Annex is a lively community in Toronto. This area is roughly bounded by Bloor Street West on the south, Bathurst Street on west, Dupont Street on the North and Avenue Road on the east.
The Annex is the area around University of Toronto, so sauntering the attractive grounds of the U of T would be one of common activities in this area. Along Bloor Street West the Annex offers you an exciting combination of beautiful old homes, art galleries, theatres, bohemian coffee shops, bookstores, discount stores, restaurants and bars.
Toronto’s Philosopher’s Walk
Philosopher’s Walk is a picturesque pathway located in the St George campus of the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario. This meandering path borders the back of Trinity College of the U of T. There is an amphitheater and a set of benches around which make this place as a choice for meeting up with friends or even enjoy watching squirrels and sparrows that pass by.
It has a southeasterly direction along the gorge landscape created by Taddle Creek-Taddle Creek is a buried stream in Toronto, Ontario, Canada-during the Industrial Age in the 19th century, it was buried, but it is now flowing underground and traces of the creek can still be found. This path is an Instagram-worthy locale because it starts between the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in 100 Queen’s Park, Bloor Street and runs to the Royal Conservatory which is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world.
When people flock to the many restaurants and bars, the Annex turns into one of the busiest areas of Toronto at night. It would be a prime example of Toronto’s diversity as the Annex is one of Toronto’s most heterogeneous communities. This vibrant neighbourhood’s residents are from all walks of life. They vary from University of Toronto students and faculty to successful business people and even prominent artists.
The History of Annex
When the Annex was subdivided in the late 18’s, it immediately became one of Toronto’s elite neighbourhoods. The Annex’s first residents included Timothy Eaton, George Gooderham, the patriarch of Eaton’s department store and president of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery. But its Golden Era lasted until the 1920’s, days that the upper classes began to migrate northward to newer and more fashionable suburbs in Forest Hill and Lawrence Park.
Those who stayed behind helped to form the Annex Residents Association. This powerful lobby group saved the Annex from the proposed Spadina Expressway which would have divided the Annex in half, had it been built. The Annex has endured and is now over one hundred years old. It remains one of Toronto’s premier neighbourhoods.
The Toronto’s Annex houses as fine examples of Victorian, Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque architectural styles offer a picturesque view of Old Toronto to visitors as I’ve mentioned at Toronto’s Yorkville Neighbourhood. These houses were built between 1880 and 1910. These attractive houses vary according to exterior facades,some with Plum and pink colored Credit River sandstone or rich red brick and the others with terra cotta clay tiles.
The architectural details in Toronto’s Annex houses are 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, Georgian and Tudor style architecture.
Recreation in Annex
Coming from all over Toronto, the Annex becomes alive at night. There is a lot to do for people with different tastes
Where to Get Fit in Annex
If you are a fitness enthusiast so get in shape at either the University of Toronto’s Athletic Centre or Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre at Bloor and Spadina. As you may know The University of Toronto’s Athletic Centre is located on the west side of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus at 55 Harbord St. It is accessible from the Spadina subway station and by streetcar. This centre has seven gymnasia, three pools, a strength and conditioning centre, indoor track, dance studio, cardio machines, tennis and squash courts, and steam rooms You can check out their site for more information: https://kpe.utoronto.ca/facility/athletic-centre .
The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre is located at the Southwest corner of Bloor and Spadina.
There is various facilities for sport-lovers too; no matter how old are you, you’ll find your fit program there and here is its website if you need to know anything else: https://mnjcc.org/
Libraries and Cultural Venues in Annex
A branch of Toronto Public Library can also be found at the Annex, yeah, it is Spadina Road one!
The Spadina Road Public Library is located at 10 Spadina Road, Toronto, ON. Spadina subway station on the Bloor line is the best way for public transit to get there. This branch of Toronto Public Library is open every day with different scheduled time, but is closed on Saturdays and Mondays. These days to support efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus all library branches are closed. There is a wheelchair accessible library and visitors can have free WiFi access there.
The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto is located in the Annex at 16 Spadina Road. The NCCT offers a wide range of programs and services based on Indigenous cultural traditions and teachings. Everyone is welcome there. This centre was founded in 1962 and as Toronto’s oldest Indigenous community organization and one of the original Friendship Centres in Canada, the NCCT provides social, recreational, cultural and spiritual services for the Indigenous community and visitors alike.
Where to Shop in Annex
Bloor Street is Toronto and Annex’s main shopping district. This vibrant district includes a collection of clothing boutiques, bookstores, grocery stores, restaurants and outdoor cafés and even travel agencies.
Home to astonishing brunch spots, bakeries, and salons, in The Annex you’ll also find many unique art stores, bookstores and novelty shops offering up amazing gift items. Here are the best places to shop in The Annex.
Read More: The Best Bookstores in Toronto
Alternative Arts situated in the heart of the Annex on Bloor Street near Brunswick. This store has been providing quality custom framing, custom lamination and canvas transfers and a large selection of fine art prints and posters to its customers for over 20 years. You can do a lot of things there, like print digital images, scan or enlarge images, shop selection of vintage Toronto maps and movie posters. Need a gift for your movie buff friend? You must check this place out! 491 Bloor St West.
BMW Books in the Annex is Canada’s largest bookstore for second-hand and discounted books. As they’ve said “The philosophy behind BMV has always been to sell good books at low prices. It’s easy to find quality books that are expensive and marginal books that are cheap. The BMV challenge has always been to find unusual and interesting books of high quality and to sell them at very reasonable prices”. At this three-storey discount bookstore, you’ll not only find books, music and videos but also you can find collectibles, calendars, games and cards. Book-lovers can find this charming store at 471 Bloor Street West (Bloor and Brunswick, between Bathurst and, Spadina Ave, Toronto.
JUXTAPOSE HOME at 430 Bloor St. West, can easily become your favorite gift shop after your first visit. This gift shop has been in the heart of the Annex since 1992. They recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary by opening a second store in Koreatown at Palmerston & Bloor. This unique one-stop-shop is a go-to for gift giving in The Annex. Juxtapose is where you can find a wide range of items to suit anyone on your gift list! You can find a lot of things there, like, candles, perfumes, and bath & body products from across Canada, North America and Europe plus a wide selection of jewellery.
The Mirvish Village
The Mirvish Village shopping district-which is located on Markham Street, on south of Bloor Street- it WAS where you could find an attractive collection of bookstores, art galleries and unique antique shops. However, Old Mirvilish is gone and will be Apartments soon.
Read More: Toronto’s Distillery District Neighborhood
Where to Eat in Annex
There are many options for eating from the stylish and ultra-sophisticated to the more reasonably priced restaurants.
One of the famous restaurants in Toronto’s Annex is Opus Restaurant. Their motto is “PASSION WITH FLAWLESS ATTENTION TO DETAIL”. This restaurant is a High-end destination for creative European dining. You can also enjoy a wine list with more than 2,500 labels. Canadian born Chef Jason Cox is one of Award-winning chefs who has been on Opus Restaurant for eighteen years. This fancy restaurant is located at 37 Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto, in the heart of the Annex steps away from Toronto’s top hotels, the ROM, and Canada’s top fashion district. You can enjoy this elegant restaurant Mondays to Saturdays from 2PM to 5:30PM.
Bar mercurio is a first-class fine Italian restaurant. This Italian fare can be known as “HOME OF THE BEST PIZZA PEPPERONI IN TOWN”. This hip Annex trattoria is a stand out spot for a lot of reasons. You can enjoy wood-fired pizza and their fresh pasta and tomato sauce prepared to exacting standards in the Mercurio kitchen. I really like their comfy atmosphere. This fantastic spot is located at 321 Bloor St W, Toronto.
Annex is one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Toronto, which is an ideal location to raise a family and or live the life of luxury. It has it all.
If you are looking for a home in Annex, here within a few steps you can find one of the Best Toronto Real estate Agents who covers Toronto’s Annex Neighbourhood.