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The Annex is a mixed neighbourhood of business professionals, academics, artists and students. It is on the fringes of the main campus of the University of Toronto in Toronto's Midtown district. The area is an eclectic blend of residential and commercial structures inspired by different architectural styles. Annex homes that were constructed between 1880 and 1910 display influences of Romanesque, Queen Anne and Victorian styles. Arches, turrets and prominent attics are part of the Annex style. Finishing materials were mainly brick, terra cotta clay tiles and sandstone.
By the 1920s, prominent residents were migrating northward into Forest Hills and Lawrence Park. The large Victorian houses were subdivided into rooming houses for students, new immigrants and artists. Some of these historic homes have been restored with their original flourishes including grand fireplaces, alcove windows and balconies.
Homes that were built between 1910 and 1930 are less ornate with Tudor, Georgian and English Cottage inspiration. Tree-lined, one-way streets contribute to the opulent vibe of the area even with the addition of mid-rise and high-rise apartment buildings starting in the 1950s.
The Annex is a densely-populated upmarket area. Access to public transit and proximity to the amenities of downtown Toronto have ensured that the value of Annex real estate remain among the most expensive in Toronto. Four subway stations serve the Annex. These stops include Spadina, Saint George, Dupont, Bay and Bathurst. Streetcar and bus services cover the local routes.
This Toronto neighbourhood is also an entertainment hub with an assortment of restaurants, nightclubs, bars and retail shops that are open late. Some of the cultural facilities are The Jewish Community Centre, the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum. Bloor Street is the main retail district for Annex residents but the Mirvish Village shopping area on Markham Street is a good alternative.
True to its name, the Annex is an extension of Toronto’s myriad attractions and amenities
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