Unlike the name might imply, Little Italy isn’t exclusively an Italian neighbourhood. There is also a large Portuguese population centered around the First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre located on College Street, and the Portugal Village shopping district on Dundas Street West. Little Italy is now considered one of Toronto’s most multi-cultural areas. The residents are very welcoming to all new neighbours.
Little Italy is located south of College Street with Ossington Avenue to the west, Bathurst Street to the east with Dundas Street East to the south.
In the 1920’s this community became recognized as both the commercial and residential centre of Toronto’s Italian community. However, many of the residents of this community began moving north to the Corso Italia district on St. Clair Avenue West by the 1960’s. Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish families replaced the Italian families that moved out. Thus, paving the way for the multicultural lifestyle now enjoyed in the neighbourhood. The local business association on College Street officially adopted the Little Italy name in 1985, recognizing the role this community has played as a first home for Italians in Toronto.