HISTORY OF ANNEX
The Annex was subdivided in the 1870’s and 1880’s. It immediately became one of Toronto’s elite neighbourhoods. The Annex’s first residents included the likes of Timothy Eaton, the patriarch of Eatons department store, and George Gooderham, president of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery.
The Annex’s Golden Era lasted until the 1920’s, 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 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 Annex is Toronto’s most heterogenous 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.
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 facades 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, Georgian and Tudor style architecture.
SCHOOLS IN ANNEX
(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
(PH) Central Technical School, 725 Bathurst Street, (416) 393-0060
(CA) Loretto College, 391 Brunswick Avenue, (416) 393-5511 or South Campus, 783 Bathurst Street, (416) 393-5543
(PR) University of Toronto School, 371 Bloor West, (416) 978-3212
(PR) Royal St. Georges College, 120 Howland Avenue, (416) 533-9481
(U) University of Toronto, St. George Campus, (416) 978-2011
(P) Public School (PH) Public High School (CA) Catholic School (PR) Private School (PC) Private Catholic School (PJ) Private Jewish School (C) College (U) University
LIFESTYLE IN ANNEX
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 cafes.
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 IN ANNEX
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 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.
TRANSPORTATION IN ANNEX
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 twenty five minutes from the commuter highways.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE ANNEX AREA
Jean Sibelius Square – 50 Kendal Ave
A small park near Dupont Street and Bathurst Street that features a children’s playground and open green space.
Vermont Square – 914 Bathurst St
A 1.5 hectare park near Dupont Street and Bathurst Street. The park features a dog off leash area, three bocce courts, a wading pool and a childrens playground. Located at the north end of the park is the William H. Bolton Arena.
Vermont Square is a central point for accessing a diverse range of facilities. The square has a large open area to the south that is used for off-leash dog walking and includes three bocce courts. In the middle-west is a fenced-in playground with a wading pool. To the east is an indoor hockey rink. An indoor pool, community center and daycare are located on the northern side. There is street parking around the neighbourhood.
Taddle Creek Park – 40 Bedford Rd
A small but busy park at the southwest corner of Lowther Avenue and Bedford Road, in The Annex area of Toronto. The park was created in 1976 on what had been the site of the home of Nobel laureate Frederick Banting. After extensive renovations the park reopened in July 2011, with an avant-garde sculpture centrepiece by Ilan Sandler, created from 4 kilometers of stainless steel rod, the approximate length of Taddle Creek.
LIBRARIES IN ANNEX
- Spadina Road Public Library, 10 Spadina Road, 416-393-7666
- Toronto Reference Library, Yonge & Bloor (789 Yonge St), 416-395-5577
- Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston Avenue, 416-393-7680
- Yorkville Library, 22 Yorkville, 416-393-7660
- College/Shaw Library, 766 College Street, 416-393-7668
- EJ Pratt Libary, 71 Queen’s Park Crescent E, (416) 585-4470
- Gerstein Science Information Centre, 7-9 King’s College Cir, (416) 978-2280
- John W. Graham Library, 1 Devonshire Pl, (416) 978-5851
- Robarts Library, 130 St George St, (416) 978-6215
- Laidlaw Library, 15 King’s College Cir, (416) 978-8083
- Oise Library, 252 Bloor Street West, (416) 978-1850