With over 100 shops and restaurants, this is the largest marketing place of South Asian goods and services in North America. Exotic sights, sounds, tastes and aromas greet visitors along with a vast array of restaurants and menus of Subcontinent cuisines that embrace products and produce and incorporate new dishes with exciting examples of more traditional fare.
On Gerrard Street between Greenwood Avenue and Coxwell Avenue, there are many Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghan restaurants, cafés, videos/DVD stores, clothing shops, electronic goods & home decor stores catering to the South Asian-Canadian communities. Along with Jackson Heights in New York and Devon Avenue in Chicago, it forms one of the largest South Asian marketplaces in North America. The area has never been home to a large South Asian population, rather it has served for several decades as commercial centre for South Asians living in the Toronto area.
The neighbourhood originated in 1972 when businessman Gian Naaz purchased the Eastwood Theatre and began to show Bollywood films. This attracted large numbers of Indo-Canadians from across the GTA. This large traffic led to a number of other stores in the area to be created to cater to the South Asian community. The area expanded rapidly and features houses some 100 stores and restaurants and has spread over almost the entire length from Greenwood to Coxwell. While originally shop owners mostly spoke Hindi, Punjabi, and Bengali, in recent years a wide array of Pakistani stores have opened in the western part of the neighbourhood (near Greenwood), which is closely linked to the large Muslim community in the East Danforth area just to the north.
Gerrard India Bazaar is the largest marketing place of South Asian goods and services in North America. With over 100 shops and restaurants which represent regional diversities of South Asian culture, food, music and products, this slice of the Indian subcontinent offers a wide selection of services and products exhibited in an exotic display of sights, sounds, tastes and aromas. The array of merchandise available here helps South Asians maintain ancient cultural and religious traditions, and keep in touch with the contemporary lifestyle of the Subcontinent.
The Bazaar represents a wide range of Subcontinent cuisines that vary from restaurant, chef to chef. It is also unique in the way restaurateurs have embraced the products and produce available here and incorporated them into new dishes that have become local specialties.
Fashion needs are beautifully represented at the Bazaar. Fabulous silks, embroideries and ornately sequined pieces are always available ready to wear. You can also buy materials to sew yourself or have tailored to fit.
The Bazaar brings gold from all parts of the world – Dubai, India, Pakistan, Singapore – to this stretch of Gerrard Street, creating a band of jewelry shops that sparkle and shine. If your jewelry box needs an addition, the Bazaar is the best place to find earrings, bangles , rings and necklaces fashioned from 22-carat gold. You can also purchase custom jewelry from the talented goldsmiths and gemologists.
Music lovers can discover everything from ancient classical compositions to today’s trendy beats and remixes in the Bazaar’s audio-video stores. These stores also carry the latest Bollywood films that are enjoyed by millions of people around the world.
The TD Canada Trust Festival of South Asia takes place on Gerrard Street E. between Greenwood and Coxwell Ave.
The Gerrard street closes at Noon on Saturday August 22 and reopens to the public at midnight on Sunday August 23rd. All the businesses will remain open as usual.
Dates & Event Hours:
Friday August 21, 2009 5-11pm
Saturday August 22, 2009 2 pm- 11pm
Sunday August 23, 2009 Noon-11 pm
The easiest way to get to The TD Canada Trust Festival of South Asia is by taking the subway and getting off at Greenwood and take 31 Bus South or from Coxwell subway station take 22 Bus South to Gerrard Street.