We were amazed just how much history there can be in such a relatively small patch of land. Cabbagetown, named for the cabbages grown by the Irish community that had made their home there in the 1840s, comprises an area on the East side of downtown Toronto, just North of Regent’s Park. Its famous for its amazingly well preserved streets of Victorian houses.
Our tour guide lead us along these streets, explaining how the neighbourhood grew up around the old Toronto General hospital that was built in the area, along with a jail and jail farm. There is no trace of the old hospital today, but the Victorian houses that surrounded it are still standing thanks to efforts by city planners to limit the height of new development in the area. As a result, we got see for ourselves the wide variety of architectural styles that were fashionable during the Victorian era, from Gothic to Second Empire and Queen Anne. Of course, we only know these things now thanks to our terrific ROM guide.
All in all, the tour opened our eyes to the invisible forces that shaped the city over a relatively short time. We really enjoyed the tour and are a little wiser as a result. Thanks ROM!