Little Italy Toronto
Dine at a traditional Italian trattoria, shop at independent stores and enjoy an evening of barhopping in Little Italy Toronto. This historic Victorian neighborhood started to become Italian in the 1920s when Toronto’s Italian immigrants purchased the affordable older houses. While many worked on the railroads and in factories, others set up business to serve Italian-style fare and services to the community. Today, you’ll also find cultural influences from Asia, Portugal and Latin America in the streetscape.
Start at the Italian Walk of Fame in front of the Royal Cinema. It is the first one of its kind in North America and commemorates the achievements of individuals of Italian origin. Find stars honoring actor-singer Dean Martin, actress Beverly D’Angelo and hockey player Roberto Luongo. Continue to Grace Street to discover a statue of Johnny Lombardi, the founder of Canada’s first Italian radio station.
Do as the locals do and take your time to enjoy the district’s restaurant scene. As you stroll along College Street you’ll be greeted by an abundance of smells and flavors. Italian cuisine, such as freshly made pasta and calzone pizza, still dominates the scene, but it’s also possible to pick up a Mexican burrito or a Portuguese churrasco. After a meal, stroll to a Sicilian ice cream parlor to try traditional pistachio or tiramisu flavors.
Enjoy browsing shops selling Italian leather shoes and imported handbags as well as specialty record- and bookstores or take a seat on one of many outdoor patios to enjoy people-watching while sipping on a coffee.
Don’t miss out on the neighborhood’s nightlife. Find pool halls, pubs and live music venues. Canadian celebrity rock performers and jazz and blues bands make this the place to see and be seen.
Come to the neighborhood during the Taste of Italy festival when food and artisanal stalls line College Street and local musicians provide entertainment. Find the program on the festival’s official website.
Located west of downtown Toronto, Little Italy Toronto is best reached by public transport. Streetcars stop at various points along College Street. Parking spaces can be hard to find and costly.