Toronto's Cabbagetown - a hidden gem

Cabbagetown is one of Toronto’s oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods. Named for the stews of Irish immigrants that fled the potato famine of the 1840s, this gorgeous neighborhood is enjoying an unprecedented revival. Bordered in the south by Little India’s Gerrard Street and by Wellsley to the north, this quaint little patch is home to the largest collection of late Victorian homes in North America.

Cabbagetown contains to two of the city’s oldest cemeteries, the St. James and the Necropolis; great places to check out really old gravestones or do some rubbings. Residents of Cabbagetown are an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, and writers as well as a bevy of professors, doctors and social workers, from the nearby University of Toronto. This bohemian clientele has resulted in some interesting restaurants and pubs as well as an abundance of unusual artisan shops.

The proudest day on the Cabbagetown calendar is the September Festival. The focus of the festival is a roving pub crawl that spreads itself over several blocks to make one of Toronto’s largest annual parties. This year the festival is scheduled for September 10 and 11. Aside from the pub crawl, the festival also hosts a wealth of street vendors and entertainers and is well worth a visit.

Take a walk down the shaded lanes and admire the picture perfect gardens, enjoy a pub lunch or shop in one of the many unique boutiques that make Cabbagetown one of Toronto’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Cabbagetown is great for families who can enjoy one of the many parks including Wellsley Park and Riverdale Park.

Riverdale Park is home to another Toronto institute; Riverdale Farm. This is a functioning farm replete with egg collecting and cow milking (every morning at 10:30). The farm is free to the public and it’s a great way to let the kids have a farm experience right in the city! Riverdale Farm also boasts pathways through wooded areas, ponds, and gardens. Visit the Simpson House whose wood-fired brick oven is used on Tuesday mornings by volunteers who prepare and bake bread. A farmers’ market is held every Tuesday from May to October (3:00pm to 7:00pm). Enjoy Cabbagetown; one of Toronto’s many hidden gems.

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