Cabbagetown is the place to be for people who appreciate history and Victorian houses, as well as film festivals, parades, and flowers. It’s for people who like the vim and vigour of a multicultural neighbourhood, and the ambiance created by a mixture of artists, professionals, and scholars as neighbours. Cabbagetown isn’t for everyone … but it might be for you.
Cabbagetown is one of Toronto’s greatest success stories. Once one of Toronto’s largest slums, the neighbourhood has been revived. It has blossomed like the forsythia in the Forsythia Festival every May, going from a working class neighbourhood to the skid row described in Hugh Garner’s classic novel to a lively area filled with shops, restaurants, beautifully maintained homes, and a working farm.
Not surprisingly, Cabbagetown homes have been a great investment. Thirty years ago houses in Cabbagetown sold for around $200,000. Now, the same homes sell for almost two million dollars – that’s what I call a HOLD! Cabbagetown has the largest collection of Victorian homes in North America, and Varsity Magazine described Cabbagetown as “a quiet, family-oriented community, but it’s also only a quick ride on the Carlton streetcar to the bustling downtown core.” The downtown business and entertainment districts are less than a ten minute drive.
Cabbagetown offers homeowners the opportunity to live in an increasingly safe, friendly residential neighbourhood that is close to pubs, shops, restaurants, and theatres. Parents can take their children to Riverdale Farm, one of Toronto’s best free attractions. Foodies are well taken care of as well, with the Epicure Shop, JAMcafe, Merryberry Cafe + Bistro, St. Jamestown Steak and Chops, Smoke’s Poutinerie, Kingyo Izakaya, and the Underdown Pub all within close proximity. For patrons of the arts, there’s the Winchester Street Theatre, the Flying Beaver Pubaret, the Phoenix Concert Theatre, and as well as several pubs with live music. Annual events include the Cabbagetown Festival in September, the Cabbagetown Short Film and Video Festival, and the Forsythia Festival on the first Sunday of May. The Allan Gardens Conservatory, Aga Khan Museum, and Royal Ontario Museum are nearby.
Long gone are the days when only hard-working Irish immigrants lived in Cabbagetown (and planted cabbages in their yards, thus giving rise to the neighbourhood’s name). Now it is as multicultural as any neighbourhood in Toronto, although it tends to have fewer immigrants (less than a third of the neighbourhood) than most parts of Toronto. Both public and parochial schools provide an excellent education for children in the neighbourhood: Nelson Mandela Park Public School, Lord Dufferin Junior and Senior Public School, Rose Avenue Public School, Winchester Junior and Senior Public School, and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. The University of Toronto is only a few kilometres away.