Little Italy is sometimes referred to as “College Street West.” The boundary lines for Little Italy are College Street to the north, Bathurst Street to the east, Dundas Street West to the south and Ossington Avenue to the west.
During the 1920’s, College Street’s Little Italy, became recognized as the home and business centre of the Italian population in Toronto.
In the early twentieth century, Italians came to Toronto in vast numbers and first settled in an area of Toronto that was known as “The Ward.” The “Ward” was centred in the University Avenue and College Street area. By the 1920’s most Italians had moved west of Bathurst Street and the College Clinton area officially became Toronto’s Little Italy. They found employment with the railway companies and in road construction. Italians also started many businesses on College Street, some still thriving today.
However, by the 1960's many of Little Italy's Italian inhabitants began to move north to the Corso Italia District on St. Clair Avenue West. Today Little Italy is no longer a singular Italian population, as the neighbourhood name suggests. There is still a strong Italian community here, but a large Portuguese populace now resides in this district. The First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre is on College Street and the Portugal Village shopping district is located on Dundas Street West. Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish immigrants have also chosen to call this area of Toronto home. Little Italy’s residents are welcoming new immigrants and neighbours from around the world to their culturally and ethnic diverse community. Many young professionals have chosen to invest in this area as the central downtown location makes it is a short distance to downtown Toronto.
Little Italy has mature tree-lined streets, providing a canopy of shade to its choice of Victorian and Edwardian houses. Most of the homes are made of brick and there is the choice of semi-detached, detached and multiple storey homes to choose from. There are very few bungalows in this area. The majority of the houses are two and three storeys.
Transportation is readily available with bus routes going along Ossington Avenue, and streetcars running on College Street, Dundas Street and Bathurst Street. You are never far from public transportation is this accessible part of Toronto.
The College/Shaw public library serves its patrons commendably and has many offerings of literature and non-fiction in multiple languages to better serve the modern diversity of Little Italy's community.
For more information about Real Estate in Little Italy click here