Welcome to The Annex
Vibrant area with hip businesses and cultural attractions
The Annex is a vibrant neighbourhood located to the north of the University of Toronto’s Saint George campus in Downtown Toronto. The Annex offers a great mix of hip bars and cafes, independent retailers, and cultural attractions such as the legendary Lee’s Palace live music venue and the offbeat Hot Docs Cinema.
The Annex is famed for its distinctive architecture. Many of the neighbourhood’s tree-lined streets feature stately Victorian and Edwardian homes, while Jarvis and Sherbourne Streets and the area around the University of Toronto campus offer many examples of Annex-style homes. Popular between the 1880s and early 1900s, the Annex style drew on Queen Anne and Richardson Romanesque influences to create an elegant and elaborate style of architecture that is unique to Toronto. Some of these large Annex-style homes have been converted into apartments. The neighbourhood also features a number of mid-rise apartment buildings.
What to Love
- Distinctive historic architecture
- Unique cultural attractions
- Hip independent businesses
- Live music and nightlife
People & Lifestyle
The Annex’s proximity to the University of Toronto’s St. George campus has long made it a popular neighbourhood among university students and faculty, while the Annex’s grand historic properties have been home to some of Toronto’s most prominent families. The western Seaton Village section of the Annex is known as Koreatown for its high concentration of Korean-owned businesses. This diverse neighbourhood offers an eclectic range of amenities and attractions in a convenient downtown location. Four subway stations within the Annex make it easy to travel to all other areas of Toronto.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Running along the Annex’s southern boundary, Bloor Street West offers laidback eateries, trendy bars and cafés, and independent retailers catering to students from the nearby University of Toronto. Sushi on Bloor
, New Generation Sushi
, and Kibo Sushi House
each offer delicious Japanese sushi rolls and nigiri at great prices. Fuwa Fuwa Japanese Pancakes
sells scrumptious Japanese souffle pancakes with an extensive choice of toppings. You can also stop by COBS Bread
for many more tempting treats and tasty baked goods. Fresh
serves a wide-ranging menu of vegetarian and vegan dishes alongside made-to-order fresh juices. Snakes & Lattes
is a fun place to hang out with hot drinks and more than 1,000 different board and card games. Insomnia
boasts an award-winning brunch menu as well as diverse global comfort eats later in the day. At night, DJs spin tunes while guests enjoy a fine selection of cocktails, including more than 50 varieties of martini. Since opening on Bloor Street West in 1985, Lee’s Palace
has hosted performances for some of the most exciting alternative and rock acts. Past performances have included early gigs from Canadian legends The Tragically Hip along with the Toronto debuts of international acts including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Oasis, Blur, and Arctic Monkeys. Bloor Street West’s nightlife spots also include craft beer taproom Crafty Coyote
. A short stroll from Bloor Street West on Madison Avenue, Madison Avenue Pub
spans three Victorian mansions with six connected British-style pubs.
Things to Do
Beyond the Annex’s southwest corner, the Royal Ontario Museum
is the largest museum in Canada and one of Toronto’s most popular tourist attractions. This vast museum features 40 galleries dedicated to diverse topics, including natural history, ancient artifacts, and international artwork. The University of Toronto’s college football team, the Toronto Varsity Blues, play their home games just outside the Annex at Varsity Centre
. Other nearby attractions include the Royal Conservatory of Music’s beautiful Koerner Hall
concert venue, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art
, and the Bata Shoe Museum
. On Bloor Street West, the Hot Docs Cinema
is an independent movie house focusing on documentaries. Various documentaries are screened throughout the year at Hot Docs Cinema, with special screenings occurring for the springtime Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
The Toronto District School Board serves the Annex. A few prominent academic institutions in the area include:
- Huron Street Junior Public School, Public, PK-6.
- Monsignor Fraser College, Public, Roman Catholic, 9-12
- Royal St. George’s College, Private, Boys, 3-12