Located along Bloor Street from Bathurst to Spadina, The Annex sprawls north to Dupont and south to Harbord. Side streets are residential, but there are quite a few popular pubs, coffee houses and bars tucked away in seemingly residential spots. These hidden gems give the neighbourhood a personal feeling that makes it truly unique.
The lifestyle is surprisingly relaxed for such a key downtown location. While traffic may build and congest as this stretch of Bloor Street is an integral route to the downtown core, the people in the neighbourhood simply maintain a relaxed pace. As much as it is an academic’s paradise, being so close to UofT, there’s quite a strong arts and culture community feel.
The Annex is fun, funky and fashionable. The vibe is easy and indie. Suits are outnumbered by colourful prints and flowy fashion. Big trees, some gorgeous Victorian architecture and lots of tall trees mingle with some really spectacular back-alley graffiti. In fact, walking behind the buildings is as much fun as walking down the main strip.
It’s got a great mix of people, from students to seniors, dog lovers in the dog parks, some Zen that spans the generations from hippie to hipster in the form of Yoga studios, East Indian craft stores, grassroots eco-shopping and independent stores. This neighbourhood isn’t one for big brand chains and franchises, the community supports and embraces numerous long-time community businesses – the neighbourhood prides itself on these.
There are some rental mid- and highrises, mostly to the east side of The Annex, and rents tend to be just above average. Expect home prices to be high. Old Victorians offer duplex and triplex type rentals, while most single-family homes have been modernized and renovated from the walls out.
The Annex enjoys access to the east/west Bloor Subway line through Bathurst Station as well as at Spadina, where the interchange accesses the Yonge/University/Spadina line. Streetcar service includes the dedicated lane on Spadina so commuter travel is optimal. Being so well situated, being a cyclist in the Annex is also a good way to get around.
The area is on the north side of the University of Toronto and is well-loved by the students. The Bloor Jewish Community Centre is a hub of the community at Spadina and Bloor, while Mirvish Village offers a well-rounded group of shops and restos "annexed" onto the flagship and landmark that is Honest Ed’s. The area has a review movie theatre and a variety of schools for all ages.
The Annex enjoys large trees and great heritage buildings. It has a fabulous mix of old and new. Steeped in history, the area has transitioned from cheap real estate to commanding above average pricing, nearing luxury price tags on most homes. Parking is at a premium and the one-hour limits on side streets are closely watched!
A hand-picked selection of new home and condos for sale in The Annex. For those who love the thrill of anticipation of getting into a brand new home or condo.
One of the Toronto indie scene’s most beloved venues, it’s been around since 1931. It has become an institution of music, arts and theatre, with legends and literal unknowns sharing a stage.more info
This space is a cosy den for coffee sessions and cheap eats. Its entrance is tucked into an alley south of Bloor between Brunswick and Borden. The upper deck is a spectacular summer hideaway.more info
Not your run-of-the-mill used bookstore, Seekers Books is open til midnight and packed with great finds and unusual treats. You feel like you’ve stepped out of the hustle and bustle and into a literary wonderland.more info
It has been serving up Dobosh and palicintas at 450 Bloor St. W. for several generations. This home-style Hungarian resto is an old world favourite and decked out in the traditional stylings.more info
When you are craving Trini-style rotis, this is your go-to! They carry all the expected traditional island foods like dhal puri, doubles and great hot sauce. A favourite in the Annex for over 25 years.more info
One of Toronto’s most identifiable landmarks, Honest Ed’s is an institution! It’s more than just a discount shop, it’s a treasure trove of history and kitsch, too. While whispers of redevelopment are in the air, it’s still got the flashing lights flooding the night and lots of bargains and whimsy to explore.more info