Exploring Toronto's Hoods



Living in Toronto, we didn’t shy away from drawing Toronto. Our unapologetic love for this multi-cultural melting pot shines through in our artwork. Whether it’s the hand drawn landmarks in our Blue Prints collection, or our digitally illustrated Toronto gems in our Icon-O-Tecture collection, we’ve tried to explore all that Toronto has to offer. We recently celebrated Toronto’s most famous homes and its popular urban nooks through our Famous Homes of Toronto and Toronto Snapshots collections. We explored the realm of digital watercolour illustrations for both of these and went down an entirely new illustration style.


So it was no surprise when we decided to do another walk through Toronto, and this time through its hoods. Toronto is often called the city of neighbourhoods, and each has its own unique quality. Whether it’s the razzle dazzle of Rosedale’s most expensive homes, or massive mansions atop The Hill; and even the colourful Beaches or the playful Kensington Market vibes; Toronto has an array of hoods. This collection illustrates the architectural gems of these neighbourhoods and what makes one unique from the next.


Leslieville

With its new restaurants, bars, pubs, and shops cropping up, Leslieville is quickly becoming not just family-friendly, but also one of the newest hip hoods in town. With the rejuvenation of the Broadview Hotel, the New York Times called it the new West Queen West with its great cafés and brunch options, and vintage furniture and fashion. Its origins was around the Toronto Nurseries as a small village in the 1850s, and was named after the nurseries' owner, George Leslie. With the influx of middle class families, the industries moved out and film studios made their way in, including Cinevillage, Pinewood Toronto Studios, and Showline Studios.


Liberty Village

Inmates released from Toronto’s Central Prison and the Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women, began their post-incarceration life on Liberty Street, named for its route to freedom from prison life. Though the iconic yet brutal prisons closed in 1915 and as late as 1969, the name remained attached to the street. Today the name Liberty Village is now a cheeky intention to help separate the development from nearby Parkdale. Why you ask? Well perhaps because Liberty Village is known for its successful Art and Design studios, media and technology companies, and many Canadian and US design and technology firms have located to the neighbourhood as well.


The Beach/ The Beaches

By 1900, this popular lakeside community was called Toronto’s playgrounds. Till today, the boardwalks, the sandy beaches and the beautiful parks of The Beach or the Beaches, as it is more popularly known as, draw people to this area. Boutique retail stores and unique bars and cafes thrive in this part of Toronto. The charm of this neighbourhood lies in the varied architectural styles it adopts for its homes, accentuated by the tree-lined streets that wind their way down to the lake.


Rosedale

The Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale is studded with magnificent old mansions whose histories are intertwined with the relentless growth of a major city. Even today as you drive past the ravines, some of Toronto's most beautiful homes become common sight.


The Village

Home to the famous and annual Pride Week, The Village is nestled in the core of downtown Toronto. Once known for its parties and clubs, this community has grown into a safe, welcoming neighbourhood for straight and LGBTQ residents alike.


The Hill

The Hill was a name used to describe the neighborhood on the Davenport Hill in Toronto where many wealthy families built their homes. Today this includes Summerhill, Forest Hill, Bracondale Hill, and Hillcrest Village. The Hill, names for how it seems to sit on a higher ground overlooking Toronto has some of Toronto’s most famous houses including Spadina House, Ardwold and Casa Loma.


Kensington Market

Named for the Kensington district in London, UK, the Kensingtons share a common trait: a market and a hub for various sub-cultures in the 1960s and 1970s. In Toronto, this National Historic Site of Canada is the heartland of charm. Toronto’s most unique neighbourhood retains its wonderful diversity through its eclectic mix of vintage clothing stores, grocers, restaurants and cafes.


Queen West

Queen West is an eclectic mix of hipster and gentrification. With the largest concentration of art galleries in Toronto, this street earned the right to become one of Toronto’s most vibrant and dynamic hoods. Home to Graffiti Alley and Trinity Bellwoods Park, it’s no surprise that Vogue named Queen West one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. Now known as Toronto’s creative heart, Queen West has reinvented itself as the city’s art and design district.


Cabbagetown

How does an affluent neighbourhood get its name from the least glamorous of the leafy vegetables? The peculiar name for this neighbourhood captures the attention of anyone who has heard about it. Initially known as the Don Vale, Cabbagetown housed the working class. The term cabbage was actually used derisively by snobbish Torontonians to label new Irish immigrants who planted the vegetable in their front yards. Despite a racially charged history, the name stuck, and today Cabbagetown has some of the most expensive homes in the city.


Now Available As Cucu Covers

With this collection, we decided to collaborate with yet another brand that had caught our attention - Cucu Covers. Not only did we love the fact they they were local to Toronto, but their eye for detail and fascination for design impressed us. We jumped into their bandwagon and as of February 2019 our My Hood My Home collection has been exclusively available on their platform as Credit and Debit Card stickers. These stickers are a great way to add a twist to your every day cards (and not just Debit and Credit), while still allowing you to use them. Imagine whipping out your boring looking credit card, but now embellished with a cool design? This rave new concept had us hooked, and we have loved the response we have got so far with our designs on this amazing platform.


...and as Society6 Mugs Too

We took it a step further and thought this collection would look great as home products like mugs! You can now grab a mug on our Society 6 online store and enjoy your morning coffee or tea just a tad bit more.

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