The Annex

         
The Annex
The Annex is a premier neighbourhood in the city of Toronto. Bound by Avenue Road to the east, Bathurst Street to the west, Bloor Street to the south, and Dupont Street to the north, the area sits adjacent to the most prestigious university in the city, the University of Toronto (U of T), and is where the majority of students make their home. 

The neighbourhood made its debut back in the 1880’s when developer Simeon James first established the Toronto Annex Subdivision. Upon its inception, the neighbourhood became the home of Toronto’s elite with such initial residents as George Horace Gooderham, a Toronto manufacturer and politician, and Timothy Eaton, a business guru who founded the Eaton’s department store. 

The Annex remained the exclusive domain of Toronto’s rich and famous until the 1920’s when the affluent began migrating north to such areas as Forest Hill and Lawrence Park, areas that remain to this day as two of the most opulent neighbourhoods in the city. Recent residents of the Annex include Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, Canadian-American actress Catherine O’Hara, and science broadcaster and environmental activist David Suzuki to name a few.


The area is mainly comprised of Victorian and Edwardian style homes and mansions the majority of which were built when the subdivision was first created back in the late 1800’s. Over the last few decades, some of the old dwellings have made way for newer condo buildings; for the most part, however, the area maintains the old home architecture and the green spaces that keep it looking and feeling like it did in its early days. And although the neighbourhood’s location is adjacent to the city’s downtown core, it is relatively quiet and serene.

Neighbourhood residents enjoy a lively environment with a litany of casual and fine-dining restaurants, cafes, and pubs, and are within close proximity to a multitude of shopping venues such as Honest Ed’s, a landmark discount store named after its owner, the late Ed Mirvish, who first started the store back in 1948. Many of the area’s retail establishments cater to U of T students which make up a sizable chunk of its inhabitants. 

The Annex is also home to art galleries, theatres and museums such as the Annex Theatre and the Royal Ontario Museum, and is well served by bus routes, streetcars and both the Yonge-University and the Bloor-Danforth subway lines with stations at Bathurst, Dupont, Spadina and St. George, the latter two being interchange stations.

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