Today we aren’t actually focusing on a neighbourhood we like. Rather, this is one of our favourites to STAY AWAY from.
Although some might take offence, “Tiny Town”, centered on Craven Road, NW of Gerrard and Coxwell is not our favourite part of town. Not just because we’ve seen public trustee sales, condemned buildings, drug labs and hoarders’ houses. Not just because of the tiny, 500 sq ft “houses.” And not just because of the enormous wooden fence that every house on the street looks at (most of the street only has houses on the east side). It’s not our favourite part of town because MLS listings of available properties on the street show up in our clients’ property matches and give them the impression that you can buy a normal house for prices that seem well below market. All I can say is: “if something seems to be too good to be true…”
All the same, the area is a fascinating little quirk of our city’s history. Just don’t ask me to buy you a house there.
So, why is the street so weird? A little history:
“First developed as worker housing in the 1880s, Craven Road was then a vacant railway corridor. Today it is characterized by a series of 10’ wide lots with homes between 300 and 500 square feet in size. There is a long continuous fence along its west side where it once bordered farmland and separated the wealthy from the poor. In 1909 the city began to gentrify this underprivileged community, which resulted in a growing number of stable residents in the area. Since that time, the houses along Craven Road have wavered between the unlawful and decrepit to the quirky and endearing.”