The historic Old West End in Toledo, Ohio is one of the largest historic districts this side of the Mississippi. Mansions of thousands of square feet to efficiency condos of 400 square feet invite you to live here. There is oak and cherry wood, massive plaster ceilings, multiple fireplaces of brick and stone, and gardens. Our homes carry the names of Libbey, Ford, Paddock, and Bolles. These were the great leaders that made the city of Toledo and raised the funds for the Toledo Museum of Art.
Let’s talk some Fun Facts about the Old West End:
- The first plotted subdivision in Toledo
- You have heard the expression “Holy Toledo” allegedly someone was driving down Collingwood Ave and saw so many churches in a row and said this expression, which is still used today!
- Sunday afternoons, there were horse races down Collingwood Avenue and tycoons gathered on the front porches to watch.
Today’s homeowners will say “I am the curator of this piece of history for the next generation.” In the Old West End, the size of your home does not matter, large or small—we are here because we love the community.
Today, they gather on porches for the “porch crawls”. These crawls involve going to four to five porches in an evening for a beverage with a thirty-minute stop at each porch, learning the history of the home and the owner and meeting neighbors…
Or the summer concerts in the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Arboretum…
Or the Friday evening homemade pizza night at a neighbor’s home.
There are events for the children like the Halloween Parade and the Easter Egg Hunt. Community Gardens, garage sales and a private Facebook page where neighbors connect to share renovating tips, history of their homes, search for a piece or part of their home, advertise unwanted furniture and meet new neighbors.
The Old West End is not a well-kept secret, twice a year, the Old West End Association opens Toledo’s festival season with its annual Spring festival the first weekend in June featuring the historic home tours, King Wamba parade, lawns sales and a juried art show. The first Sunday in December, Women of the Old West sponsors “Tours de Noel” with its holiday boutique, gaily decorated home tours and tree lighting ceremony. Both events bring visitors from far and wide to the neighborhood. And the home tours provide funds for both organizations to support historic preservation and the goals of the neighborhood.
As we say in the Old West End… “we came for the houses and stayed for the people.”