Despite the smelly-sounding name, Cabbagetown is a cherished well-known neighbourhood in east-central Toronto, its streets graced with some lovely Victorian homes. The area was home to Irish immigrants in the 1840s, when they came to worked in nearby industries. They built cottages and small homes and, story has it, they used to grow cabbages in their front yards.
In the 1970s, the area was rediscovered by artistic, liberal well-heeled professionals who lovingly restored the brick and stone and ironwork. Some understated natural landscaping on tree-lined streets recreated Cabbagetown into the gracious desirable neighbourhood it is today.
In 2004, the transformation was solidified, when the area became a historical preservation district; plaques commemorate well-known past residents of many of the homes.
Today, Cabbagetown is home to artists, writers, professors, lawyers, consultants. Most of the houses are small and charming. Some of the larger mansions have been divided into rental units. Proximity to the financial district, the U of T and Ryerson University, galleries, shops and restaurants add to the appeal.
My friend and I make an annual pilgrimage — to stroll the streets, dream about life in the homes we admire, and settle for taking photos of them. Last September, we were caught up in the annual Cabbagetown Festival, where artisans and artists display and sell their crafts – beautiful, rather pricey and lovely to behold. The clogged and noisy streets detracted from the charm. So, this year, we went in early July. Here are a few photos to give you a taste…
Why not go for a stroll yourself?