CABBAGETOWN's history began in the 1840's when thousands of Irish immigrants settled here after fleeing the potato famine in their homeland. To put food on the table they grew cabbages on their front lawns, which is how this district came to be known as Cabbagetown. The neighbourhood flag, a green cabbage on a white background, can be seen flying, usually bestowed on a home or shop owner for architectural or design excellence.
Cabbagetown is one of Toronto's most popular neighbourhoods. Its residents come from a wide variety of backgrounds, however they all share a strong sense of community spirit and pride in their neighbourhood. The Cabbagetown neighbourhood was once described by the New York Times as "containing the largest collection of Victorian homes in North America". Cabbagetown's houses were built between 1860 and 1895. Most of these houses have been lovingly restored under the watchful eye of the Cabbagetown Preservation Association. The Association, comprised of local residents, plays a vital role in ensuring that all Cabbagetown renovations and new developments are in keeping with this historical neighbourhood.
The 'Old Cabbagetown' shopping district on Parliament Street features many one-of-a-kind shops and a vast array of restaurants. The Carlton Street shopping district is similar in tone to Parliament Street, but on a much smaller scale. Cabbagetown also has small retail pockets on Gerrard Street, Sherbourne Street, and Wellesley Avenue. Cabbagetown's recreational centre is Riverdale Park. This park is the home of Riverdale Farm. Riverdale Farm is modelled after a late 19th century Victorian farm.