Revving with youthful energy and revelling in an exciting mix of cultures and demographics, the Annex is where downtown hip meets uptown lifestyle.
The loosely defined area — running from Bloor West to Dupont Street between Bathurst Street and Avenue Road — has a long history as one of Toronto’s most well-known residential neighbourhoods.
Average property value: $641,292 Rent: $1,134.
Homes you’ll see: Large Edwardian and Victorian multi-storey homes built between the late 1800s and early 1900s abound, many of them split into multiple-unit rentals.
Bargain spot: You’ll have to move west and north towards Ossington Avenue to find slightly better deals as there isn’t really a substantially cheaper housing area.
Notable locations: The University of Toronto is a big draw. The Bata Shoe Museum (327 Bloor St. W.) is much cooler than you’d think: where else can you check out Marilyn Monroe’s pumps next to Sir Elton John’s famous platforms?
Hot spots: Old standby Sushi on Bloor (515 Bloor St. W.) still brings in the crowds and for good reason: Great, fresh sushi that’s still cheap as all heck. Movie buffs flock to Queen Video (480 Bloor St. W.), the Annex chapter of the legendary Queen St. W. store that makes Blockbuster look like a flea market. Suspect Video (605 Markham St.) is outstanding as well. For pubs, try The James Joyce Pub (386 Bloor St. W.).
Education: Huron St. Junior PS (541 Huron St.), University of Toronto Schools (UTS, 371 Bloor St. W.), Royal St. George’s College (120 Howland Ave.), Taddle Creek Montessori School (39 Spadina Ave.)
Condos & developments: Schoolhouse by Empire Communities (391 Brunswick Ave.), U Condominiums (Bay & St. Joseph), One Bedford at Bloor (Beford & Bloor), Exhibit Residences (Avenue & Bloor), Museum House (206 Bloor St. W.), Madison Avenue Lofts (Avenue & Davenport)
Getting around: Subway access to the Bloor-Danforth line at Bathurst, Spadina, St. George and Bay stations and the Yonge-Univesity-Spadina line at Dupont Station.
Final word: With a desirable housing market and outstanding dining and shopping options, there are plenty of reasons to want to live here and plenty more to visit even if you don’t. One of Toronto’s truly iconic neighbourhoods, the Annex doesn’t ever disappoint.