Toronto/Yorkville and the Annex

Yorkville and The Annex are two neighborhoods along Bloor St where downtown Toronto meets midtown. Helped by the University of Toronto and the stately homes in the area, the district has a different feel than the downtown neighborhoods to the south with their modern condos and busier lifestyles. So take a walk along Bloor St, browse through the designer boutiques in Yorkville or take an afternoon (or a day) to roam the halls and exhibits of the Royal Ontario Museum.

Understand

The Royal Ontario Museum

The Annex

The Annex is one of Toronto's oldest neighborhoods and its first streetcar suburb, characterized by its distinctive tall narrow houses, and lively community along Bloor Street. Considered a food and shopping mecca, this district is well known by Torontonians as one of the friendliest neighborhoods in the city. Due to the proximity of the neighborhood to the University of Toronto and Central Technical School with its famous art school The Art Centre - there is a large population of students and faculty, the commercial strip along Bloor Street has quite the feel of a college neighborhood (albeit an affluent one). Most of the commercial activity in the neighborhood takes place along Bloor St, which is filled with small restaurants, pubs and bookshops. The side streets are mostly residential, with long, narrow townhouses to the south of Bloor and large, stately mansions to the north. The borders of the neighborhood are, to some extent, debatable, however, less so than many other neighborhoods in the city. The eastern and western boundaries are generally agreed to be Avenue Road and Bathurst Street respectively and the southern boundary is generally agreed to be Harbord Street. The northern boundary is generally considered to be Dupont Street.

Yorkville

During the sixties, Bloor-Yorkville served as the centre of Toronto's hippie culture. After large scale development in the eighties and nineties, it has become Toronto's upscale shopping district, containing boutiques dedicated to haute couture. It has also become a focal point during the Toronto International Film Festival, making the area "ground-zero" for celebrity watching.

Along the narrow Cumberland Street and Yorkville Avenue, between Bay Street and Avenue Road, you will find smaller but expensive independent clothing stores. Near the corner of Yorkville Avenue and Hazelton Avenue, you will also find a number of private art galleries with more on Dupont Street near the northern end of Hazelton Avenue.

The Mink Mile

Bloor Street from Yonge Street to Avenue Road is known as the Mink Mile for its pricey, high-end stores such as Tiffany and Holt Renfrew.

Discovery District

Much of the district is synonymous with being Toronto's Discovery District, so named as it contains many of Toronto's most important centres of education, such as the University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Royal Ontario Museum. Canada's foremost centres of medical research are also located in this neighborhood, with several of Canada's most prestigious hospitals arranged in a row along University Avenue between College and Dundas Streets.

Get in

Concise map of just major points

Yorkville and the Annex are quite centrally located, being within walking distance of many major attractions and a central point for the Toronto's subway system. Streetcar and bus connections link the subway stations to the surrounding neighborhoods.

By car

From the Don Valley Parkway: exit at Bloor Street, follow Bloor Street West to Spadina.

From the 401: exit at Allen Road. Follow Allen Road south until Eglinton. Turn left on Eglinton, and right on Bathurst. Follow Bathurst to Bloor. Or: Exit the 401 at Avenue Rd., proceed south to Bloor St, where you make a right turn and continue until you reach spadina.

From the Gardiner Expressway: exit at Spadina. Follow Spadina north until Bloor St.

Parking: Finding a parking space on Bloor Street or any of the side streets is extremely difficult at the best of times and basically impossible during regular business hours. There is one parking lot in the neighborhood, a commercial one just off Bloor Street, on Lippincott Street, one block east of Bathurst Street.

By subway

The neighborhoods are well served by the subway. Subway line 1 (Yonge-University) runs to Spadina Station; the St George Station on the same line is several blocks east of the Annex. Museum and Queens Park stations provide access to the University campus and some of the museums.

Subway line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) runs underground immediately north of Bloor Street, it stops at Spadina Station and Bathurst Station, on either end of the Annex, while the Bay and Yonge-Bloor stations access Yorkville. The Spadina and Bathurst stations have transfer-free connections to 510 and 511 streetcars respectively.

By streetcar

The 510 Spadina LRT Streetcar runs from Union Station south to Queen's Quay in the Harbourfront neighborhood, along which it runs west to Spadina, it then runs north on Spadina to Spadina Subway Station where it connects to the Bloor-Danforth line. The 510 runs entirely in its own right-of-way. The 511 Streetcar runs from Exhibition Place in the Harbourfront neighborhood, along Fleet Street to Bathurst, it then runs north on Bathurst to Bathurst Subway Station. The 511 runs with traffic for most of its route.

Route 506 runs along College, Carlton and Gerrard Streets from High Park to the west to Main Street station to the east. It runs across the southern edge of the University of Toronto and connects with the subway line 1 (Yonge-University) at College Park and Queen's Park.

By bus

Route 94 runs along Wellesley, Hoskin and Harbord from Castle Frank station to Ossington station and connects with the Yonge line at Wellesley station. It runs straight through the U of T campus and stops at the north end of Queen's Park.

Route 5 runs along University Avenue and Avenue Road from the coach terminal to Eglinton station, connecting with the University-Spadina line at Queen's Park and Museum. This route runs straight through Queen's Park.

Route 6 runs along Bay Street from Queen's Quay to Yorkville, stopping at Union station and Bay station as well as the coach terminal. This route runs along the eastern edge of the U of T campus.

By bike

There are bike lanes running east-west on Harbord and College Streets. Bloor St is also quite bike friendly despite not having a bike lane. There are poles reserved for bike locking along all major streets, including Bloor.

See

University of Toronto

University College overlooking the Front Campus

The University of Toronto St George Campus lies immediately south of Yorkville and The Annex. With its green spaces and many interlocking courtyards, the campus forms a urban park of 71 hectares (180 acres). Most buildings on the eastern and central portions of the campus were built between 1858 and 1929 using a combination of Romanesque and Gothic Revival architecture.

Central campus

The central campus lies between Queens Park Crescent and St George Street, and can be reached by taking the 506 Streetcar to McCaul St. The courtyards within the surrounding walls of the University College and Knox College buildings may make you feel that you are within Harry Potter's Hogwarts.

Eastern campus

The eastern campus lies on the east side of Queens Park separating it from the rest of the university. It contains two colleges with several older buildings. Museum Subway Station is adjacent to the eastern campus.

Old Vic, Victoria College

Western campus

The western campus lies between St. George Street and Spadina Avenue and generally contains more modern buildings, with 1 Spadina Crescent being a major exception. It can be reached by the 506 streetcar At Beverley Street or St George Street, or by the 510 streetcar to Willcocks Street.

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
1 Spadina Crescent, a landmark along Spadina Avenue

Do

Buy

The Annex

True to its bohemian character, The Annex is dotted with small bookshops and independent record stores centred around Bloor and Bathurst. You'll find the predictable headshops and ethnic/tribal stores, but there are also some truly exceptional places to shop.

Honest Ed's

Bloor-Yorkville

Built in 1867 as home for a Yorkville police constable, the building is today a shop on Yorkville Ave.

Bloor Street between Avenue Road and Yonge Street is often called "the Mink Mile" because of its cluster of expensive, high-end stores. Along Cumberland Street and Yorkville Avenue, one and two blocks north of Bloor Street respectively, there are rows of shops, restaurants and art galleries. There are also more art galleries along Davenport Road between Avenue Road and Hazelton Avenue. (By the way, Hazelton Avenue runs through a very charming residential area.)

Eat

The Annex

The Annex has more restaurants packed in per square metre than any other part of the city. Keeping true to Toronto's multicultural flavor, you're likely to find sushi restaurants, pizzerias and falafel stands within a few steps of each other. Whatever you crave, you can find it in the Annex.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

The expensive restaurants tend to be found in Yorkville just north of the Mink Mile.

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Go next

Here is a list of adjacent districts:

Routes through Yorkville and the Annex

North York Midtown  N  S  Yonge-Dundas Entertainment and Financial Districts
Etobicoke West End  W  E  Downtown East Scarborough



This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.