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Toronto Yorkville:
From Hippy Haven to Shopping Heaven

The district known as Toronto Yorkville began as a Sixties alternative society, hippy place-to-be and has developed into a well-to-do place to be for the young and wealthy.

Today, it's very much one of Canada's places to live and shop in the city.

If you're in the market for a Maserati, or expensive perfumes or jewelry, this is the place for you.

Even such hopeless cases as hippies, you see, can grow up and grow rich.

However, As the area moved upmarket (during the 1980's and '90's), the counter-culture moved to Queen Street west and Kensington Market.

Yorkville itself was a former village that became part of Toronto when the city grew to the north.

Toronto Yorkville street scene

Today, the area we call Yorkville lies between Davenport Road in the north, Bloor Street to the south, Avenue Road to the west, and Yonge Street to the east.

Because the village and surrounding area was 'annexed' by Toronto, Yorkville lies within a larger area known locally as 'the Annex'.

Toronto Yorkville street scene

The former village is now one of Canada's two top shopping locations, a title it shares with Robson Street in Vancouver.

Before you rush to set up a store, you should know it's also one of the highest rent places in North America.

This statue of a bull isn't so much a reminder of Yorkville's village past, more a statement of what makes Yorkville rich today.

It's a stock market 'bull' from Bay Street, Toronto's own financial district.

Toronto Yorkville hazelton-Scollard street scene

When the young radicals left Yorkville in the 80's and 90's, the international jet set labels moved in.

Stores selling Burberry, Prada, Hermes, Chanel, Ferrari and Maserati can be found throughout the district, as well as similarly upscale trendy cafes, and restaurants, particularly in the Hazelton Lanes Shopping Centre.

The photo isn't Hazelton Lanes, it's an old church now doing service as an Urban Wellness Centre on the corner of Hazelton and Scollard Streets.

Toronto Yorkville street scene

Adding to the desirability of the neighbourhood are such cultural spots as the Royal Ontario Museum, the ROM, a number of interesting modern art galleries, Teatro Vert and the MTV Canada headquarters.

During the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) time and, because of the high-end shopping, Yorkville is also famous for its celebrity-spotting possibilities.

Toronto Yorkville: How to Get There

Toronto Yorkville street scene - the Carillion

The simplest way to Yorkville is a short walk from the TTC's Bloor St station.

There is, however, plenty of parking at Yorkville and driving your car slowly along the crowded streets, watching the people on the sidewalks and patios watch you, is a popular thing to do.

It's a more expensive and fussy way to arrive but it's more satisfying. Yorkville is about display, not modesty.

For a hotel nearby, try our hotels in Toronto page or our downtown hotels page.

Toronto Yorkville is a great place to spend a summer's day, check out our page Weather in Toronto to see why, just be sure to bring your charge cards because it's hard to carry the amount of cash you'll need here.

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