In 1886, developer Simeon Janes created a subdivision just outside Toronto’s border. He called it “The Annex” since it was about to be added, or annexed to the city. He gambled that Toronto’s burgeoning middle class would be attracted to luxury real estate set on tree-lined streets. His instincts made him a fortune, and the residences in the neighbourhood known as The Annex are as sought after today as they were in 1886.
Many Annex houses take their cue from the work of E. J. Lennox, the premier architect of the time. A Toronto native, Lennox created such landmark structures as the Old City Hall and Casa Loma. 37 Madison Avenue, designed by Lennox in 1887, blended Richardson Romanesque and Queen Anne architectural styles. Rounded arches over doors and windows, decorative turrets and the use of Credit River sandstone remain the hallmarks of a Lennox-style Annex home.
The Annex is located north of Bloor Street West and west of Avenue Road. It is bordered on the north by Dupont Street and on the west by Bathurst Street. Drivers can reach The Annex through its border streets, but parking in the neighbourhood can be difficult. Fortunately, The Annex is served by three subway stations on the Bloor-Danforth line: St. George, Spadina and Bathurst.
Annex real estate sold for an average of $1.6 million for a detached house and $1.3 million for a semi-detached or townhouse in 2015. In the same year, Annex condominiums sold for an average price of $1.1 million.
The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre is located at the corner of Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue and offers a wide variety of fitness and recreational programs. Nearby Trinity St. Paul's United Church is home to a number of faith-based and artistic groups, including the Baroque orchestra Tafelmusik. Annex fixtures such as the Bloor Cinema, Lee's Palace and the Tranzac Club continue to offer a wide spectrum of entertainment options.
Bloor Street between St George and Bathurst Streets has a thriving “restaurant row” that offers everything from pub fare to fine dining. Students from the nearby University of Toronto’s St George campus join neighbourhood locals as they meet, eat, and watch the people go by.
The Annex offers houses of exceptional beauty set on quiet, shady streets. It also has a vibrant restaurant and entertainment strip, as well as family-friendly schools and community centres. These features make it one of Toronto’s premier neighbourhoods.
For University-South Annex neighbourhood highlights, click here.
The Toronto neighbourhood map displayed on this website was published in "Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods", is copyright Maple Tree Publishing and has been reproduced by the Toronto Real Estate Board under license.