If your ideal neighbourhood exudes both old world charm and contemporary cool, look no further than Little Portugal. This west end community is home to generations of Portuguese residents, and its roots give it a traditional, family-oriented feel. Stroll around the area when it’s warm out, and you’re bound to see friendly gatherings unfolding on front lawns and inside of beloved local cafes and eateries. While Little Portugal is a largely residential neighbourhood, don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s boring. In recent years, the area has been invigorated by a collection of trendy new restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and boutiques that have popped up along the Dundas West strip.
Are you thinking of making Little Portugal home? If so, here’s what you should know to make the most of your new neighbourhood…
1) It’s a great place for music lovers
Residents of Little Portugal are just a stone’s throw away from some of the most unique small and mid-sized venues in the city. The Garrison is a local favourite, both for its laid-back vibe and the diverse musical acts it attracts. Lula Lounge is a great spot to see salsa, jazz, hip hop, world music, and more. And if you’re a fan of country or folk, try catching a set at the rustic Dakota Tavern. In addition to great venues, Little Portugal is home to an abundance of musical artists. In fact, SOCAN has found that there are more musicians living in the area than anywhere else in the country. Take a walk around the neighbourhood and you just might bump into a singer or songwriter who’s destined to be the next big thing!
2) It’s home to some great Portuguese-owned businesses
It’s perhaps no surprise that there’s an abundance of fantastic Portuguese-owned businesses in Little Portugal. What many visitors don’t know is that these eateries, cafes, bakeries, and retail shops are some of the best in the city. If food is one of your passions, check out Chiado for savoury tapas or Barrada Churrasqueira for impeccable meat and seafood dishes. Venezia Bakery sells some of the most authentic Portuguese custard tarts you’ll find anywhere. And when it comes to shopping, I can’t recommend Saudade highly enough. This boutique pays homage to Portuguese design through its eclectic selection of home decor.
3) The area is a food-lovers paradise
I’ve already mentioned some of the fabulous Portuguese restaurants in Little Portugal. But when it comes to food, the area’s offerings are actually very diverse. Antler Kitchen and Wine Bar focuses on Canadian cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients. Enoteca Sociale serves up exceptional Italian food, while Sukothai’s Thai menu is a cut above the average. For those who prefer French fare, La Baratin is a great place to grab your favourite classic dish—with a modern twist.
4) It’s surrounded by other incredible neighbourhoods
Little Portugal is one of those west end neighbourhoods that’s perfect for urban explorers of all stripes. It’s not just the area’s sights and amenities that make it so great for walkers and cyclists. It’s also the beautiful and lively communities that surround it. If you head east along Dundas, you’ll find yourself in Trinity Bellwoods—considered by many to be Toronto’s capital of cool. Nearby, West Queen West is one of the city’s go-to’s for buzzworthy art galleries and cutting-edge boutiques. Of course, I couldn’t forget about Dufferin Grove, which was recently named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Time Out.
5) Getting around is a breeze
Getting around on foot or bicycle is great, but it doesn’t make sense in every situation. Whether you commute daily or head across the city on occasion, having easy access to public transit is priceless. Luckily, Little Portugal is well served by transit. There are streetcars along Dundas and College Streets, and bus routes on Dufferin, Landsdowne, and Ossington. The result is extensive coverage across the neighbourhood—so no matter where you settle down in Little Portugal, you can connect to the rest of the city without much hassle!
Still looking for your perfect house or condo in Little Portugal? You can check out recent listings in the neighbourhood here. If you have any questions about the area, feel free to get in touch!