The Castro is a district in San Francisco, California in Eureka Valley. It is considered the largest and most well known gay neighborhood. It was also the first of its type. The Castro changed from a working class neighborhood between the 1960s and 1970s into a haven for lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender individuals. They often host a variety of activism and other events.
The Castro is .662 square miles with a total population of 12,503. Castro Street has a large area for businesses running from Market Street to 19th Street. The neighborhood is also bordered by Church Street and Eureka Street. Among its other borders are Corona Heights, The Mission District, Noe Valley, Twin Peaks, and Haight Ashbury. Some think of The Castro as including the Duboce Triangle and Dolores Heights.
Castro Street and the neighborhood were named for Jose Castro who lived from 1808 to 1860. He was a California leader of Mexican opposition in the US. Later Alfred E Clarke built a mansion at Douglass and Caselli Avenue. The Caselli Mansion still exists.
Also in the neighborhood is the area known as Little Scandinavia because it used to house a large population of Swedish, Danish, Finnish, and Norwegians.