by Susy Alexandre June 29, 2022

Best Neighbourhoods in Toronto to Explore this Summer

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The summer months in Toronto are perhaps the best time of year to really explore, as the city truly comes alive in the spring and summer. 

The warmer weather and days of brilliant sunshine work to shake off the chill of the colder months, inviting residents and visitors alike back outdoors and into the hustle and bustle of city life. With the re-opening of seasonal attractions and recreational facilities, it truly feels like that special “spark” of the city is reignited.

This summer, we’re encouraging you to get reacquainted with the beauty in your city’s “backyard” and explore some of the most distinct and beautiful neighbourhoods of Toronto; Kensington Market, The Beaches, Cabbagetown, the Distillery District, and Riverdale.

Kensington Market

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bounded between Dundas Street West and College Street. Vibrant, eclectic and full of flavours, Kensington Market is a foodie’s paradise and a mecca for unique and varied urban shopping. A mosaic of multricultural offerings, this area is known for its fun and quirky vibe, with a unique appeal and energy that draws people back year after year. 

Beyond the trendy vintage shops and popular culinary hot spots, visitors to this area will note the striking architecture. Victorian-style homes are set along tree-lined residential streets, many of which have been painted in bright and contrasting hues. This bold backdrop adds to the eccentric feel of the community, a visual nod to the rich history of the area. 

Here are a few local links to help you plan your visit:

The Beaches

Image Credit: Flickr

Just 20 minutes east of downtown Toronto, bounded between Coxwell Avenue and Victoria Park Avenue, you’ll find The Beaches. As the name suggests, a beachy, laid-back community with a charming small-town feel that thrives in the summer months and offers prime proximity and access to the city’s local water-side attractions. Sandy beaches, a popular boardwalk area and the poximity to the bustling Queen Street East area makes this neighbourhood the quintessential summertime destination for a beachy “stay-cation” in the city. 

Just a few of the popular draws in this area include: 


Image Credit: City of Toronto

Historical charm and a close-knit sense of community set this neighbourhood apart. 

Cabbagetown, the name derived from its early Irish immigrants from the 1840’s. As it goes, the area is named so for these early settlers, who took to growing cabbage in their yards as a result of their impoverished status. 

The area also has the distinction of being “the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in all of North America” via the Cabbagetown Preservation Association, for its abundance of semi-detached Victorian residential architecture.   

With a history marked by major periods of transformation, this area was made up of mainly farmlands and cottages prior to the 1850’s. In the 1970’s, Cabbagetown underwent a massive gentrification, made up mostly by well-off professionals and the face of the area changed dramatically. 

A community-wide sense of pride and unity is evident in Cabbagetown, where residents from all backgrounds present of a mosaic of cultural variety, each contributing to the unique fabric of this area. The best time of year to witness this sense of comraderie amongst locals is during the annual Cabbagetown Fall Festival, held over a weekend in September, offering attractions and events such as mini marathons, musical performances, food stations, a parade, and even activities catering to pets. 

On Parliament Street, in the charming shopping district known as “Old Cabbagetown”, locals and visitors can enjoy unique retail venues and dining options, with smaller shopping areas located on Carlton Street, Sherbourne Street, Gerrard Street and Welleseley Avenue.

Distillery District

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

Set to a backdrop of architecturally-striking 19th century buildings that once formed part of a whiskey distillery, explaining the name, the Distillery District is a hugely popular Toronto destination year-round in the city. 

Re-erected by developers with a vision for giving the area new life and opened in 2003, the Distillery District was re-imagined as place where easy, European charm would meet the exciting and unexpected pace and energy of big urban sprawls found in the likes of New York’s trendiest boroughs. The balance, the developers knew, would mean the area would offer an experience unlike any other neighbourhood in the city. This fusion and seamless stitching of the old and new has made the Distillery District one of the hippest destinations in Toronto, 

Per their official website, the Distillery District is noted as “Canada’s premier arts, culture and entertainment destination. A place brimming with creativity and creative people, that can inspire dreams, and a place that can help them come true.”

Offering visitors unique indulgences in art, music, food and shopping, this district delivers a wide array of attractions in a setting that is wholly unique to the area. 

You can find a schedule of upcoming events here

See their dining page for a comprehensive list of local eateries, including the popular Pure Spirits Oyster House and Archeo, where you’ll want to take the time for a photo op on their dreamy courtyard patio. 

For those who love the festive feel of the winter months, you won’t want to miss the annual Christmas Market in the Distillery District. Reimagined in 2021 as the Winter Village, organizers invite guests to “take-in the timeless romance of the holidays, and enjoy a curated selection of Toronto’s finest craftspeople, local shops, restaurants and cafes”.

Don’t forget to check out the area’s local galleries and many shopping options, including an impressive roster of vintage retailers.


Image Credit: Flickr

Large in sprawl and hugely diverse in its residents, Riverdale is especially known for its extensive array of local parks, with Riverdale Park being one of the largest greenspaces in Toronto. 

Marked by charming Victorian homes in its residential pockets, bright and inviting retail districts, top-notch local schooling and unmistakable community pride, Riverdale is a beloved district-gem in the city and a favourite amongst families looking for the idyllic place to lay down roots. 

The three largest parks in this area are Riverdale Park, Jimmie Simpson Park and Withrow Park, all of which offer a variety of sports fields and amenities designed to keep visitors active and engaged while enjoying the lush outdoor space. Riverdale Park in particular offers breathtaking vistas of the Toronto skyline, making for unforgettable sunset views. 

Commuters in this area appreciate the many local public transport options, as well as the easy access to the Don Valley Expressway, Lake Shore Boulevard and Gardiner Expressway. 

An area much-loved by the artist community, Riverdale is also a hub for the city’s creatives, with pop-up art festivals and exhibitions like the popular Riverdale ArtWalk, which especially caters to new and up-and-coming local talent. 

For more information on some of the city’s best local destinations, check out these recent Your Community blog posts:

With so much to see and explore in the city this summer, there really is something for everyone, to cater to every curiosity and interest. 

If house-hunting is part of your summer plans, be sure to reach out so we can let you know how our team can help you find the perfect fit for yourself and your family. From isolating the best property style to narrowing down neighbourhoods that meet your needs, our award-winning agents have the resources and know-how to get you into your dream home today!

Curious to know more about Toronto – and the many other communities that Your Community Realty serves? Check out our Community Information page for more information and active local property listings today!

Stay ahead by signing up for our new listings notifications today!

High Park presents a mecca for sports enthusiasts, with an extensive array of fields and designated areas for sport throughout the park. 

High Park offers many sports facilities for sports enthusiasts.

Tennis in High Park is a popular option via the six public tennis courts situated in the park and the Howard Park Tennis Club, located at the eastern edge of the park, where private memberships are available. Non-members are also able to enjoy the club’s facilities, but their public-play times and access do have some restrictions. Be sure to check in with the club before your visit for all the updated details. 

In the winter months, the public tennis courts are re-purposed as the outdoor skating rink area. 

There is an outdoor swimming pool that is open in the summer months through to Labour Day. 

Visitors will find three baseball diamonds and two soccer fields located to the west of Colborne Lodge. You can get information on the required permits for these fields by contacting (416)394-5595.

The park also offers several areas of hiking grounds, trails and flat, open green space perfect for other kinds of sport and recreation.

When it comes to a one-stop-shop destination for all ages, High Park is an easy choice for locals in the community and visitors alike. A fun way to not only get the family outdoors, but also get everyone engaged and active, this iconic park has something for everyone. From spectacular foliage to historical buildings, sports grounds to unique attractions – High Park has it all!

New to High Park? Here are a few resources to help plan ahead for the perfect visit:

[email protected] 

Curious to know more about Toronto – and the many other communities that Your Community Realty serves? Check out our Community Information page for more information and active local property listings today!

Stay ahead by signing up for our new listings notifications today!

Local Office

187 King Street East

Toronto, ON, M5A 1J5

Office: (416) 637-8000

Fax: (416) 361-9969


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