The Downtown was originally settled by some of early Toronto's most prominent families. The street names in this neighbourhood are clues to its rich history.
For instance Jarvis Street is named after the family of William Jarvis, the former provincial secretary of Upper Canada.
Homewood Avenue is named after the estate of George Allan, a former mayor of Toronto.
McGill Street is named after Captain John McGill, and Sherbourne Street commemorates the ancestral home of the Ridout family who came to Canada from Sherbourne, Dorsetshire, England.
When the aforementioned families subdivided their large estates in the mid 1800's, the current neighbourhood was born.
The mansions on Jarvis and Sherbourne streets set the tone for the Downtown which up until the early 1900's, was considered Toronto's most fashionable suburb.
There is a large number of rental accommodations in this neighbourhood. This reflects the mobility of the population, which is comprised mostly of singles and couples.
Downtown Toronto residents come from a myriad of different backgrounds, and span the entire spectrum of the socio-economic scale.
Downtown's Victorian houses were built in the mid to late 1800's. Most of these houses have been converted to commercial uses or into multi-family homes. This neighbourhood also contains a large number of fashionable townhouses built in the 1970's and 1980's.
The Downtown is where you will find Toronto's most diverse selection of apartment buildings. There are art-deco designed, walk-up apartment buildings from the 1920's, high-rise apartment buildings from the 1950's, and newer luxury condominium apartment buildings. These range from entry level prices to more exclusive residences such as the Windsor Arms condominium where units sell for over one million dollars.
(P) Church Street Jr., 83 Alexander Street, (416) 393-1250
(P) Lord Dufferin Jr. & Sr., 303 Berkeley Street, (416) 393-1760
(PH) Jarvis Collegiate Institute, 495 Jarvis Street, (416) 393-0140
(CA) Our Lady of Lourdes, 444 Sherbourne Street, (416) 393-5221