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Spotlight on Cabbagetown

On the East side of downtown Toronto is the neighbourhood of Cabbagetown, a place of colour, of character and of a rich history that dates back to a time before Toronto was even a city. It started as farmland with sporadic cottages on it back in the 1850’s and grew steadily until it was absorbed into the city of Toronto in the late 19th Century. It was home to the working class Irish immigrants who came to this country in search of a better life, and although they worked in industries along the lake shore, life was still tough and many chose to dig up their front yards in order to grow cabbages to sell. Cabbagetown was born. Brick Victorian houses were built when the residents could afford them and the neighbourhood peaked in prosperity right before the start of World War I.

After the war and beyond, Cabbagetown became increasingly poorer and ended up as one of the city’s slums. Lots of it was actually razed to make room for the neighbourhood of Regent Park and the rest just sat in shambles. That was until the 1970’s when people started to see that they could make something out of the slums. Small Victorian homes were bought and lovingly restored by people who wanted to see something good come out of the area, and while homes started decades ago at around $200,000 today they are going for well over $1 million.

Today Cabbagetown is an odd mix of, well, everything. There are drug dealers and gourmet stores, there are upscale boutiques and panhandlers, there are artists, musicians, writers, doctors, lawyers and those in financial services that call the neighbourhood home, all coexisting in their little historical world. Cabbagetown has a large gay and lesbian community, has wine tastings, book signings, art festivals and many other goings on throughout the year. On the second weekend of each September, the Cabbagetown Festival takes place with plenty of arts and crafts vendors and a spectacular parade around the neighbourhood.

In 2004, Cabbagetown became a Heritage Conservation District and because of its proximity to downtown still attracts its eclectic mix of residents.

If you are lucky enough to live in one of the lovely old homes in Cabbagetown, you will know the importance of doing twice a year roofing inspections and replacing that roof when needed. Call in the experts, call in Advanced Roofing and they will work with you to get exactly what you want, keeping that heritage house looking great while protecting you from the elements.

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