Cabbagetown is a downtown Toronto neighbourhood, that features one of the largest collections of Victorian Homes in the city. This is where I grew up and is by-far my favourite part of the city. This beautiful neighbourhood flanks Parliament Street, from Shutter St. to the South and Wellesley Street to the North.
What were once manor homes, row houses, and worker cottages, with a history dating back to Irish immigrants in the 1800’s, have lasted the century thanks to homeowners that have leaned towards preservation. Gentrification and renovations started in the 1970s, and the tremendous work required created a camaraderie among residents that remains today.
Cabbagetown homes now offer modern updates to these historic buildings, under the watchful eye of the Cabbagetown Preservation Association. Many of the properties offer high ceilings, hardwood floors, and original character including whimsical architectural detailing. Local residents absolutely love where they live.
Few Toronto neighbourhoods have a community spirit as strong as that of Cabbagetown. Community organizations work to strengthen local businesses and protect neighbourhood heritage, while green spaces and local public schools keep people in the community. The Cabbagetown Youth Centre and the Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre, are well-loved neighbourhood organizations.
The densely situated single-family homes, along with the close proximity to public transit and the downtown business areas, attract families and young professionals alike looking to plant their roots. It’s the perfect spot for folks who want to live in a quiet, diverse area surrounded by the many offerings of the big city. This is a great place to live if you enjoy getting to know your neighbours.
The wide range of shops and local restaurants makes it easy for residents to meet their daily needs within walking distance. From a coffee at JetFuel in the morning to cocktails and snacks at the House on Parliament in the evening, the neighbourhood has it all.
The shopping along Parliament Street reflects the eco-conscious, boho flavor the area is famous for. Local favorites include Vintage Vagabond and Pipler, which carries locally made accessories (think fedoras and socks) and donates proceeds to charity. Stop in at Lennie’s Whole Foods for your health food needs, or Daniel et Daniel and The Epicure Shop if you are looking for a specialty grocery store – all of them are independent, local businesses that thrive here – and there are many, many more.
Not in the mood for shopping? The numerous tree-lined streets, architecture, parks and parkettes, and fragrant gardens in place of front lawns provide lots to see and enjoy just walking around.
Every fall, on the second weekend in September, the Cabbagetown Business Improvement Association hosts the community-wide Cabbagetown Fall Festival. This event offers an incredible lineup of activities for Torontonians of all ages, from the Arts & Crafts show in Riverdale Park to the community-wide yard sale. Parliament Street is closed for street food, live music, world-class buskers, bouncy castles, and the two-kilometer Blair’s Run, which raises money for the Cabbagetown Youth Centre. The Cabbagetown Theatre Company puts on live shows for local families. The Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival screens movies at the nearby Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park. The Cabbagetown Preservation Society conducts 45-minute walking tours, and Riverdale Farm hosts the Fall Harvest Festival, complete with barn dance. Locals especially love the Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Sale, which draws more than 20,000 people to Riverdale Park West to visit dozens upon dozens of juried crafters and artists.
The real estate market in Cabbagetown really boomed in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and many local residents have lived in the neightbourhood ever since. Despite its popularity among young professionals, with the average price of a Cabbagetown home being over one million dollars likely makes it out of reach for many first-time home buyers. With that said, given the neighbourhood’s growth and popularity over the last 30-40 years, any investment in property in Cabbagetown will always be a good investment.
For those who are looking for more opportunities for returns on a property investment, keep your eyes out for smaller worker cottages and row houses in the laneways and side streets. Some have been owned for decades by the same owner. Although they may need some work and well-planned updates can go a long way. There are also some smaller new developments in the area, however, they will not provide the same character as the traditional century homes do.
If you enjoy the character of Cabbagetown homes but are looking to expand your search area, I recommend also checking out the Garden District, which is situated just West, along Sherbourne Street, and features Allan Gardens.
If you are looking to find a stunning home in Cabbagetown or any other downtown Toronto Neighbourhood, be sure to work with a trusted real estate professional, like me. If you live in Cabbagetown and are thinking of selling, reach out to find out more about my listing services.