THE ANNEX

History

The Annex was subdivided in the 1870s and 1880s.  It immediately became one of Toronto's elite neighbourhoods.  The Annex's first residents included the likes of Timothy Eaton, the patriarch of Eaton's department store, and George Gooderham, president of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery.

The Annex's golden era lasted until the 1920s, when the upper classes began to migrate northward to newer, more fashionable suburbs in Forest Hill and Lawrence Park.

Those who stayed behind helped form the Annex Residents Association.  This powerful lobby group saved the Annex from the proposed Spadina Expressway that would have divided the Annex in half, had it been built.

The Annex has endured and is now over 100 years old.  It remains one of Toronto's premier neighbourhoods.

Overview

The Annex is Toronto's most heterogeneous community.  Its residents include successful business people, prominent artists, University of Toronto students and faculty, and people from all walks of life.

This is a vibrant neighbourhood that draws its energy from the University of Toronto, as well as from the bars, restaurants and nightclubs that crowd together along Bloor Street.  Many of the rooming houses and multi-unit homes in the Annex have recently been converted back to single-family houses, reflecting the return to prominence of this historic Toronto neighbourhood.

Homes

The Annex houses, built between 1880 and 1910, are fine examples of Victorian, Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque architectural styles.  Plum-and pink-coloured Credit River sandstone, rich red brick, and terra cotta clay tiles make up the exterior façades of many of these homes.  The architectural detail is among the finest in the city, ranging from pyramidal roofs and turrets to recessed grand archways and wooden spindled porches.

A second wave of Annex homes dates from 1910 to 1930.  These homes are less elaborate than their predecessors, but are nonetheless fine examples of English-Cottage-, Edwardian-, Georgian- and Tudor-style architecture.

Shopping

The Annex's main shopping district is on Bloor Street.  This stretch of stores includes a hodgepodge of clothing boutiques, bookstores, food markets, travel agencies, restaurants and outdoor cafés.

The Mirvish Village shopping district on Markham Street, south of Bloor Street, is a quaint collection of bookstores, art galleries, antique stores, and one-of-a-kind specialty stores.

Recreation

The Annex really comes alive at night when people from all over the city converge upon its restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Fitness enthusiasts can get in shape at either the University of Toronto's Athletic Centre, or the recently renovated Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre at Bloor and Spadina.

The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto is located in the Annex at 16 Spadina Road.  This centre offers a variety of programs and services for Toronto's Native community as well as the general public.

The Spadina Road Public Library at 10 Spadina Road offers a wide variety of programming for neighbourhood residents.

Schools

(P)

Huron Jr.

541 Huron Street

(416) 393-1570

(P)

Jesse Ketchum Jr. & Sr.

61 Davenport Road

(416) 393-1530

(P)

Palmerston Jr.

734 Palmerston Avenue

(416) 393-9305

(P)

Central Technical School

725 Bathurst Street

(416) 393-0060

(C)

Loretto College

391 Brunswick Avenue
South Campus:  783 Bathurst Street

(416) 393-5511
(416) 393-5543

(PRI)

University of Toronto School

371 Bloor Street West

(416) 978-3212

(PRI)

Royal St. Georges College

120 Howland Avenue

(416) 533-9481

(U)

University of Toronto

St. George Campus

(416) 978-2011

 

Transportation

The Annex is well served by public transit.  There are subway stations both at Spadina and at Bathurst on the Bloor-Danforth line, and at Dupont Street on the Yonge-University-Spadina line.

Motorists are within minutes of Toronto's business and entertainment districts and are approximately 25 minutes from the commuter highways.



Annex map






   









Bibliography:
Dunkelman, David, Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods, Copyright © 1997 by David Dunkelman