About the Neighborhood
The South Annex is a vibrant and colourful downtown Toronto neighbourhood. Much of the South Annex's vitality comes from being located right next door to the University of Toronto.
- Naturally, many University students, faculty, and alumni rent or own houses in the South Annex. The University population mixes well with the young urban professionals who have been buying and fixing up South Annex houses, giving these old houses new life, and in the process revitalizing this historic Toronto neighbourhood.
The area is also sometimes referred to as the South Annex after the better known “Annex” community to the north. The city of Toronto for administrative purposes places Harbord Village and most of the St. George campus into a region it calls “University.”
- The South Annex neighbourhood was subdivided in the early 18's, on land formerly owned by the Jarvis, Crookshank and Denison families; all of whom played a prominent role in the history of Toronto.
- Advertisements promoting Villa and Town lots for sale in the South Annex highlighted “the close proximity to the locality of the new Parliament Buildings". The South Annex was also popularly described as being "situated in the most healthy and pleasant part of the City upon a considerable elevation above the Lake".
- The establishment of the University of Toronto just east of here, in the late 18's, provided the impetus for the building of homes in the South Annex, which took place largely between the 1870's and early 1900's.
- The area was built up in the late nineteenth century as a middle class community, not as prosperous as the mansions of the Annex to the north, but also not a poor and immigrant-heavy neighbourhood like Kensington Market just to the south.
- In the 20th century it became an immigrant reception area, linked to Little Italy just to the west. By the 1960s it was heavily populated by students and other young people linked to the university. Parts of the area were designated under the city’s slum clearance program.
- In 1968 this began as the block along Robert Street, south of Bloor, was demolished to make way for high-rise towers, similar to those of St. James Town. The local residents organized to block this move, founding the Sussex-Ulster Residents' Association. They were successful, smaller towers were built on part of the land and the rest was given to the University of Toronto which uses it as a sports field.
- Lippincott Street runs north-south through Harbord Village, and is an example of the architectural style which used to typify the area. It was originally part of lot 17 purchased in 1815 by George Taylor Denison for the building of his new home “Belle Vue.” The residential street runs through present day Kensington Market, College Street and Bloor Street. It includes a selection of Toronto architecture, including Victorian worker's cottages, Toronto bay-and-gable and more modern bungalows.
- The signature street in the South Annex is Palmerston Boulevard. Stone and iron gateposts, one on College Street and one on Bloor Street, set the tone for this distinctive boulevard which also features decorative cast iron street lamps, ancient trees and grandiose homes.
- Overall, the houses in the South Annex come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each house is whimsically decorated with Victorian accents that all blend together to form one of the most pleasing streetscapes of any Toronto neighbourhood. Most South Annex homes are built circa 1870s to 1910.
- Clinton St. Jr., 460 Manning Ave., (416) 393-9155 (Public School)
- Montrose Jr., 301 Montrose Ave., (416) 393-9770 (Public School)
- Delta Sr., 301 Montrose Ave., (416) 393-9730 (Public School)
- Collegiate Institute, 286 Harbord Street, (416) 393-16 (Public High School)
- Central Technical School, 725 Bathurst St, (416) 393-0060 (Public High School)
- University of Toronto Schools, 371 Bloor St. West, (416) 978-3212
- University of Toronto, St. George Campus, (416) 978-2011
- Loretto College Secondary School, 391 Brunswick Ave., (416) 393-5511 or South Campus, 783 Bathurst St., (416) 393-5543 (Catholic School)
- St. David, 486 Shaw St., (416) 393-5238 (Catholic School)
- St. Lucy, 80 Clinton St., (416) 393-5304 (Catholic School)
- Ontario College of Art and Design, 100 McCaul St., (416) 977-6000
- Fitness enthusiasts can get a good workout at the University of Toronto Athletic Centre. This facility has an Olympic-size pool, squash, tennis and badminton courts, weight machines, aerobics, a gymnasium and a 200 meter indoor track.
- The Jewish Community Centre at Spadina and Bloor has an indoor pool, a track, squash and racquetball courts, aerobics and a weight room.
- Queen's Park is the site of Ontario's Legislative Buildings. It's the focal point of many civic events and parades. Queen's Park is also a quiet place, an oasis in the City, where one can sit on a park bench, under a tall shade tree, and paint the landscape.
Living, Shopping and Grooving in South Annex
- Bloor Street, west of Spadina is a mini university village lined with pubs, music shops, bookstores, and restaurants. Cyclists and in-line skaters compete with cars and pedestrians in this high energy shopping district.
- The Mirvish Village shopping district on Markham Street, south of Bloor Street is a dignified city block, filled with craft stores, bookstores, antique shops, galleries, and specialty boutiques.
- Harbord Street provides South Annex residents with one of the more sophisticated and intimate shopping districts in the city. In addition to many fine restaurants, Harbord Street also includes a number of excellent craft stores, bookstores, and galleries.
Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) District: C01
Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Communities: University (0890)