Dufferin Grove used to be one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets, but the area has really come into its own recently. One-of-a-kind eateries, stellar espresso joints, and other hip local businesses are adding a new and youthful energy to the area. While these are exciting developments, it’s the neighbourhood’s community spirit that continues to make it so special. If you’re moving to Dufferin Grove, here are five things you should know to get the most out of your new home.
1) Dufferin Grove Park is well known for a reason
Dufferin Grove Park contains 5.3 hectares of green space. It features top-notch amenities, including a basketball court, picnic area, wading pool, and children’s playground. That said, this unique park is much more than just a place to hang out or get active. It’s a community hub, in every sense of the word.
From outdoor theatre and storytelling events to pizza nights, there’s always a reason to get social in Dufferin Grove Park. If you’re new to the area, head over to this community-oriented space and get to know your new neighbours!
2) The food scene just keeps getting better
Looking for somewhere to eat, drink, and be merry? You’ll find no shortage of hot spots in Dufferin Grove. One of the most popular is Burdock, a brewery, bar, and music hall that serves some of the most creative snacks in the city. Try pairing the wild mushroom tacos or grilled broccolini with a local brew. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
At Depanneur, you’ll find drop-in dinners hosted by some of the city’s most innovative chefs. The eatery is also home to the Newcomer Kitchen program, which offers newcomer Syrian women space to cook traditional dishes for the public (all profits go to the cooks).
3) Dufferin Grove is home to some of the city’s best schools
Neighbourhood schools are part of what makes Dufferin Grove such a great place for families. Dewson Street Junior Public School offers a French Immersion program, as well as enrichment opportunities in art, music, and social justice. Ossington Old Orchard Public School features fantastic extracurricular options and a beloved school garden.
At the secondary school level, Bloor Collegiate consistently receives high marks from the Fraser Institute (a think tank that’s widely believed to provide the most comprehensive evaluations of Canadian schools). The school also offers TOPS, an enriched sciences program for gifted students.
4) It’s one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods
Residents of Dufferin Grove will tell you they live in one of the best neighbourhoods on the planet—and they’re not the only ones who think so. According to Time Out, this diverse west-end area is the 39th coolest neighbourhood in the world. The magazine cites relative affordability, tight-knit community relationships, and exciting new amenities as some of the reasons for including Dufferin Grove on the list.
5) It’s a stone’s throw away from other must-visit areas
Dufferin Grove might be considered one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods, but you’ll find just as much excitement when you venture outside of its borders. Area residents are less than a half-hour walk away from five of of the best neighbourhoods in Toronto.
Walk the vibrant strip of College Street that runs through Little Italy. Enjoy some perfectly-prepared fish in a Little Portugal restaurant. Check out the park in Trinity Bellwoods, a hip and cozy coffee shop in Brockton Village, or the vintage shops and cheap eats in Bloordale Village. Living in Dufferin Grove provides endless opportunities for urban exploration—both locally, and in the surrounding area.