Italians have been living in this area on College Street since the 1920’s. Of course, it is not just Italians who live and have shops here, but it has been recognized as the residential and commercial centre for the Italian community in Toronto. It was purely Italian until the 1960’s, when many Italians moved north to the Corso Italia district on St Clair. This offered room for families from Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish descent to settle in the area. This is why Little Italy still has the name, but is not purely Italian restaurants and shops.
There is plenty of shopping on College Street. One can find many European-stlye shops and boutiques. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. This area is alive at all times of the day and night! There is also the Portugal Village just south on Dundas, which has many fresh food stores, bakeries and cafes.
For recreational needs, there is a YMCA in the area, which has a gym, swimming pool and meeting rooms. There is also the First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre, which has recently been expanded to include lecture halls, meeting rooms, a games room, a bar and a restaurant. This centre puts on programs for all ages as well. There is also the College/Shaw Public Library, which offers book in many languages.
Ossington/Old Orchard Junior Public School
Clinton Street Junior Public School
Ryerson Community School
St Luke Elementary
St Francis of Assisi
College Street to the north
Bathurst Street to the east
Dundas Street to the south
Ossington Avenue to the west
Photos from Little Italy: