Known for its office towers and the briefcase-wielding workers who work amongst them, the Bay St. Corridor hasn’t always been this way. While some neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto have experienced slow growth over the years, this couldn’t be less true for the Bay Street Corridor, whose character has transformed entirely in the past 100-odd years.
You probably wouldn’t guess it by taking a look around today, but the area that’s become known as the Bay Street Corridor was once considered something of a slum. Known as the Ward in the last decades of the 19th century, the area was home to impoverished newcomers who couldn’t afford to live anywhere else in the city.
Slowly but surely, portions of the Ward were razed in order to make way for what would become some of the city’s most iconic institutions. Toronto General Hospital, for example, was built in the Ward in 1909, with hotels and high-rise towers following shortly after. In fact, the appearance of residential buildings in the Bay Street Corridor is a rather recent development.
Speaking of iconic, Queen’s Park and the Ontario Legislative Building are situated in the Bay Street Corridor. The park itself is a great place for picnics or morning runs, while activists can fight for various causes at the rallies that often take place on the Legislative Building’s grounds.
Those interested in Bay Street Corridor condos for rent will also be glad to hear that on top of places to protest, there are also plenty of grocery stores in the neighbourhood. Residents can head over to College Park in order to stock up at either Metro or Sobeys Urban Fresh. Other local options include Rabba Fine Foods on Wellesley or Galleria Supermarket on Yonge.
Thanks to the dense condo towers that soar into the air in the Bay Street Corridor, there’s always something great to be found on the market here, whether you're looking to rent or seeking Toronto condos for sale. More than 30 condos are spread out throughout the neighbourhood, with new residential buildings going up all the time. Renters can thank a condo boom in the 1990s for the current abundance of homes, which also means that many of the residential towers in the neighbourhood are quite contemporary.
Although it has since been surpassed, the Aura Condos at College Park once made a name for itself as the tallest residential building in the country. It may not hold the current record, but the turnover rate is quite promising for renters interested in the Aura, thanks to its suite count of nearly 1,000. Those in search of the ultramodern can also check out the Five Condos at 5 St. Joseph Street or the Murano at 387 Grenville, both of which were constructed well into the 21st century.
Perhaps the best part about the Bay Street Corridor is its accessibility. It’s particularly easy to get around when living in this neighbourhood, whether one prefers to drive or travel via public transit. With Yonge acting as the easternmost border of the Bay Street Corridor, those without cars of their own always have the option to walk to the subway. Wellesley and College Stations, both situated on the Yonge subway line, are ideal starting points for anyone heading north or south throughout the city.
As for those who drive, Yonge Street, Bay, and University Avenue are all great options for those heading south toward the Financial District and even Lake Ontario. What’s more, Yonge and University can be used to reach the 401 to the north. The Don Valley Parkway is also accessible via Bloor Street East, while those hoping to reach the Gardiner Expressway can do so by heading south along University Avenue and then York Street.
The Locals: They probably have more than one suit hanging in their closets.
Code of Conduct: Expect lengthy lineups at Starbucks between the hours of 7 and 10 a.m.
What You’ll Find: Soaring skyscrapers.
What You Won’t Find: An abundance of single-family homes.
The Homes: Condos — and little else.
Sealing the Deal: The neighbourhood’s prime location.