St James Town, Cabbagetown, Regent Park - Toronto Neighbourhoods
These communities are south of Bloor, and between Sherbourne and the Don Valley's parklands. St James has some 20 1960s-built high-rises just south of Bloor, which are home to over 18,000 residents, mostly with low to middle income. South of St James Town is Cabbagetown, a charming area that in the 1840s attracted poor Irish immigrants who grew cabbages on their front lawns. In the Great Depression of the 1930s, the area went downhill to become some of the worst slums anywhere. The worst of those in South Cabbagetown were torn down in the 1950s for the Regent Park public housing development, which is filled with a range of new Canadians, speaking over 60 languages. Since the 1970s, Cabbagetown's remaining Victorian homes have attracted home buyers, bringing life to the neighbourhood.
For motorists, downtown and the Don Valley Parkway are only 10 minutes away. The Sherbourne bus and Parliament streetcar connect passengers to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line (the Sherbourne station is only a short walk away). The Dundas streetcar and the Gerrard, Carlton or Wellesley buses connect commuters to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
The area is served by 4 elementary schools, 2 Catholic elementary school, 2 high school, and 2 libraries. George Brown College, The Ontario College of Art & Design, University of Toronto and Ryerson University are nearby in downtown Toronto.
St. James Town has a number of neighbourhood stores I the high rise complexes, and there is lots of retail variety along Wellesley, Sherbourne, River, and Wellesley streets, and the 'Old Cabbagetown' on Parliament Street.
This neighbourhood has a number of small formal parks and gardens, notably Allan Gardens with its Conservatory with six greenhouses. Cabbagetown's recreation is centered around Riverdale Park, home of Riverdale Farm, a late 19th century Victorian farm with horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, geese and ducks. Riverdale Park also has 4 baseball diamonds, and a paved recreational pathway which connects to Riverside Park East (with a track, outdoor pool, outdoor rink, 7 tennis courts, 1 baseball diamond, and sports fields), and the Don River trail which extends north to Edward Gardens, and east to the Taylor Creek pathways into Scarborough. Regent Park has a recreation centre on Gerrard Street, with a gym and an outdoor pool, and the community has two outdoor skating rinks and 3 baseball diamonds.
For the culturally minded, there are the Toronto Dance Theatre and the Grossman Dance Theatre along Parliament, and a number of other theatres along or just east of Yonge Street. There are also a number of multi-screen cinemas nearby on Yonge Street and to the south at Market Square.
Cabbagetown's array of carefully-restored Victorian houses was built between 1860 and 1895, and are priced in the low to high-medium range.
The privately-owned St. James Town apartment buildings have units ranging from bachelor to 3-bedroom apartments at marketplace rents. Those buildings in St. James Town that are owned by the Metro Toronto Housing Authority offer rents geared towards income. Regent Park North (of Dundas Street) is mostly low-rise walk-up apartment buildings and townhouses, while Regent Park South (of Dundas Street) has a mix of row-houses, low-rise, and high-rise apartment buildings. The rents in Regent Park's Metro Toronto Housing Authority units are based on each resident's income.