Palmerston – Little Italy
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There is plenty of shopping on College Street. One can find many European-style shops and boutiques. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. This area is alive at all times of the day and night!
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.
Mirvish Village is a commercial enclave in the north west corner of Palmerston. It is made up of Victorian homes, which have been turned into art studios, galleries, and cafes because the city of Toronto refused to issue a building permit for a desired parking lot. Instead, Ed Mirvish, the owner of Honest Ed’s and the person the area got its name after, bought the entire east side of the city block and built Honest Eds.
Palmerston is just north of Little Italy, with more residential areas. Many refer to the area as Palmerston-Little Italy. Italians have been living in Little Italy 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.