Greektown: A Profile of Toronto Neighborhoods

Welcome banner in Greektown Toronto, also called The Danforth.

Greektown is a very warm and welcoming place (Harvey K, Flickr)

About Greektown Toronto

Did you know that Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood is home to the largest Greek community in North America?

In fact, it’s home to the largest Greek community in the entire world (besides Greece itself, of course).

But that’s not what makes it so special.

Close up of street lamp with poster of Danforth Avenue (Greektown Toronto).

Greektown is also known as The Danforth, due to its location on Danforth Avenue (Jason Baker, Flickr)

There’s a lot more to love about Greektown, whether it’s the diverse collection of restaurants serving everything from souvlaki to sushi, or the independent coffee shops and indie retailers.

Greektown also hosts some of Toronto’s biggest and most exciting events.

These festivals (such as the Taste of Danforth) draw over a million visitors, giving all Canadians a chance to celebrate the rich history, arts, culture and cuisine of Greece.

Here’s what else makes Greektown such a wonderful neighborhood….

Food & Dining In Greektown Toronto

Outside of Greek restaurant in Danforth Avenue, Toronto.

Greektown is known for a lot of things, but it’s especially known for its food (Joseph Morris, Flickr)

According to Culture Trip:

The Danforth pretty much equals foodie heaven. So many great restaurants to choose from that it’s hard to settle on just one.

Obviously Greektown has tons of excellent Greek restaurants.

For example, Messini on 445 Danforth Avenue is described as “Greektown’s gyro king.”

Close up of Gyro on a plate, a type of Greek food.

A community staple since 2002, Messini is famous for its giant pita wraps (Pixabay)

Whereas Mezes is formal and intimate, specializing in classic dishes such as souvlaki and saganaki, Christina’s is a great family restaurant with live music and dancing.

Greek baklava on a plate with strawberries.

Want something sweeter? Check out Athens Pastries for the city’s best Greek sweets and desserts (Pixabay)

Despite its name, Greektown is also home to countless multicultural eateries.

The Culture Trip declares:

Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, German, Lebanese, Greek, Italian, Spanish. The Danforth has it all.

Shopping In Greektown Toronto

Manuka storefront display with Yoga clothes.

Greektown has more Yoga wear than toga wear (Herry Lawford, Flickr)

Once home to a cluster of small stores, today The Danforth boasts some of Toronto’s best retail.

NOW Magazine says “The Danforth is home to a roster of must-visit indie boutiques” and SeeTorontoNow calls it a “premier shopping destination.”

Circus books and music storefront in The Danforth, Greektown Toronto.

The neighbourhood has everything from specialty shops to mega-malls (Jeff Hitchcock, Flickr)

For example, Korry’s on 569 Danforth Avenue sells designer men’s clothes from brands like Hugo Boss and Canali, while Becker’s Bridal (387 Danforth) is the oldest bridal salon in Canada!

Store display of women's fashion with mannequins.

Studio Fresh (810 Danforth) sells women’s dresses, jewelry and bags—all locally made in Toronto (Pixabay)

Looking for more of a one-stop-shopping destination? Greektown has that too.

Both The Riverdale Shopping Center and Gerrard Square are less than 7-minutes away.

Arts & Culture In Greektown Toronto

Bust of Alexander the Great in Greektown Toronto.

Just as ancient Greece is famed for its arts and culture, so is Greektown (Fitri Penyalai, Wikimedia)

The Toronto neighborhood is rich in history and heritage.

For instance, all street signs in The Danforth are in both English and Greek.

Bilingual Greek and English street signs in The Danforth (Greektown Toronto).

To quote Shakespeare, “It was Greek to me….” (GTD Aquitaine, Wikimedia)

But Greektown’s contribution to arts and culture goes way beyond simple street signs.

The neighborhood is also home to the Danforth Music Hall.

Opening in 1919, it’s hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Iggy Azalea and Lorde.

Danforth Music Hall exterior in Greektown Toronto.

The historic Danforth Music Hall is protected under the Ontario Heritage Act (Jeff Hitchcock, Flickr)

Besides music, the Danforth Music Hall has strong ties to the entertainment industry. For example, the venue has featured performances of RuPaul’s Drag Race and stand up by Dave Chappelle.

Hollywood has also come knocking several times, using the music hall for movies like Chicago and How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days.

Events & Activities In Greektown Toronto

Taste of Danforth Festival in Greektown Toronto with people on streets during daytime.

There’s always something to do in The Danforth (Joseph Morris, Flickr)

Of Greektown’s many events and festivals, none is bigger than the Taste of Danforth.

The 3-day street festival is Canada’s largest, drawing 1.6 million people in 2018.

Although The Taste of Danforth celebrates Greek food and culture, it also features dishes from around the world.

Indian food stall in Taste of Danforth Street Festival in Greektown Toronto.

Visitors can enjoy Thai, Japanese, Indian, Brazilian and Chinese cuisine as well (syntheticstrings, Flickr)

This year, the Taste of Danforth will run from August 9 to August 11, 2019 and feature the following activities:

  • A Sports Zone with appearances from pro athletes
  • A Kids Zone with 18,000 Lego blocks and other activities
  • Live music, karaoke and international dance lessons
  • The Mr. and Miss Asia Toronto Pageant
  • Art On Sneakers” contest and traditional plate breaking ceremony
Flags, stores and people celebrating Taste of Danforth Festival in Greektown Toronto.

The Taste of Danforth truly is foodie heaven (syntheticstrings, Wikimedia)

Want even more music, food and fun?

Check out Music on the Danforth, a 4-day affair with food, shopping and bands all along Danforth Avenue.

Traditional Greek dance at Taste of Danforth in Greektown Toronto.

You’ll hear everything from jazz and pop to traditional Greek music (syntheticstrings, Flickr)

Finally, be sure to head over to Carrot Common on 384 Danforth Avenue.

This Toronto landmark has a public courtyard, green roof, organic food market, retail, and health and wellness services.

Carrot Common storefront sign on 384 Danforth Avenue, Greektown Toronto.

Carrot Common focuses on healthy living and sustainability (skeezix1000, Wikimedia)

It also offers activities like educational workshops, community gardening, and art competitions, making it fun for the whole family.

Greektown Toronto: Conclusion

Flags of Greece and Canada on The Danforth in Greektown Toronto.

This incredible neighborhood brings a little slice of Greek culture to Canada (Jason Baker, Flickr)

There’s so much to love about Greektown, from its food to its festivals to its food festivals.

According to the official website:

Yes, there is Food, Food, and more Food – but Taste of the Danforth is so much more!

And the same can be said of all Greektown. The neighborhood is rich in arts, culture, entertainment, shopping, dining, community, diversity and history.

Whether you’re Greek or not doesn’t really matter, because Greektown is for everyone.

Want to learn more about Greektown Toronto? Contact me below with your details!

 

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