De Grassi St. is a residential street located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, best known (in fictionalized form) as the central setting for the Degrassi universe. Unlike on the show, it is spelled De Grassi (with a space), a symbolic distinction between the real and fictional versions of the neighborhood. It is considered a diverse, mixed-income area not far from Toronto's Chinatown.
Technically a sidestreet, De Grassi Street is located on the east side of Toronto, in the south Riverdale district about halfway between Broadview and Carlaw Avenues. It is a one-way street only, running northbound from Queen Street East to Gerrard Avenue.
The street is named for Captain Filippo "Philip" De Grassi, an Italian soldier who emigrated to Canada with his family in 1831. A veteran of the Napoleonic Wars (on both sides), he ended the war on the side of the British, and moved to York, Upper Canada. He played a role in the Rebellion of 1837 and was later part of the Family Compact.
De Grassi St. was also once home to Degrassi's creator, Linda Schuyler. It was in this way that it found its way into popular culture: Playing With Time Inc. used houses and exterior locations on De Grassi for filming, and came to name the long-running franchise after the area.
De Grassi Street is home to 2 public parks: Bruce Mackey Park (named for the former educator who also appeared in the Degrassi franchise), and James Simpson Park, named for a former Toronto Mayor. While the Degrassi Community School does not really exist, the area does boast two schools: the First Nations Public School and the Eastdale Collegiate Institute.