As a community where all walks of life, culture and income levels mix almost effortlessly, Cabbagetown is unsurprisingly one of Toronto’s trendiest neighbourhoods to live in.
A compact community running from Jarvis St. to the Don Valley Parkway and from Gerard to Bloor streets, the area had a humble beginning in the 1840s as a haven for people so poor they were said to grow cabbage on their front lawns, giving the area its nickname. While Cabbagetown still houses some of the city’s poorest residents, sweeping changes since the 1970s have seen rapid gentrification of the community by wealthy professionals, while a recent revitalization project centred on Regent Park has promised to help harmonize life between lower-income residents and the larger community.
A long-time liberal enclave, Cabbagetown has also seen a wide share of famous residents and frequent visitors trundle through, including people like Adrienne Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Michael Ondaatje and former Toronto mayor Barbara Hall.
Cabbagetown is also known for its gorgeous brick Victorian-style homes and is in fact the largest area of preserved Victorian housing in North America, due largely to restoration efforts by individual property owners drawn to the area’s Victorian charm.
“The architecture of the community is so beautiful – I think most of the property owners in the area are very proud of their properties,” said Gerry Gold owner of home and garden store Barracuda at 527 Parliament St. and long-time Cabbagetowner.
The area’s shopping is concentrated down Parliament St. and extends out along Gerard, Carlton and Wellesley streets and green spaces are abundant throughout the area featuring large parks like Allen Gardens and Winchester Square Park and many small parkettes scattered around Cabbagetown.
Home to many artists and increasingly becoming a second home to gay residents who’ve moved east from Church Wellesley Village, Cabbagetown has an undoubtedly creative heart and a welcoming soul.