Greektown, also known as Greektown on the Danforth, or more simply, The Danforth, is a neighbourhood and Business Improvement Area (BIA) of the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located on Danforth Avenue, between Chester Avenue and Dewhurst Blvd., in east Toronto. Named after Asa Danforth, an American contractor who designed Queen Street and Kingston Road — other streets in the city — the area is known for its architecture dating back to as early as 1910, and for its number of Greek restaurants and stores. The area was one of the major settlement areas of early Greek immigrants to Toronto.
In the 1970s and 1980s this region was considered to be the largest Greektown in North America. In 1993, the BIA Board of Management's lobbying of City Hall paid off, and the BIA was officially renamed "GreekTown on the Danforth". More recently, the area has experienced a wave of gentrification as higher-priced restaurants and bars have moved in, as well as a European-style public square (at Logan Avenue). Greektown on the Danforth boasts one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per kilometre in the world. The neighbourhood is home to local raconteur Tom Petkos, and is mentioned in the Barenaked Ladies song, "The Old Apartment", and by critically acclaimed author Joseph Assenza in his novel, "The History of John". Several scenes in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding were shot here, mentioned on free walking tours of the neighbourhood.
Some parts of Greektown, are still dominated by Canadians of Greek descent (Greek-Canadians). Most immigrated from Greece to Canada. According to the 2006 Census, Greeks constitute the most populous ethnic group in Ward 29 ("Toronto-Danforth"), where the Greektown is located, at 13% of the total population (5,755 of 27,415 inhabitants).
Taste of the Danforth
The annual "Taste of the Danforth" is a large food festival held over 2½ days in early August. With no admission charge, the event welcomes all to enjoy modestly priced samples of cuisine available at restaurants along this stretch of Danforth Avenue. Greek food prevails, but there are numerous options, including Thai, Chinese, Brazilian, Indian, Japanese and others. A midway offers games, children's rides, and interactive sports that include a climbing wall, street hockey and basketball. Several stages offer musical entertainment spanning the globe, with one stage emphasizing Greek performers of music, song, and dance. The event has grown substantially since the first Taste, in 1994, when 5,000 attended. In 2008, it drew over a million people.
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