Though the neighborhood is currently much more culturally diverse than its previous incarnations, there are still many landmarks of Italian culture and heritage in the most known Little Italy in Toronto (the other community is at St. Clair West and Dufferin). CHIN Radio Station is the first multicultural radio station in Canada launched in 1966 by Johnny Lombardi; the section of the street has been officially nicknamed Johnny Lombardi Way. Nearby is the Italian Walk of Fame. The Italian Film Festival, held in late June to early July, is showcase for contemporary cinema of Italian origin from all over the world, held at repertory theatre, The Royal.
You can’t mention Little Italy without mentioning its food culture and a few landmark restaurants. Cafe Diplomatico has been in the heart of the village for over 45 years, often being referred to as “The Dip.” It has one of the best patios in the city and is the central hangout for soccer fans during the World Cup soccer tournament. The Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe also has a storied history, being Toronto’s oldest gelateria. Bitondo’s Pizzeria and Il Gatto Nero are your best bets for pizza. Currently, the fringes and side streets of Little Italy are home to trendier restaurants like Acadia, Bar Isabel and Woodlot. At the centre In mid-June, the Taste of Little Italy, is a showcase of Italian food at bite-sized prices as well as crafters and musicians who participate in the festivities.
During the day, Little Italy is a great neighbourhood to walk and shop. There are a few record and book shops on the strip as well as some great clothing shops and florists. There are also many great sandwich shops and cafes for a leisurely lunch.
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