Because each neighbourhood has a unique story to tell

Summer is here, which means it’s time to wear a nice outfit and go explore the city. Whether you are putting historic districts or vibrant enclaves into your itinerary, there is so much to discover in one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

So, without further delay, let’s embark on a virtual tour to glimpse some neighbourhoods that make up the diverse community of this cosmopolitan city.


Picture of a red lantern from Chinese culture
Photo by Christina Boemio via Unsplash

Located at the busy intersection of Spadina and Dundas Street West, we start with one of the oldest areas of Toronto, Chinatown. Established in 1905, the area offers a place for the first generation of Chinese immigrants. It also witnessed the long history of development and sacrifice the community contends with.

Chinatown is a blast to walk around during the summer. As you enter the area, it feels like you are stepping into a different city.

One of the things you must do when visiting Chinatown is try Asian-style food. For me, personally, I would suggest hot pot, dumplings, banh mi and Vietnamese coffee.

To get to Chinatown by subway, get off at Spadina Station.

Little Italy

Picture of an Italian billboard
Photo by Karl Edwards via Unsplash

Little Italy stretches from east to west of College Street from Bathurst Street to Ossington Avenue. This is the home of the earliest waves of Italian immigrants during the early 20th century. After the world wars, several thousand more Italians came to Canada, establishing the first official Little Italy.

If you are a fan of architecture, you have to check out this area. Along Palmerston Boulevard, you’ll see Edwardian mansions with ornate iron street lamps on two sides of the road. Adjacent to Little Italy stands the Roman Catholic church of Saint Francis of Assisi, which features a stunning Gothic-revival architectural style that will make you drop your jaw.

Besides, you’ll find many exciting events such as the annual Taste of Little Italy and the Good Friday March. You can also go to any bar to catch the Italian national team playing in the UEFA European Championship, which starts in June.

Commuting to Litte Italy? Get off at Ossington Station.

Kensington Market

Picture of a person leaning on wall while picking clothes
Photo by Clark Street Mercantile via Unsplash

Going back to the west side, we see one of the best examples of the diversity of Toronto right here at Kensington Market. The area invites you to a world where creativity is endless. Immerse yourself in a bohemian atmosphere full of vintage shops, street art and enticing food stalls.

Since the late 1960s, Kensington Market started hosting people from various cultures such as Eastern Europe, Portugal, Italy, China, East India and Afro-Caribbean. Together, they created a vibrant yet exquisite neighbourhood full of energy and creativity.

Gef off at Spadina Station and you’ll be at the heart of Kensington Market!

Little India

culture spice
Photo by Jason Leung via Unsplash

Widely known as the Gerrard India Bazaar, Little India is located on the east side of Downtown Toronto. Unlike other neighbourhoods that were formed because of the relocation of immigrants, Little India was established by one businessman who decided to open his own movie theatre.

In the early 1970s, South Asian businessman Gian Naz acquired the Eastwood Theatre and changed its name to Naaz Theatre. At that time, this was the only place you could go and watch Bollywood films, the theatre attracted many Indo-Canadian visitors to the area, leading to a rapid expansion of “mom-and-pop” business owners. And the rest is the Little India we know today.

Aside from the colourful Diwali in November, you can expect to find some of the most exclusive spices in the world, as well as the most authentic Indian and Pakistani cuisine.

Make a stop at Greenwood Station to get to Little India.


A picture of a blue wooden door with Greek signage
Photo by Despina Galani via Unsplash

The Danforth located on the East side of Toronto has been a cultural enclave of Greek immigrants since World War I. In the past, the area was primarily farmland and was home to only a small number of Greek immigrants. After the Greek Civil War, the area saw an influx in the number of Greeks who arrived and chose the Danforth as their settlement.

Now, Greektown is the host of the Taste of the Danforth, one of Toronto’s biggest food festivals in the summer. This takes place every August and celebrates Greek culture with food, music and dance. Here, you’ll be astonished by the large concentration of restaurants, as well as the signature blue and white of the Greek flag and bilingual street signs.

To get to Greektown by subway, get off at Pape Station.

Final thoughts

Gif via GIPHY

Of course, these are just some examples of the big multicultural picture of Toronto. Whether you are drawn to artistic expressions or a sense of vibrant community, Toronto will expose you to diverse cultures and ideas from around the world. From that, you will discover not only the beauty of cultural exchange but also the strength that comes from understanding and respecting different cultures.

So, on your next urban adventure, don’t forget to share with us some cool photos of Toronto culture on our social media @shareignite.

Feature image courtesy of Scott Webb via Unsplash.

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