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East end Toronto a developer’s dream

Toronto’s long neglected east end is now fashionable

Christopher Hume – Toronto Star

The east is red – as in red hot. Suddenly it seems everyone in Toronto wants to be on the other side of Yonge St., an area avoided for generations.

Comment: I grew up on Broadview, just north of Jilly’s. I have been touting the east end for years now.

The latest sign of the east end’s new-found desirability is a large mixed-use scheme proposed by Streetcar Developments, a firm with a long history in the district. The triple-towered project would occupy space south of Queen and Broadview.

Even more transformative is what’s unfolding in the West Don Lands. Under the administration of Waterfront Toronto, the 32-hectare site is fast becoming one of the city’s most intriguing new neighbourhoods. Organized around Corktown Common, a park that sits on a giant mound of earth created to control flooding on the Don River, the district was an industrial wasteland. The cement plant at King and River has been replaced now by elegant condos and social housing whose architecture is as laudable as its intentions.

Comment: West Don Lands, Pan Am Games, new Regent Park… you name it. Everything is going on the east. Look at what has happened with home prices in Riverdale the past 8 years, they have almost tripled. Leslieville is super hot, with prices doubling recently. Now condos come in, some smart infill projects. Queen East is popping right now, stores and restaurants out the wazoo. What is not to love?

East End Toronto
The massive Athletes’ Village constructed for the 2015 Pan-Am Games will be turned into a student residence for nearby George Brown College once the jocks have departed. With narrow streets and extra-wide sidewalks, accessible park and transit, the Don Lands will be the first neighbourhood in Toronto to incorporate the best of 21st-century urbanism.

Though much remains incomplete, it’s a safe bet the new community will be a busy and vibrant place that attracts families as well as the usual hordes of young and upwardly mobile.

Worth pointing out is the fact that Waterfront Toronto put as much effort into the public realm – park, streets, sidewalks, smart cable system – as it did condo economics. This strategy – build an infrastructure of pleasure and the hard stuff will follow – runs counter to our every civic instinct, but it works. That’s why the blandness beloved by planners, politicians and the nattering NIMBY nabobs they represent has no place in the Don Lands.

But if there was a symbolic moment when the east end officially crossed over into gentrification mode it was when the same firm, Streetcar, bought the much admired Romanesque heap that housed Jilly’s strip club. Sitting on the northwest corner of Queen and Broadview, the venerable red-brick structure will be given new life, perhaps as a hotel.

East Toronto Development

Though that remains to be seen, the important thing is that the renovation process has begun. With Jilly’s gone and, dare we say, respectability a distinct possibility, Toronto’s lower east side faces a happy middle-class future.

Further west, at King and Parliament, things have also become unexpectedly interesting. First there was the restoration and expansion of a row of Georgian storefronts and then, just east of Trinity St., the appearance of an exquisite glass-fronted office building. This mix of old and new doesn’t always succeed, but in this part of town that’s the subtext of all redevelopment.

Famously indifferent to the city’s history, Torontonians have allowed much damage to be inflicted along King and Queen. Facadism is rampant – just look at King and Sherbourne where a late-1800s hotel is being absorbed into a glass condo tower. Despite it all, the past feels alive and well here.

Even the Globe and Mail, that dowager of a newspaper, is moving to King (at Berkeley) where it will be next door to the Toronto Sun, a fixture since the days when real estate was cheap.

The forces of urban renewal can now be felt in every corner of the city. Yet just because the city centre has shifted east doesn’t mean all is quiet on the western front. Anything but.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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Summary
East end Toronto a developer's dream
Article Name
East end Toronto a developer's dream
Description
The east is red - as in red hot. Suddenly it seems everyone in Toronto wants to be on the other side of Yonge Street, an area avoided for generations.

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