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The Annex: A history of how it came to be

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  1. Introduction
  2. The history of the Annex
  3. The plan for the Annex
  4. Conclusion
  5. Reference list

Toronto is a vibrant city, one that is comprised of very diverse neighborhoods and localized histories. Each specific neighborhood in the city is a product of a unique history and unique circumstances that helped shape the form it takes today. One such neighborhood is the Annex. The Annex is a neighborhood in the downtown core that is traditionally thought to comprise the area in between Dupont St. and Bloor St, and between Bathurst and Avenue Rd. Currently it is regarded as an affluent and culturally rich neighborhood. How did the Annex come to take its current form? This essay will examine how the Annex developed into the iconic neighborhood it is today. From this it will be clear that the history of the Annex is one that has shaped it present form, its big houses are the product of what was once an elite neighborhood, and its diverse mix of people come from the circumstances that it experienced once the affluent had moved on.

[...] Janes had a grand plan to subdivide the land west of Yorkville and east of Spadina into smaller lots for upscale people and families. His vision was one strictly of residences, and no commercial buildings. There were also no alleyways planned into the area, and this accounts for the lack of garages and the lack of parking in the Annex today. However, it did mean that the area would have large lots with residences that were set far back from the street, this allowed for big lawns and spacious residences. [...]

[...] Many of the upper-class families whose presence came to define the neighborhood only stayed in the area for one or two generations. Timothy Eaton died in 1907, and his son Jack became the head of the company. Jack and his wife Flora quickly decided that their current residence no longer suited their needs. The two left their residence on Walmer Ave., and relocated to a custom build mansion in what is now known as Forest Hill. The departure of this notable family began the mass exodus of the wealthy from the Annex to more exclusive areas of the city like Rosedale and Forest Hill. [...]

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