Located on the east side of downtown Toronto is the neighbourhood Cabbagetown. Cabbagetown comprises the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian Housing in North America – according to the Cabbagetown Preservation Association.
The name Cabbagetown comes from the Irish immigrants who have moved into the neighbourhood at the beginning in the late 1840s; it was said that the first Cabbagetown residents were very poor, and in order to put food on the table they grew cabbage in their front yards.
Cabbagetown was revitalized in the 1970s and 1980s by new home buyers, where much of the neighbourhood’s collection of Victorian homes was restored.
Cabbagetown’s current boundaries can be broadly defined as Gerrard Street to the south; Shuter Street to the south; St. James Cemetary to the north; Wellesley Street East to the north; Sherbourne Street to the west; and the Don River to the east.
Cabbagetown is considered to be one of Toronto’s most gentrified neighbourhoods.
In Cabbagetown today you can find many wrought iron fences, stone walkways and beautifully kept gardens throughout. There are traces of a 1960s counter-culture feeling evident in vintage clothing stores, gestalt clinic therapy and an adventure travel agency.
Despite gentrification, Cabbagetown is still home to some of the poorest in Toronto.
During the second week-end in September you can find the annual Cabbagetown Festival, a two day event with arts and crafts fairs in Riverdale Park West. Vendors come from far to this event.
The highlight of the Cabbagetown Festival is the parade on Saturday morning, which generally starts at 10:00 a.m. at Riverdale Park West. The route may vary from year-to-year.
The Cabbagetown Festival also includes a “Tour of Homes” where several local homes are opened to a paying public.
In 2004, part of Cabbagetown became a Heritage Conservation District, protected by municipal bylaw. This district was established in two stages; the first is an area centred on Metcalfe, and the later areas to the north and east of the initial area.
The boundaries of the combined district are currently, St. James Cemetery to the north; just east of Parliament Street to the west; Carlton Street to the south; and Wellesley Park, the Necropolis and Riverdale Park to the east.
The residents of Cabbagetown are predominately liberal and it home to many artists, musicians, journalist and writers. Other residents include professors, doctors and social workers, many of which are affiliated with the University of Toronto.
Needless to say, Cabbagetown has had its ups and downs from the beginning however it has settled to a wonderful Toronto neighbourhood that anyone should be proud to live in.
James Metcalfe is a Sales Representative with Royal LePage R.E.S/ Johnston & Daniel Division. James is a regular contributor to the Muddy York Toronto Real Estate Blog. Jame’s website is located at www.ourhometoronto.com.