Little Italy Toronto is a unique neighbourhood. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, Ontario it is a quaint neighbourhood that combines the touches of Italy with the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city.
You’ll find incredible food, unique shops, and an overall wonderful atmosphere in Little Italy Toronto. It’s one of the best places to visit in Toronto, even if you haven’t had a chance to explore other parts of the city. But what can you do there?
5 Unique Things to Do in Little Italy Toronto
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with authentic cannolis from this bakery
- Enjoy the Outdoors
- Explore the History of Italian Culture in Toronto
- See the architecture and check out the murals
- Have a Taste of Italy After You’re Done Exploring
Little Italy Toronto Is Authentic
This neighbourhood has it all, from authentic Italian restaurants to cafes, bakeries, weed dispensaries, and unique boutiques.
If you’re stuck inside because of the COVID-19 lockdown, here are five essential items to check out when exploring Little Italy, Toronto.
1: Satisfy your sweet tooth with authentic cannolis from this bakery
As a coffee and gelato storefront, this multi-generational family business is famous for its authentic staples. A visit to the Sicilian Bakery should undoubtedly be on your list of shops to visit whenever in the Little Italy neighbourhood.
This delightful Gelateria (the oldest ones in the neighbourhood), at the heart of College Street’s Little Italy, offers various Ice Cream flavours, Cannolis, Granitas, and not to forget their simple breakfast items, a visit to this bakery will not disappoint your tastebuds.
They also cater to weddings. Many of their items are readily available at small independent mini-marts, large supermarkets, and other Italian bakeries across the province.
2: Enjoy the Outdoors
Enjoying the outdoors of the Little Italy neighbourhood, there’s so much to do, so close to everything. One of the many ways to get there is by using the famous TTC Streetcars via the College Street route.
With ample sidewalk space to take your strolls and do some window shopping, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to pass by record shops, bookstores, art shops, and even our own Greenport Cannabis store
Be careful! you may step on some famous names while walking past the very renowned Italy Walk of Fame.
3: Explore the History of Italian Culture in Toronto
College Street was the first Little Italy village in Toronto. A unique neighbourhood rich in culture and character. Italians settled in this district, setting up their various multiple shops ranging from Bakeries, Coffee Shops, Mini Marts, Tailor, and Barbershops, just to name a few.
An ideal time to visit the Little Italy neighbourhood is during the annual Taste of Little Italy. This yearly event is not happening this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
Little Italy neighbourhood has a variety of shops with non-Italian heritage. Still, the district and its environs continue to pay homage and recognize the Italian community for their contribution to the village.
4: See the architecture and check out the murals.
Little Italy is known today as one of the most multi-cultural neighbourhoods in Toronto. However, during the Italian Interwar in the early part of the twentieth century, thousands of Italians would have migrated to Canada and settled between the University Avenue and College Street area.
Little Italy got its name from the residential and commercial developments that took place since the settling of Italians in the district.
Little Italy is home to many Victorian-era houses. There are also many homes with views of gable roofs and large bay windows. There’s also the very famous Royal Theatre currently undergoing major refurbishment and the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Another must-see item is the Italian Walk of Fame, showcasing Italians who have.
5: Have a Taste of Italy After You’re Done Exploring
When strolling through Little Italy Toronto, even though the area is now a bit demographically mixed, the locality is still very much Italian.
The entire neighborhood has a spread of stylish restaurants, pubs, cafes, and trattorias. All services by great staff offer the best hospitality you can think of.
You’re bound to see many persons having their café lattes and alcoholic drinks and meals at numerous patios in and around the area during spring and summer.
Italian restaurants are known for their family-oriented atmosphere, where everyone knows your name. Outdoors patios also have been and will always be an attraction of the neighbourhood. Friendly chatter and debating about which Italian club soccer teams are the best are conversations you’re definitely hearing from the Italians in the community.
Recommended Restaurants in Little Italy Toronto
Dav’s HotSpot College St location features Southern- and Island-inspired dishes. Owner Davielle Rose started selling food from her house, now she’s a proud restaurant owner of two locations. The second location is in Mississauga.
Dav’s HotSpot offers a variety of delicious and fresh dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even late-night snacks. Many people are attracted to Rose’s by word-of-mouth and social media as the restaurant is a popular destination for those in the area.
Café Diplomatico is a cozy, Italian-style coffee shop located in the heart of the city with a menu of classic Italian culinary delights. The cafe was founded by Rocco Mastrangelo Sr. and his younger brother, Paul, and was established in 1968.
Details & Features
|Type:||Italian, Pizza, Comfort Food, Gelato, Coffee|
|Features:||Big Screen TV, Satellite, Breakfast, Catering, Casual Dining, Family Dining, Gluten Free Options, Group Functions, Sports Hangout, Take Out, Delivery, Vegan, Vegetarian, Patio, WiFi|
|Payment:||Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Interac, Travellers Cheques|
|Price Range:||$$$$ » Affordable (Under $15)|
Video Showcase of Little Italy
Little Italy Toronto Business Improvement Area
In 1985, the Little Italy Toronto Business Improvement Area was founded as a not-for-profit organization with the goal of fostering the economic growth and development of a well-defined area in Toronto’s downtown core.