The city of Toronto is home to a number of very unique neighbourhoods, but perhaps there is none more interesting when it comes to history and current mix of residents than Cabbagetown. When it comes to the upper end of Toronto real estate, you will find many homes in Cabbagetown among the most desirable and cutting edge of all those in the city (which is surprising in itself when you consider the name of the neighbourhood!).
Cabbagetown developed roughly, the original residential neighbourhood of many of the Irish immigrants who made their way across the Atlantic to Canada in the middle of the 19th century. The neighbourhood took its name from these immigrants and their impact on real estate in Cabbagetown, as many of them grew cabbages in their front yards in order to supplement the family groceries. As the years went by, the areas surrounding the original Cabbagetown neighbourhood began to change, as families began making their fortunes in the burgeoning Toronto market place, and slowly the whole area began to take on a more upper class feel. In the middle of the 20th century, a lot of the original Cabbagetown neighbourhood was destroyed in order to make room for a large housing project, and the name moved North to the richer neighbourhoods and their Victorian style homes.
Today, when one thinks Cabbagetown homes, it is usually these old Victorians that are being referred to. Beginning in the 1970s, upper class professionals began to take a renewed interest in the old and still beautiful homes in the Cabbagetown area, and began to restore them. Today, it is common to find Victorian style homes along tree-lined streets, complete with wrought iron fences and some of the most amazing gardens to be found anywhere in the city.
As far as retail centres go, Cabbagetown has an eclectic mix. As so many of the most affluent citizens of the city live along the boulevards and avenues, there are plenty of upscale boutiques and shops located in the shopping areas. There is even a local farmer's market, as well as typical small grocery stores.
As far as culture goes, the same residents responsible for the gentrification of the Cabbagetown neighbourhood have also put together several neighbourhood associations, which take responsibility for promoting the image of the area and keeping its culture intact. One of the results of these efforts is the Cabbagetown Festival. Held each year, the festival includes an arts and crafts fair, home tours, and a parade. There is also an annual short film and video festival and a Forsythia festival each May.