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Little Italy (Toronto)

Little Italy, sometimes referred to as College Street West or College and Clinton, is one of the numerous Italian neighbourhoods in Toronto, Ontario, and is the best known. Bounded by Bathurst Street to the east, Harbord Street to the north, Dovercourt Road to the west, and Dundas Street to the south, Little Italy is a chic and trendy district that is centred around a restaurant/bar/shopping strip along College Street, the heart of which being the intersection of College and Clinton Streets.

The affordable Victorian homes that line the side streets of this neighbourhood were bought up by Italian immigrants, many of which found work on the railroads and in road construction. These houses were vacated by the suburb-seeking Canadians of Anglo-Saxon descent, which led to an influx of Italians in the community and the opening of a number of Italian-owned businesses along College Street.

After the Second World War, Canada relaxed its immigration policy triggering a massive influx of Italian immigrants to Toronto. A large proportion of these immigrants made their way to College Street West. As these were the boom years in Toronto, many upwardly mobile Italians moved to St. Clair West (Corso Italia) or more distant suburbs, such as Woodbridge.

Today, Little Italy's population is quite ethnically diverse, though there is an Italian-European flair to the community. It has become quite popular with younger crowds because of its vibrant nightlife and its proximity to the downtown core.