The Annex - A Historic, Lively Neighbourhood

Home to more than 16,000 residents, the Annex is a historic district in Old Toronto’s, Ontario. The boundaries of the neighbourhood are north to Dupont Street, south to Bloor Street, west to Bathurst Street and east to Avenue Road. This well-established part of the city is directly accessible by multiple subway lines and streetcar routes of the TTC. Elegant mansions and beautiful trees line the quiet streets of this urban neighbourhood. Additionally, some of the city's top museums are situated near the area's southern flank. Click to book your Toronto City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour.

Background and History

The Annex in Toronto
The Annex Is a Historic District in Toronto
The Annex was officially incorporated into Toronto in the late 1880s. Simeon James, a local real estate investor, developed some of the district's earliest properties and other infrastructure. The neighbourhood quickly established a reputation as a hub for the upper-class members of Canada's commercial and cultural center. After World War II, the landscape of the area changed slightly because of suburban-style development. Nevertheless, this part of Toronto still retains a strong historic character that's appreciated by residents and visitors..

Attractions and Sightseeing

Some of Toronto's most popular museums and cultural attractions stand right on the border with the Annex. Established by the founders of a local shoe company, the Bata Shoe Museum has a growing collection of more than 13,000 artifacts relating to footwear. Some of the entity's most prized items include design sketches and prototypes dating back to the 14th century in Medieval Europe. This niche museum also has an extensive collection of modern designer shoes for ladies from various eras. The Royal Ontario Museum is situated near the southeastern corner of the neighbourhood. Having a rich heritage dating back to the early 1900s, this venue has an extensive collection of items relating to anthropology and natural history. You'll see plenty of fascinating artifacts from ancient civilizations worldwide. Prehistoric fossils and other rare specimens are also on display at the museum's permanent galleries. Children and adults alike will love the interactive exhibits that have educational components about dinosaurs.
The Annex in Toronto
Royal Ontario Museum in The Annex, Toronto
As you stroll the charming streets of the Annex, you can admire historic properties that have elegant architectural styles. Victorian, Queen Anne and Georgian residences line the well-maintained avenues of this manicured district. Most of the homes in these styles date back to the late 19th century. Some of the private buildings that you'll see could be attributed to the famous architect E.J. Lennox. Since the middle of the 1800s, the University of Toronto has impacted the development and occupancy of some of the neighbourhood's most elegant dwellings. Many of the university's fraternities and other organizations have been based in the community. With its close proximity to some of Toronto's top cultural and commercial venues, the district has attracted plenty of notable residents. For example, members of the wealthy Eaton family lived in the area for generations. Today, some of Canada's largest shopping centers are named after this family. Click to book your Toronto City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour.

Visiting the The Annex

The Annex in Toronto
This street art by Mike Moism and near The Annex Hotel,is a tribute to Honest Ed's
Considered one of the major northbound-southbound streets in Downtown Toronto, Spadina Avenue cuts through the heart of the Annex. You could take the Yonge-University (Line 1) or Bloor-Danforth (Line 2) subway to the underground Spadina station, which has multiple entrances and exits. The 310 and 510 streetcars serve the section of the station that's located near the corner of Spadina Avenue and Bloor Street. St. George Station and Bathhurst Station are also located in the southern part of the neighbourhood. Served by Line 2, Dupont Station marks the northern boundary of the district. Having a mostly residential layout, this historic community offers limited public park for visitors. You'll most likely need to find parallel parking spots on the narrow streets in this section of Toronto.
By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2018-11-19
Updated On: 2019-11-19

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