Once a settlement of the British, Corso Italia is now known as Toronto’s other little Italy thanks to waves of Italian immigrants who settled here in the 1950s. Today, the place is as Italian as ever with places to shop, must-visit restaurants, and fun things to do!
If you’re planning a visit or just passing by the neighbourhood, here’s our guide to Corso Italia. Here, you’ll find where to shop, where to eat, what to do, and much more.
Visiting Corso Italia? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
- Visiting Corso Italia? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
- Best Time to Visit
- How to Get to Corso Italia
- Things to Do
- Checkout art at The Plumb
- Join cooking lessons at Cucinato Italian Culinary Studio
- Try shisha at Aroma Shisha Lounge
- Visit St. Clare’s Roman Catholic Church
- Where to Eat
- FBI Pizza
- La Bruschetta
- Pizza e Pazzi
- The Bull BBQ Pit
- Sushi California
- Paulo’s Cake Shop
- Where to Shop
- Genesis Men's Italian Fashion
- Diana Grocery
- Christian Boutique Ltd.
- Di Sapia
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Corso Italia is from May to October. These are low tourist months in Toronto.
During this time, Toronto’s weather is at its warmest, so you can explore the neighbourhood in comfortable weather.
How to Get to Corso Italia
There are multiple ways to get to Corso Italia, but the best way is by taking the 512 St Clair streetcar to St Clair Ave West at Earlscourt Ave.
You can also board the line 127 bus or book a taxi, but these methods are usually pricier and have a longer travel time.
Things to Do
1. Checkout art at The Plumb
Address: 1655 Dufferin St Basement, Toronto, ON M6H 3L9, Canada
Monday – Friday: Closed
Saturday – Sunday: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
If you’re looking for a place to see works of upcoming artists, stop by The Plumb. The gallery has a contemporary look with a huge open space, exposed pipes, warm lights, and white walls.
It has a regularly changing display of contemporary art. Take for example the exhibit At The Chair Factory, which displays a collection of benches made from recycled materials like crates and paint buckets.
2. Join cooking lessons at Cucinato Italian Culinary Studio
Address: 1338 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Z8, Canada
Contact: 1 647 343 3199
Corso Italia is all about food, and a great way to enjoy it is by making it yourself at Cucinato Italian Culinary Studio. This studio hosts private and public cooking classes.
You can learn traditional and innovative cooking methods from talented Italian chefs in Toronto. Choose from a variety of lessons, like an Italian cocktails class and a homemade pasta class.
3. Try shisha at Aroma Shisha Lounge
Address: 1257 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B8, Canada
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Friday – Saturday: 4:00 PM – 4:00 AM
For anyone looking for a place to relax while smoking on sweet shisha, then you can get your fix at the Aroma Shisha Lounge.
The lounge has a vibrant interior that’s lit with neon lights, which sets a chill atmosphere and makes smoking shisha more enjoyable. They also let you choose what music to play, and there’s a pool table you can use.
4. Visit St. Clare’s Roman Catholic Church
Address: 1118 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 3M6, Canada
Monday – Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Contact: 1 416 654 7087
History and architecture enthusiasts will be happy to know that Corso Italia is home to the St. Clare’s Roman Catholic Church. Built in 1922, the church boasts a Renaissance Revival style, which stands out from most of the city’s Victorian architecture.
The church features beautiful stained glass windows that have varying styles, as they were acquired at different periods. Many of the church’s original architecture is also well preserved, especially the baptismal font and bas relief Stations of the Cross.
Where to Eat
1. FBI Pizza
Address: 1248 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B7, Canada
Monday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Tuesday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Contact: 416 652 1111
If you love doughy pizzas that come in large portions, then visit FBI Pizza. Each pizza is made with Caputo flour and other high-quality ingredients, and they also come in 3 sizes with the smallest being 12 inches and the largest being 18 inches.
The pizzas here are baked in an electric oven, which gives them a pillowy and chewy texture similar to traditional pizza. We recommend ordering the savoury capricciosa, which comes with a variety of mushrooms, prosciutto cotto, and a touch of sea salt.
If mushrooms aren’t your thing, you can also try their herby Margherita, which features fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, and grana padano.
2. La Bruschetta
Address: 1317 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1C2, Canada
Monday – Tuesday, Sunday: Closed
Wednesday – Thursday: 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Friday – Saturday: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Contact: 416 656 8622
There are lots of Italian restaurants in Corso Italia, but our favourite is La Bruschetta. This upscale restaurant focuses on serving traditional dishes from central Italy.
The restaurant offers an extensive wine list that features wines from Apuglia and other regions of Italy. They also serve delicious homemade pasta, and you must try their creamy and rich gnocchi gratinati!
3. Pizza e Pazzi
Address: Dufferin-St.Clair, 1182 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B4, Canada
Monday – Thursday: 4:00 – 10:00 PM
Friday: 4:00 – 10:00 PM
Saturday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
Contact: 416 651 9999
If you’re in the mood for a more casual dining experience, you should try Pizza e Pazzi’s authentic wood-fired pizzas. Besides Neapolitan pizzas, they serve pasta and wine too.
Their pizzas have crispy crusts, having been cooked in a wood-burning oven. Try their bufala Margherita, a spin on the classic Margherita that features gooey buffalo mozzarella, basil, and a perfectly charred crust.
Don’t forget to try their spaghetti all’aragosta, which comes with lobster tail, scallops, snow peas, and a rich white wine garlic sauce that provides a unique blend of salty and sweet flavours.
4. The Bull BBQ Pit
Address: 1216 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B4, Canada
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Contact: 1 416 546 0916
The Bull BBQ Pit is Corso Italia’s prime spot for barbecue. Many locals love this place for their smoked briskets, wings, sandwiches, and pulled pork.
The restaurant offers classic sandwiches like Philly cheesesteak, which contains smoked brisket and pepperjack cheese. There are also innovative sandwiches like the Redonkadonk, made of smoked brisket, coleslaw, and grilled onions.
Another item worth trying is their wings, which come dried or tossed in a mixture of savoury, sweet, and spicy sauces. You can also get an onion dip for an extra savoury kick to your wings.
5. Sushi California
Address: 1238 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B7, Canada
Monday – Friday: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
If you’re craving Japanese food, you can head to the neighbourhood’s local sushi spot, Sushi California. This place serves a variety of Japanese dishes incorporating some elements from Italian cuisine.
It’s a good place to get your fix of Japanese food, like a hearty bowl of tempura udon and other noodle dishes. You also can try their unagi donburi, which comes with steamed rice and a slice of eel dipped in tare sauce.
We also think the restaurant’s fusion food is worth trying. They have unique items like sushi pizza with nori, rice, and slices of tuna!
6. Paulo’s Cake Shop
Address: 1255 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B8, Canada
Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 AM- 6:00 PM
Contact: 1 647 673 5618
After having a hearty meal, we recommend washing your palate with sweets at Paulo’s Cake Shop. They specialize in traditional Brazilian rolled cakes that come in a variety of flavours, such as guava, blueberry, dulce de leche, and chocolate.
Their rolled cakes are extremely soft and pillowy with just the right sweetness.
Aside from that, they also offer polo de bolo, a cake in a cup that comes in the same flavours as their rolled cakes. The menu also includes traditional pudding, cookies and coffee.
Where to Shop
1. Genesis Men’s Italian Fashion
Address: 1188 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B4, Canada
Monday, Sunday: Closed
Tuesday – Saturday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Genesis Men’s Italian Fashion is a local favourite menswear store selling Italian clothing since the 70s. They are a reliable source for brands like Brioni, Canali, Pal Zileri, and Gran Sasso.
Browse their fine selection of shoes, trousers, neckties, shirts, and suits.
2. Diana Grocery
Address: 1299 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1C2, Canada
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Contact: 1 416-651-6188
A great and reliable place to go grocery shopping in the neighbourhood is Diana Grocery. They’re known for providing fresh produce, quality ingredients from Italy, and a great selection of meat.
Many locals come to this place specifically to pick up meat at the butcher. You can find a variety of cuts, sausages, and Cornish hens.
3. Christian Boutique Ltd.
Address: 1236 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B7, Canada
Monday, Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Contact: 1 416-651-2931
For anyone looking for quality women’s fashion, you should drop by Christian Boutique. They sell clothing from famous designers like Roberto Cavalli, Anna Sui, and Moschino.
The store’s owner, Nello Bianco, can also make custom clothes for you!
4. Di Sapia
Address: 1253 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B8, Canada
Monday, Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact: 416 654 6333
After picking up clothes at different boutiques, the last thing you need to complete your outfit is eyewear, and you can find them at Di Sapia. This store sells designer eyeglass frames and sunglasses from brands like Gucci and Bottega Veneta.
You can also have your eyes checked and eyeglasses made here by an optometrist.