The Italian community in Toronto is a fascinating district popular for numerous businesses and restaurants. It is centered on a shopping, bar and restaurant strip in the College Street between Shaw and Euclid Streets. The district lies at the Grace and College Streets intersection and it is adjacent to a residential area. However, it spreads out between Dufferin Street and Ossington Avenue.
Although the area has a significant Portuguese and Latin American community, its atmosphere is much Italian. Perhaps, this can be attributed to the Italian immigrants who came in the early 20th century. They arrived in large numbers settling in The Ward where they started businesses on the College Street. Today, Little Italy is more ethnically diverse but almost half a million of the individuals in the area are of Italian descent.
Visitors in the area are treated to a fascinating Italian heritage. This includes the Italian trattorias popular for their casual dining and family style. Cafés, trendy restaurants, night clubs and pool halls are also a part of the Italian heritage in the neighborhood.
Italian billiard halls and coffee shops are also common in the area. Passionate discussions, laughter and conversations characterize these social places most of the time. Visitors and locals are seen on the sidewalks of Little Italy especially over the weekends while others sip espressos in outdoor patios.
The district has many attractions for visitors. The vibrant nightlife of this region and its proximity to various parks, museums, beaches, theatres and shopping malls among other attractions have made it a preferred destination for many tourists. Visitors in Little Italy are treated to a lifetime experience of discoveries.
Among the most visited attractions in Little Italy are The Mod Club Theatre, The Orbit Room, Central Commerce Collegiate, El Convento Rico Night Club, and The Italian Walk of Fame. Getting to each of these attractions is easy using public transit such as streetcar, subway and bus or even walking.
There are various annual events that take place in the area. Corso Italian Fiesta is one of them and it takes place every July. The fiesta draws people from different parts of the world. During this event, there are films, exhibitions, lectures and concerts available. Street dancing, Italian buskers, cooking demonstrations, Sicilian Jazz and freestyle soccer characterize the festival. Other events held here include Taste of the Little Italy held in June, Good Friday Parade and the Tarantella Festival held in September.
Little Italy in Toronto is a perfect place to go on a cultural and culinary adventure. Restaurants in the area serve incredible food. While in the region, you can treat yourself to a Sicilian ice cream or an authentic pizza. You also get to enjoy delicious seafood and other meals of the Italian origin. It is one of the most vibrant places to visit.