Little Italy got its name in the 1920s when the location became recognized as the residential and commercial centre of Toronto's Italian community. Today Little Italy is not exclusively an Italian neighbourhood, there is also a strong Portuguese community among other residents who also live in this neighbourhood.

Little Italy's shopping district on College Street features Italian restaurants and European fashion. Not too far is the Portugal Village shopping district on Dundas Street where you will find fresh fruit and vegetable markets, delicious bakeries, seafood restaurants and cafes. In this area you will also find The First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre at 722 College Street.  The centre includes lecture halls, a games room, meeting rooms, a bar and a restaurant. In the evenings you can listen to Fado music and dance performances. For those who like a more active lifestyle visit The West End YMCA at 931 College Street and make use of their gym, swimming pool, and community meeting rooms.  If you want to spend a quite afternoon reading try the College/Shaw Public Library, there is a lot of reading material in a number of languages, reflecting the general population of the area.

Many of the houses in Little Italy have been built in the period between 1880 and 1910 reflecting the Victorian style architecture; row houses are set on narrow tree-lined streets. Usually the parking facility is located at the back of the property.

According to the TREB report for July, the average selling price for all home types in Little Italy is $499,969. The average selling price for the detached single house is $1,062,791. The average selling price for the semi-detached is $860,938. Condominium townhouses are selling for the average price of $720,958, and condominium apartments are selling for the average price of $459,729.

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