The Annex

Average sold price freehold (2009): $1,089,374

Average sold price condo (2009): $623,102

Postal code: M5R

Boundaries: Dupont St – Bloor St W, Avenue Rd – Bathurst St

Subway Stations: St. George, Spadina, Bathurst and Dupont

The Annex gives off the college neighbourhood vibe; due to its close proximity to U of T, it has a heavy population of students and faculty. As result, much of the area’s shops, restaurants, pubs and book stores along Bloor St W are aimed to attract the young student demographic. Nevertheless, the neighbourhood is quite affluent with some of the most expensive homes (to rent and to own) in Toronto lining the leafy streets. The neighbourhood is also famous for two historically significant landmarks – Honest Ed’s, Toronto first true bargain store, opened in 1948 by Ed Mirvish; and the much older Casa Loma, a Gothic Revival style mansion built in 1914, which is now a museum.

Real Estate:This area is renowned for the ‘Annex style’ houses, which typically feature large rounded Romanesque arches along with Queen Anne style decorative items such as turrets. Most often these gorgeous homes are made of red brick, but a few are made of sandstone; many of them can be found along Brunswick.

Along Admiral, you’ll find some spectacular, stately Edwarian homes. Many of these Annex style homes are quite large, especially those along Walmer, and have since been subdivided into smaller apartments. Along St George and Brunswick, some of the homes have been converted into 2-3 unit condos.

The Loretto Lofts, on Brunswick, are a designated heritage structure – gorgeous and fabulously well-maintained. Units in the condo on Prince Arthur are more affordable, and are sold more frequently.

Parks: Christie Pits Park is just on the outskirts of the traditional Annex boundaries – it could also be considered part of the West Annex, at the corner of Bloor St W and Christie. The park is best known for its baseball diamonds, one of which is full-sized and fenced that was named “Dominico Field”. The sides of the pits are highly sloped, and are used in winter for tobogganing.

Hot Spots:

The Madison Avenue Pub – 14 Madison Ave
A very popular meeting place for singles, this bar – which was converted from two old Victorian houses – is populated by young professionals, frat boys, and preppy students. The place gets packed fast and those keen on getting a table make sure to arrive early.

Green Room – 296 Brunswick Ave
A staple of U of T art students, this exceptionally hard-to-find and seedy looking bar, with a ton of character, offers some surprisingly affordable and good meal options.

The Bloor Street Cinema – 506 Bloor St W
A century-old, independent movie theatre that often features classic favourites in addition to current box office hits. Every Hallowe’en, they have a special midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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