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Palmerston It's not the same as Little Italy

Normally grouped in as a neighbourhood combined with Little Italy, Palmerston actually has a pretty distinct feel. While life in Little Italy is centred around food and nightlife, Palmerston is the more quiet, residential neighbour. Its focal point is Palmerston Boulevard, one of the nicer streets in all of Toronto, thanks to its unmistakable stone gates at the entrance from Bloor, and the 64 or so iron lampposts that run its length to College Street, where another set of gates meets drivers and pedestrians. Palmerston's a bit more affluent than the Little Italy section to its west and the homes reflect the better incomes of the residents here. The neighbourhood is very close to the University of Toronto and a quick drive down Bathurst gets commuters downtown within minutes, although the area is also served by good transit connections.

Who Lives Here

East of Little Italy, the average age gets a little higher because the lifestyle gets a little less trendy and a bit more family-oriented, as well as slightly more expensive when it comes to housing. Bigger homes, especially those along Palmerston Boulevard, cater to retirees and seniors, as well as some couples with kids. The easternmost portion of Palmerston is home to some students because of the closeness to U of T.

Perfect for…

Older couples looking for more spacious homes close to all the services they need, as well as families with school-age kids.

Not-so-perfect for…

Urbanites and young professionals, who might not find many of their kin on the streets of the Palmerston neighbourhood.

Life and Style

This is where Palmerston and Little Italy mix, though not exclusively. Palmerston residents have some of the best restaurants, bars and lounges just a few blocks away in Little Italy. Its commercial and entertainment district is concentrated most heavily along College Street. It's a perfect place to hang out on the patio at a cafe with an espresso or a beer and people-watch on a sunny afternoon.

Housing Market

Rentals in Palmerston are just a bit more expensive than Little Italy, mainly due to it having more, bigger homes. Many have gardens or at least yards, with the most coveted homes being located along historic Palmerston Boulevard. There's a high rate of homeownership in Palmerston, though, so renters might not find a ton available, especially smaller units.

Avg. rent by housing type and size

1-bedroom: $1,605
2-bedroom: $1,700
3-bedroom: $2,550
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto neighbourhoods
Palmerston is 5% lower than TO average

Typical housing type

Larger, well-kept detached homes

Side note

There was a time – actually, there have been many – when the city considered tearing out the old lampposts from Palmerston, but they've recently been named heritage structures and seem to be protected.


Some of the best places to hang out in Palmerston are along College Street, while Bloor does a great job and so does Bathurst. Then, a few streets away is the University of Toronto, which offers up its own listing of eateries and bars which cater to students but lure out more than a few from the older crowd, too. Best bets, though, are Little Italy and Kensington Market, both of which are very close by. There are two parks in the community (jury's out on whether they're within the borders of Palmerston or Little Italy), called Art Eggleton and Bickford Park, which has an off-leash area for dogs. The former College Palmerston Church, with its huge steeple, is a major landmark in the area and was converted into extremely posh homes a few years back.