheeses as well as delicious freshly baked breads.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Dozens of souvlaki and other Greek restaurants on The Danforth. Great coffee, soups & salads.
  • Chinatown East: Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants on Gerrard Street just east of Broadview. One favourite: the Pearl Court, more of a midrange price, but well worth it, especially for the many vegetarian dishes, oyster and scallop appetizers. Pho 88 serves excellent Vietnamese soup and meals in a no-frills environment.
  • Indian buffet-style on Gerrard Street near Hiawatha.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Quigleys Pub and Bistro, 2232 Queen St. E., 416) 699-9998. Enjoy a cold drink on the candle litoutdoor patio, only a short 1 block from the boardwalk. Quigleys also has a bistro that serves standard fare.  edit
  • Apothecary, 842 Markham Road, 416) 438-7000. Casual lounge bar that has a chilled vibe. Good selection of drinks served by friendly bartenders.  edit
  • Island View Nightclub, 3601 Lawrence Av E., 647) 438 4775. This trendy bar is the perfect stop to start or end a night of dancing. Drinks are cheap, service is efficient and the dancefloor is big enough to sustain large crowds.  edit
  • Murphys Law Irish Pub, 1702 Queen St. E. Toronto, ON M4L 1G6. Come in for a pint of Guiness and stay for hours at this genuine Irish establishment. Great for functions and get togethers.  edit
  • Dora Keogh's, 141 Danforth Ave, (416) 778-1804. Open 5-2 daily.. A genuine Irish pub that has the finest pour of Guiness in Toronto.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

  • The Hazleton, 118 Yorkville Ave Toronto, Canada, (1) 416-963-6300. Exclusive 5 star hotel. The rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished, with luxurious bathrooms with large baths.  edit

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