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The Annex is a very central neighbourhood in downtown Toronto. It stretches from Bloor Street West in the south to Dupont in the north, to Avenue Road in the east and Bathurst Street to the west and is served by 3 subway stations and two streetcar routes.
The area is quite affluent: since the last real estate boom, it's hard to buy a home in decent shape for less than $1 million. However, the area retains a funky feel, probably because of its proximity to the University of Toronto and its large population of students and, more recently, a lot of young families. However central it might be, however, the area's amazing trees, wide streets, generally big backyards and grand houses help it to avoid a cramped, urban feeling.
It is one of the move "liveable" areas of Toronto and was home to urban activist Jane Jacobs, who was well-known internationally for advocating for vibrant communities.
Shopping is abundant, from the city's biggest and oldest discount shopping store (Honest Ed's), to some higher-end retail, to furniture stores, etc. The area also is crammed with restaurants, ranging from cheap and cheerful to a little more chi-chi, to a few really exceptional (and expensive) establishments, which tend to be closer to Avenue Road.
Notable establishments in -- or just beyond -- the neighbourhood that keep it vibrant are the independent, repertory Bloor Cinema; the Miles Nadal JCC, a community centre that also houses a theatre; the Tranzac Club, home to many music events; and ditto for Lee's Palace. As well, larger institutions, including the Royal Ontario Museum, lie on the fringes of/within walking distance of the area.