Parkdale, formerly the Village of Parkdale, is one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto. The Parkdale Toronto Real Estate market is highly sought after, with very few listings available. Until recently, Parkdale was primarily a working-class neighbourhood and, over the years, immigrants from many cultures settled in the area. The result is that within the space of a few blocks, Parkdale can show the influence of its Caribbean, Vietnamese, Filipino, North African, Tamil, Chinese and Roma residents. Currently, Parkdale is home to one of the largest Tibetan diasporas outside of India and Nepal.
But, in recent years, Parkdale has also become home to an influx of artists and musicians — centred around such must-see cultural destinations as the Gladstone Hotel, the Parkdale Arts and Cultural Centre and numerous cutting-edge arts galleries — and to perhaps the largest gay village in Toronto outside of Church and Wellesley. The result has been to turn Parkdale into a Bohemian enclave within the city, supported by a mix of young professionals as interested in enjoying the city’s artistic and intellectual life as in the comforts of the booming Parkdale Real Estate market.
And as the neighbourhood continue to gentrify, builders are taking advantage of much of the Victorian housing that survives from Parkdale’s origins in the 1880s.
Parkdale is bordered on the west by Roncesvalles Avenue, on the north by Queen Street, on the east by Dufferin Street and on the south by Lake Ontario.
History and Social Profile
Parkdale began as an elite residential suburb that, in the late 1800s, was one of Toronto’s most desirable addresses. The populatrity of the area led to its residents deciding to incorporate as an independent village in 1878. Then, in 1889, after heated public debate, Parkdale’s citizens voted in favour of amalgamation with the City of Toronto.
Sunnyside Amusement Park was opened in 1922, providing a popular day vacation for Torontonians. Cottage industries sprung up in the neighbourhood, creating a vital economic region. Movie theatres were opened and luxury hotels like the Edgewater at Queen and Roncesvalles were established.
But in 1956, Sunnyside was shut down by the city in order to make room for the Gardiner Expressway and a revamped Lake Shore Boulevard. Unfortunately, these new expressways cut Parkdale off from the lake and its glorious past. The neighbourhood then went into a period of decline that lasted for several decades.
Today, with the emergence of the West Queen West arts scene and its cultural diversity, Parkdale has established itself as a popular destination for Torontonians looking for a fun day or night out. The Parkdale Toronto Real Estate market is booming. And as new condo and housing projects are established, it’s becoming an increasingly popular place for those looking to live in one of Toronto’s hippest communities.
Much of the arts scene is centred around the Drake Hotel on Queen Street — a popular place for underground musicians — and especially its neighbour, the Gladstone Hotel, perhaps the heart of Toronto’s alternative music and artistic scene. Bars/galleries/performance spaces like The Beaver, established by the late artist/music promoter Will Munro, add to the arts vibe in the community.
The many diverse cultures in Parkdale have also ensured that the neighbourhood has some of Toronto’s best vintage fashion, furniture and fabric stores, and a wide mixture of restaurants and food stores.
Parkdale is also conveniently located within walking distance of High Park and the recreational paths and parks along Toronto’s waterfront. It has four community centres, as well, including the Parkdale Community Centre on West Lodge Avenue.
- Mother India
- Enoteca Sociale
- Drake Hotel
- Cadillac Lounge
- Grand Electric
- Electric Mud
- Boreal Gelato
- Wrong Bar
- Not my Dog
- Parts and Labour
- Bloor-Danforth Subway Line
- Queen Street Streetcar
- King Street Streetcar
Streetcar service on Queen Street, King Street, Dundas Street and Roncesvalles Avenue connect passengers to downtown, or to subway stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
- Fern Avenue Jr. & Sr., 128 Fern Ave., (416) 393-9130
- Gordon Avenue Jr., 225 Garden Ave., (416) 393-9165
- Howard Jr., 30 Marmaduke Street., (416) 393-9255
- Parkdale Jr. & Sr., 46 West Lodge Ave., (416) 393-1280
- Queen Victoria Jr., 100 Close Ave., (416) 393-9200
Public High Schools
- Parkdale Collegiate Institute, 209 Jameson Ave., (416) 393-9000