Difference between revisions of "Toronto/East End"
Revision as of 14:42, 28 January 2012
East Toronto is an area of Toronto.
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.
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.