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Toronto Home Neighborhoods: South Annex / Bickford Park Neighbourhood



The South Annex and Bickford Park lie south of Bloor Street, and north of College, between Spadina and Ossington. Many apartments, stores and services a target the needs to students at the nearby University of Toronto. Originally farmland of the Crookshank, Denison and Jarvis families, it was subdivided in the early 1850s, and the University of Toronto was established in the late 1850s.

The area grew quickly, with most homes in the South Annex built between 1870 and 1900. Just to the west is Bickford Park, named for businessman Colonel E. Oscar Bickford, who's widow sold the city the land for the Bickford Ravine Park. The first home owners in Bickford were Jewish, Italian, and Portuguese immigrants, though the area is prized today by yuppies, professors and students. Most north-south streets in the area are low traffic one-way streets.

Motorists are minutes from downtown, the Lake Shore Boulevard or the Gardiner Expressway. TTC riders take bus or streetcar service on Harbord St.or College St. into downtown, or the streetcars up Ossington and Bathurst Street to the Bloor-Danforth subway stations.

Schools

The area is served by 3 elementary schools, 1 Catholic elementary school, 3 high schools, 1 Catholic high school, and 2 libraries. University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art & Design are adjacent, and Ryerson University is nearby in downtown Toronto.

Street view With Shops at Bloor Bathurst

Shopping

Bloor Street, west of Spadina, as university-targetted shops, pubs, and restaurants. The Mirvish Village shopping district (Bloor at Markham Street) has a mix of shops, anchored by Honest Ed's. The Little Italy shopping district on College Street provides locals with cafes, Pizza joints, and fine Italian restaurants. Harbord Street is home to a number of excellent stores, bookstores, galleries and many fine restaurants.

Recreation

The Bickford Centre in Bickford Park has an indoor pool and a large gymnasium. Across Bloor from Bickford Park is the Christie Pits Park with a large baseball diamond, home field for the Toronto Maple Leafs Inter-County Baseball team, and outdoor pool & water slide, basketball courts, and playground. In winter, the park has an ice rink and toboggan hill. The Tarragon Theatre offers live theatre just east of Bathurst.

The nearby University of Toronto Athletic Centre has an Olympic-size pool, weight machines, aerobics, a gymnasium and indoor track, as well as courts for playing squash, tennis or badminton. The Jewish Community Centre (Spadina & Bloor) has an indoor pool, a track, squash and racquetball courts, gym and a weight room. Queen's Park is the site of Ontario's Legislative Buildings, offering both quiet green space, as well as the setting for civic events, parades, and protests

Homes

The apartment buildings and townhouses in the South Annex are characterized by red brick exteriors, and include private homes, lentil apartments, non-profit co-op housing, and luxury condominiums. Homes in Bickford Park were built in two spurts 1870-1900 and 1900-1930, with 2-3 storey Victorian homes, both semi-detached and detached. Homes are in the low to medium price ranges.

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