Where: St. Clair Avenue West between Landsdowne and Westmount Avenues
How to get there by transit: 512 St. Clair streetcar
Between the 1930s and the 1980s, the Italian population in the Greater Toronto Area boomed an incredible 1,775 per cent, from 16,000 to 300,000. Many settled along a stretch of College Street known as Little Italy, before moving north (along with another wave of immigrants) in the ’50s to what is now Corso Italia, along St. Clair Avenue West. With nearly 500,000 Italians calling the GTA home, it is amongst the world’s largest population outside of Italy.
Tricolore Bar & Cafe and A.C. Ranch Caffé
Gentlemen sip espresso on the tiny patios of local cafés such as Tricolore Bar & Cafe or A.C. Ranch Caffé where, inside, regulars feast on Sicilian rice balls and veal from the steam-heated hot tables. D
Since 1961, Ital Sport has stocked soccer equipment for burgeoning Fabio Cannavaros alongside player merchandise. During major games, such as the upcoming World Cup (June 14 to July 15), the party spills onto the street.
The scent of freshly baked bread has wafted from the Tre Mari Bakery since Jim and Mary Deleo opened it in 1960. The third-generation of Deleos just added a market and expanded the café, a warm and inviting spot that serves espresso, gelato and hot-table goodies such as stuffed peppers and eggplant parmesan.
If an A.C. Milan kit isn’t your style, Genesis has been carrying dapper Italian-made menswear since 1973.
La Paloma serves more than 75 flavours of gelato including three named for owner Salvatore Giannone’s grandchildren: the Oreo-flavoured Salvatoreo, Smarties-flavoured Gioia Di Giuliano and Matteo’s Smors.
[This story appears in the May 2018 issue of WestJet Magazine]