Little Italy, Toronto Neighbourhood Guide: A Taste of Italy

Little Italy, Toronto

Image of Little Italy

Neighbourhood At a Glance:

Average Commute Time

It takes 13 minutes to drive to Union Station and 24 minutes by transit.


Residents live a vibrant and cultured lifestyle.

The Housing Market

Mainly Victorian-era, subdivided homes.

What You’ll Love

The plethora of bars, restaurants, and cafés, as well as the vibrant community.

What Not To Expect

Don’t expect a tranquil environment.

Bending along College Street from Bathurst Street to Dovercourt, bounded by Harbord Street to the north and Dundas Street to the south, you’ll find the trendy neighbourhood of Little Italy. Commonly referred to as College Street West, this district is centred on a restaurant/bar/shopping strip along College Street in downtown Toronto.


This historic Toronto neighbourhood is home to the largest Italian community outside of Italy; however, it is not an exclusively Italian neighbourhood as its name would suggest. The area is ethnically diverse, with a significant Latin-Canadian and Portuguese-Canadian community. Today, Little Italy‘s Italian and Portuguese residents are welcoming new neighbours from around the world to what is now considered one of Toronto’s most multicultural areas.

Neighbourhood Review


Much of the architecture in Little Italy is made up of beautiful Victorian-era houses built mostly between 1840 and 1910. Walking along Palmerston Boulevard, you’ll find Edwardian mansions with ornate iron street lamps. There are also many two-storey houses with gable roofs and huge bay windows on tree-lined streets.


The Roman Catholic church of Saint Francis of Assisi, on the west side of Little Italy, has a Gothic-revival architectural style and 21 large stained glass clerestory windows.

semi detached houses

Things to Do in Little Italy

Arts & Culture

Little Italy is home to many one-of-a-kind spaces where you can enjoy local art exhibits, live music, movie screenings, and more. The area is an ever-changing collection of top-notch restaurants, sidewalk cafés, live music, and Latin-dancing opportunities, all within walking distance.


Portuguese and Italian communities lend a flair to the cultural life here, with streets closed regularly for processions, festivals, and coveted sports events like the World Cup/European Cup.


The Italian Walk of Fame is located on the north side of College Street and you can also find lots of murals throughout the area.  The nightclub El Convento Rico and Lily Lounge are popular destinations for nightlife. 

little italy neighbourhood


Little Italy offers many great locally owned shops and boutiques to check out. Stock up on everyday necessities, hardware, and pet supplies, or find something special at one of the many unique stores that dot the street.


The Little Italy shopping district on College Street, between Shaw Street and Euclid Avenue, features tasty Italian restaurants and bakeries. The Portugal Village shopping district on Dundas Street includes fresh fruit-and-vegetable markets, delectable bakeries, as well as seafood restaurants, and cafés that feature mouth-watering Portuguese cuisine.

sustain community life

Restaurants & Dining

As one might expect, Little Italy is home to some of the city’s best dining options, from Bar Raval to Café Diplomatico.


Bitondo Pizzeria, where you can taste a delicious Italian pizza or panzerotti, has been in the neighbourhood since the 1970s. Café Diplomatico dates back over 50 years and is a popular place for Italians and locals to gather on the patio to have a coffee, biscotti, or gelato.


Bar Isabel is a Spanish-influenced restaurant with authentic cuisine and an old European style. It also offers a range of craft beers, wine, and cocktails. Alternatively, you can head to Bar Raval for delightful food and great drinks.

authentic italian dinner


There are numerous nearby parks that complement the tree-lined streets of Little Italy. George Ben Park is a quiet rectangular area with a small playground. Fred Hamilton Playground is a more extensive park with bocce courts — a legacy of Italian immigrants. It also has a wading pool and a beautiful wildflower garden.


Nearby Christie Pits Park has rolling hills, while the spacious Trinity-Bellwoods Park features a tennis court and skating rink.

college st


For residents who enjoy staying active, there are plenty of opportunities for recreational activities. The West End YMCA at 931 College Street, for instance, includes a gymnasium, a swimming pool, and community meeting rooms.


The First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre at 722 College Street has lecture halls, a games room, a bar, meeting rooms, and a restaurant. Evening programs range from performances of Fado music to dances.


GoodLife Fitness Toronto College and Euclid is a small gym at the heart of the Little Italy neighbourhood. It offers personal and team training, TRX, cardio classes, strength-training classes, and mind and body classes.

toronto little italy

Transit & Commute Times

Little Italy is well served by regular bus routes on Ossington Avenue and streetcar service on College, Dundas, and Bathurst Streets. The area is also quite walkable, with most necessities nearby.


For residents who prefer to drive, the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard are within reach in about 10 minutes.

toronto little italy

A Vibrant, Cultural Community

Little Italy brings a European cultural flair to downtown Toronto. Here, traditional Italian, Portuguese, or Vietnamese residents mingle with young professionals in subdivided Victorian homes. The neighbourhood is lined with exceptional cafés, restaurants, and bars with a number of green spaces throughout.


The area is perfect for young families and singles looking to stay in the heart of the city within quiet residential streets.


few italian restaurants

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Little Italy, Toronto known for?

Little Italy is known for its wide variety of restaurants and cafés, many of which feature authentic Italian coffee and cuisine.

Why is it called Little Italy?

Little Italy gets its name from being home to the largest Italian community outside of Italy.


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