Downtown Core Toronto Neighbourhood
The Downtown area encompasses areas such as Harbourfront; the Fashion and Entertainment Districts, The Distillery District, St. Lawrence Market, Kensington Market, Cabbage Town, and so on. It is the heart of the City of Toronto, and Canada's number one tourist attraction. It is also home to many Canadian company headquarters, as well as companies abroad. In recent years a number of condominiums have sprung up all throughout the area, welcoming new residents and professionals who choose Downtown as their destination to live, work and play.
The Downtown core is a highly concentrated area with an overall large residential population. The Yorkville area alone contains 700 designer boutiques, spas, restaurants, hotels, and world class galleries, bringing in a large number of tourists and out of area visitors, everyday. Yonge Street is also a relatively concentrated area, and is home to Toronto's Eaton Centre (one of the largest indoor shopping malls in North America), and many other shops and boutiques running along its Downtown strip. Within the Downtown – Yonge area alone, there are more than 600 retail stores and 150 bars and restaurants, as well as 7 major hotels. Shopping is also available at the Atrium on the Bay (indoor shopping centre on Dundas, located between Yonge and Bay Streets), and along Queen Street.
The Downtown area has the largest collection of 19th Century architecture, which includes the St. Lawrence Market, St. Lawrence Hall, St. James Cathedral, St. Michael's Cathedral, St. Paul's Basilica, the Enoch Turner School House, the Bank of Upper Canada, Le Royal Meridien, King Edward Hotel, and the Gooderham Building. The area is rich with Art, History, Entertainment, Culture and Nightlife, and Toronto has become a popular tourist destination world wide. Downtown offers so much to see and do, and has also become a popular place for many young and up and coming business professionals to live. Many areas of Downtown offer trendy and posh condos and lofts with pricey figures attached, however there are areas of Downtown where more affordable and still very trendy accommodations can be found.
The beauty of Downtown, is its convenient access to public transportation. The TTC offers convenient access to subway stops and buses, with streetcars operating all over. The GO Station (Union) and Bay Street Bus terminal (where travellers can board buses to go out of town), are also within minutes of many of Downtown's sub-districts. Downtown is not a place to feel intimidated, but a lovely place to call home. In recent years, many up and coming families have also found affordable living in this hip and popular area. Will you be one of them?
Kensington Market Toronto Neighbourhood
Comprised of an assortment of Victorian-row houses and several small cafes, Kensington is tucked behind the busy streets of China Town. Just steps from Downtown Toronto, this little area is notably one of the City's oldest and most renowned communities. The original “Market” dates back to 1790 during early British settlement. A neighbourhood, once referred to as the “Jewish Market” in the early 1900s, became the multicultural community it is today, by the 1950s, representing people from more than 30 different cultural backgrounds.
Here is where diversity meets rarity. Whether morning, noon or night, this area is filled with City life. Kensington is well known for its retro and vintage boutiques; antique shops, assorted restaurants, and its friendly and well diverse community. There is always something going on in this community, including The Winter Solstice Parade held every year on the 21st of December.
In November 2006, the “Market” was named a National Historic Site, and is now considered to be one of Toronto's main tourist attractions; a vivid and distinct neighbourhood, Kensington continues to grow increasingly popular, amongst university students, its own residents and others from around the City. This trendy spot is known to have some of the best produce markets, meat shops, bargain stores and other boutiques.
Getting around in the Kensington area could not be easier with its many one way streets; off leash dog walking parks; golf course, and dead end roads. This area is best travelled by foot or by bike. Public transit (TTC) is easily accessible with the Spadina Street car running right through the heart of the neighbourhood. Anyone can call this alluring and well established area, home. It is an ideal community for first time home buyers, students and families; a friendly area, with familiarity, quiet parks and many every day attractions. Are you ready to call Kensington home?
The Annex Toronto Neighbourhood
A large area that once consisted of two vacant farm lots, soon became one of Toronto's earliest suburbs in the early 1800s. Simeon Hemon Janes, a real estate developer, helped shape the early stages of the Annex into what it is today. Now a well developed area of tree-lined one way streets, in a quiet and friendly community, it is considered one of Toronto's premier neighbourhoods at over 100 years old. Most of its Victorian, Edwardian and Romanesque style homes were first built between 1880 and 1910. A second wave of homes went up soon after between 1910 and 1930, and consisted of more Georgian, English Cottage and Tudor-Style homes. Today, the architectural style of these houses and mansions are among some of the finest in the City.
The Annex is a well diverse, high energy area with people representing many cultural and educational backgrounds. Bordering the University of Toronto, it is known for its high seasonal turn over rate in terms of tenancy; however, it is also home to many well established business professionals, prominent Artists, and wealthy families. Bloor Street West, considered the Annex's main shopping district, houses many trendy shops, restaurants, clothing boutiques, bookstores, markets, and cafes- as well as some of the area's larger attractions, such as Honest Ed's, The Royal Ontario Museum and The Bata Shoe Museum. Also known for its nightlife, Bloor Street West hosts a number of restaurants, bars and night clubs.
Whether you enjoy the City life, or a quieter and more secluded area, the Annex is home to students, young couples and the more traditional family; with its quieter residential streets, and more populated areas. Here, transportation could not be more accessible. With frequent bus and street car service, residents can easily travel from one end of the City to another. Other Toronto businesses and entertainment districts can be reached within minutes, as well as some of the City's major highways.
Considered one of the more elite areas in the Toronto, the Annex has been home to some of the more wealthier and well-educated people in the City. Houses in this area can range between $300, 000 to over $1 000 000. If you are looking for an area that is well developed, lively, diverse; with lots to do, a mix of Art-History, friendly people, shops, art galleries and much more- the Annex is your next destination to call home.
Trinity Bellwoods Toronto Neighbourhood
This neighbourhood began to take shape in the 1880s, with its first set of Victorian-style homes built between 1880 and 1905. These houses are small to medium sized, and reflect the architectural design of that era. The majority of these homes wrap around the perimeter of Trinity-Bellwoods park, while the larger houses are situated along Shaw Street; a quiet tree-lined area with roads wider than the other streets in the Trinity-Bellwoods Community. The neighbourhood also contains a few newly restored lofts, which have suited residents who are looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle. Housing in this area can range anywhere from $200K - $700K.
The area's shopping district is located along Dundas Street, between Grace and Markham Streets. Also close by is the famous Queen Street, known for its large variety of restaurants, cafes, shops, boutiques, bookstores and natural food markets. The area's main attraction is the Trinity-Bellwoods Park which has been a popular site for many cultural events, live theatre and informal drumming circles. The Park also contains a community centre which is owned and operated by the City of Toronto; containing a pool, fitness centre and multi-purpose rooms.
The Trinity-Bellwoods area has become increasing popular amongst the Arts Community, and has also become section 3 of the popular “Nuit Blanche” Arts Festival that takes place every year in October. In recent years, the park's alleyways and lane-ways have become an impromptu art expo, open to the public, and in September, the park is a site for Art sales as a part of the Queen West Art Crawl. The area is also seeing a lot of changes, with some families moving to the suburbs, and young professionals and university students moving into the area. The new wave of restaurants, sports bars and social clubs also reflect these changes.
A perfect neighbourhood for both families and single professionals alike, this area has easy access to public transportation via streetcar service on both Bathurst Street and Ossington Avenue, both connecting to the Bloor-Danforth subway. The area also provides convenient access to Lake Shore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway.
Yorkville Toronto Neighbourhood
Yorkville is a former village, annexed by the City of Toronto. It is officially considered part of Toronto's Annex Community. Known for its high-end shopping district and revived Victorian houses- which many have been remodelled into designer boutiques and upscale restaurants, were first built between 1870 and 1895. Despite being one of Downtown's major area attractions, especially amongst Celebrities, Yorkville has been able to maintain its own identity. Now commanding rents at approximately $300/sqft, Yorkville has become the 3rd most expensive retail district in North America. It is an assortment of high-end boutiques, upscale restaurants, beautiful condominiums and lofts, commercial office towers, four star hotels, theatres, galleries and picturesque Victorian-era homes. Homes in this area can range from the $600K - $1, 000, 000+.
This area, founded in 1830, once began as a residential suburb, and then a breeding ground for many of Canada's famous Musicians and Writers; now a destination point for many tourists and other Toronto-area residents. The value of the property in this area increased after the construction of the Bloor-Danforth Subway line, which brought in a new influx of businesses, retailers and shoppers.
Many locals wanting to get away from the busy, high end retailers along Bloor Street, will often relax in one of the quiet parks Yorkville has to offer. Ramsden Park which stretches from Avenue Road to Yonge Street offers area residents access to tennis courts, an artificial ice rink, playground and more. Other area attractions also include the Royal Ontario Museum, the McLaughlin Planetarium, state of the art movie theatres, as well as some of the most upscale restaurants such as Prego Della Piazza and Vaticano. Yorkville is also home to MTV Canada, a popular broadcast station amongst teens and young professionals; and some of Toronto's most expensive condominium projects starting at over a million dollars and beyond.
Public transportation is easily accessible as Yonge and Bloor has been dubbed the busiest intersection, with two subway lines stationed at the one corner. The Yonge line and the Bloor-Danforth line. Yorkville offers easy access to other pockets of Downtown such as the Financial District, Fashion and Entertainment Districts, as well as the more Central parts of Toronto neighbourhoods. Riverdale can also be accessed within minutes, by car or public transportation.
St. Lawrence Market Toronto Neighbourhood
This abundantly historic area is one of the oldest areas in the City of Toronto. It is bounded by Yonge, Front and Parliament Streets, and the Canadian National Railway Embankment. The area's main focal point is The St. Lawrence Market, which has been in operation for over 200 years. Though this area has seen a lot of demolition and reconstruction over time, the “Market” is still home to more than 120 specialty vendors- where fresh produce, meats, clothing and other antiques can be purchased.
Here is where some of the City's most interesting architecture can be found, including the “Flatiron” Building, one of Toronto's most recognized landmarks, located at the corner of Wellington and Front Streets. St. Lawrence Hall, built more than 150 years ago, is home to many retail establishments, city offices, and extra space available for rent. It was only in the 1970s when mayor (at the time), David Crombie decided to turn this area into a residential neighbourhood. The area was planned by Alan Littlewood, and influenced by an American urban planner. It was not until the 1990s that this area's residential developments were completed.
Today, St. Lawrence is known to be one of the greatest successes in urban planning, and is a model for future developments across North America. St. Lawrence is also home to St. Lawrence Centre of the Arts, George Brown College and St. James Cathedral. The Esplanade, located off of Yonge Street, is lined with many restaurants, cafes and hotels that run right through the core of the community. Similarly, Front Street, which is located east of Yonge Street is home to many retail shops, restaurants, book stores, and much more. Still, with all the bustle of Downtown urban living, quiet and cozy parks can be found in this dynamic area. In recent years, this neighbourhood has seen a new wave of both residential and commercial properties.
Both TTC and GO transit can be easily accessed by area residents, and St. Lawrence is just minutes from the Don Valley, Gardiner, Lakeshore, and the rest of the Downtown core. An area that is home to many college and university students, working professionals, as well as many families; St. Lawrence is an ideal and thriving neighbourhood to call home.