What's that giant blue-and-silver slab sticking out of the historical brick building, you ask? And why is there a really inefficient staircase hanging out of it? This is Grange Park, the neighbourhood that is home to the very strange and wonderful Art Gallery of Ontario. From the back, the AGO might be considered rather non-synchronous with its surroundings, and from the front, the design could be called intriguing. AGO aside, Grange Park is an extension of Toronto’s Chinatown. The community's name comes from The Grange (that historical building being eaten by the AGO's modern expansion, and the former, more conservative home of the AGO), located at the head of Grange Park. The park is popular with families with small children for the excellent wading pool here, open all summer.
A very diverse mix. There is a high proportion of University of Toronto students in Grange Park, as well as families with young kids. A large chunk of the population is of Chinese descent.
U of T students, who want to live close to the school, as well as families.
The upper class, who may find themselves at odds with the middle-class and student population in Grange Park. There are a few houses in the neighbourhood, but most are townhouses and apartment buildings. However, many townhouses have sold for more than a million bucks.
Residents of Grange Park have quite a few options for keeping busy outside of work or classes at the university. There are three shopping districts in the neighbourhood: Baldwin Village between Beverley and McCaul, Queen Street West, and Chinatown at Spadina and Dundas. The latter features the Village on the Grange shopping area, voted to have the best food court in the city of Toronto. The mall is jammed with stores, mostly owned by Chinese residents of the community. There are also quite a few artists, or art lovers at least, who live in the area and own or contribute to small galleries that profit from their proximity to the AGO. The Art Gallery of Ontario is a great weekend destination, with fantastic exhibits that change regularly.
For students, Grange Park offers some great housing options that are pretty affordable for the most part. But while the community's great for families, families who rent might have a hard time finding a house with more than two bedrooms, unfortunately. The reason is likely that residents of Grange Park own their homes for the most part, and many aren't rented out.
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto neighbourhoods
Grange Park is 10% lower than TO average
Rowhouses and townhouses, and a few apartment buildings
Grange Park has an awesome and eclectic mix of businesses. Spadina and Dunas is the shopping area of Chinatown, with markets selling clothing, trinkets, housewares, fresh fruit and vegetables, and health products. Farther south, on Queen Street West is a different sort of shopping district, with trendy cafes and restaurants, independent boutiques and art galleries taking advantage of their proximity to the AGO. The AGO itself is a major landmark in Grange Park and attracts visitors from across the city and across the country.