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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (3) High Park vs. (14) Little Italy

The Curbed Cup, our award to the Toronto neighbourhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 'hoods vying for the prestigious fake trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tourney bracket will be reviewed shortly. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!

High Park: Between the 400-acre urban forest at their doorstep and the shops of Bloor West Village (to the west) and Roncy (to the east), High-Parkers are spoiled for leisure-time choice. The unforgettable sakura blossom show every spring draws thousands to High Park; so do the numerous sledding hills in winter. Housing is primarily large old-stock homes in the million-dollar-plus range, some midcentury high-rise apartment buildings, and new developments like the High Park Condos.

Little Italy: Many of the Italian-Canadian families who lived around College and Clinton have moved north to Maple and Woodbridge, but Little Italy remains true to its name—just spend a couple of hours on the patio at Cafe Diplomatico, or grab a late-night slice from Bitondo's. Old favourites like Riviera Bakery and Grace Meat Market coexist happily with a mix of cocktail lounges like Sidecar and the venerable Souz Dal and multiethnic eateries; popup taqueria La Carnita's first permanent location opened at College and Palmerston earlier this year. 2013 also saw the completion of the nicely-proportioned Cube Lofts, the project that proved a new, modern midrise condo can integrate comfortably into a lowrise street.
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