Average sales price freehold (2009): $587,835 (2010): $669,723; (2011): $732,241; (2012): $733,760

Boundaries: Queen St W – Lake Shore Blvd W; Dufferin St – Roncesvalles Ave

Subway Stations: Dufferin, Dundas St Wes, Landsdowne, Osgoode and St. Andrew

At the western tips of King St W and Queen St W is Parkdale, a 160 year old neighbourhood that has seen its share of ups and downs. The few mansions scattered around are a reminder of Parkdale in the early 20th century, when it was considered an upper income residential area. However, when the city built the Gardiner Expressway in 1955, a large portion of the neighbourhood was demolished. As a result, the wealthy residents moved further west leaving the local economy in decline. Nowadays, the neighbourhood attracts lower income families and newcomers to Canada living in numerous apartment buildings south of King St W. Many of the notable mansions have since been converted into rooming houses, and many of the older warehouses and factories have been turned into authentic residential lofts.

parkdale 1

Nevertheless, the neighbourhood is seeing increasing signs of gentrification, as the Queen West hipster bars, and art galleries slowly extend further west. Roncesvalles is also undergoing a slow gentrification, as young couples replace old couples; the whole area is experiencing a slow renovation.

Real Estate: It’s common to find homes in every state of repair, from dilapidated homes in the process of foreclosure or an estate sale to immaculately restored and completely renovated Victorians, with well maintained lots. The general style of architecture in the area is Victorian, and many of the houses are over 100 years old. The  homes in this area are larger, and built on bigger lots compared to neighbourhoods like Little Italy.

The oldest homes in the neighbourhood  have distinctly round Romanesque arches over windows and entrance ways. The walls are masonry and often feature different patterns of rough faced stone-work.

Although there aren’t any condo developments this far along King St W yet, a few notable lofts can be found tucked away on some of the side streets.

parkdale 1

Hot Spots:

The Rhino  – 1249 Queen St W
Great food and great beer in Parkdale at the newly renovated Rhino, with regular exhibitions showing in The Thick Skin Gallery.

The Mascot – 1267 Queen St W
The café doubles as an art gallery, the espresso is great, the furniture is antique and the woodworking is done by local artist Kwest.

Café Taste – 1330 Queen St W
Cafe Taste is an environmentally-mandated business modeled after a European cafe, featuring local products with a focus on Wine & Cheese.

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