The King Street Pilot Project has been… shall we say, controversial. Many TTC riders have lauded the project for dramatically increasing the reliability of King streetcars — while others express doubt that the project is actually doing anything positive. However, the increase in daily riders from 72,000 to 84,000 is evidence of a positive trend.
Of course, these numbers mean little to driver’s who commute in the area and are stuck in traffic, and business owners who claim the project is hurting their sales; there are even a number of restaurants such as Pearl King, which have closed their doors in the wake of the King Street Pilot Project, laying at least some of the blame on the project itself for reducing traffic on the street.
all indications are that it will increase the value of condos on or near King Street.
Many would argue however, that Pearl King had it coming, regardless of the Pilot Project, and that the drivers are experiencing the smallest increase (less than 2 minutes during rush hour) in traffic.
On April 16th, 2019, Toronto City Council voted to make the project permanent — and though some might not welcome this announcement, it’s absolutely essential that a growing city continues to improve public transit and encourages more people to rely on it. Reactions have varied from overjoyed to defeated, but overall, most see this as a positive for TTC riders, businesses, and the city in general. Drivers should be among those in the overjoyed camp, as the improved streetcar transportation along King St will only discourage more Torontonians from buying/leasing cars and further congesting the roads.
One thing that isn’t being discussed is how this will affect the Toronto condo market now that the project is permanent, which is surprising because all indications are that it will increase the value of condos on or near King Street; though some condo residents in the area may drive to work, it’s more likely that residents who choose to live in this area rely on the TTC for commuting.
The pilot project made King Street a more walkable, pedestrian friendly street. Pedestrians no longer need to raise their voices to compete with the volume of loud combustion engines — they only need to compete with the electric humming of streetcars.
For years, TTC riders have knocked the King streetcar for long wait times — depending on the time of day, you might have been able to outwalk it. But by diverting traffic and providing a protected lane for passengers to board, King streetcars are now a viable choice for commuters.
There’s a reason developers flock to scoop up property near transit lines: one only needs to examine the flurry of developments that have followed in the wake of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Though the King Street Project is improving existing transit lines as opposed to creating new lines, this news is likely to leave developers and investors alike feeling giddy.
Considering that the project extends from Jarvis all the way to Bathurst, there are several neighbourhoods that could see a bump in property values. And given how successful the pilot was, Toronto City Council is already considering other areas in the city. It remains to be seen where the next pilot project will take place, but you can bet that buyers, sellers, and investors will be keeping an eye out.
- One King West Hotel & Residence - 1 King St W
- The Metropole - 7 King St E
- King Edward Private Residences - 37 King St E
- King Plaza - 92 King St E
- Mirvish + Gehry Condos Toronto - 150 King St W
- Theatre Park - 224 King St W
- King Blue - 355 King St W
- 357 King Condos - 357 King St W
- M5V Condos - 375 King St W
- The 393 On King - 393 King St W
- 401 King Street Condos - 401 King St W
- The Hudson - 438 King St W
- Victory Lofts - 478 King St W
- Fashion House Condo - 560 King St W
- Kingly Condos - 620 King St W
- Thompson Residences - 629 King St W
- Six50 King - 650 King St W