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Buying a condo in City Centre

No Toronto neighbourhood resembles New York City — with its bright lights, soaring skyscrapers, and busloads of tourists — quite like City Centre does. Mainly demarcated by the Gardiner Expressway, Gerrard Street, University Avenue, and Jarvis Street, City Centre also extends west to include two of Toronto’s most important landmarks: Union Station and the CN Tower.

The CN Tower is, without a doubt, the most recognizable building in Toronto’s skyline. Little do foreigners know that City Centre is one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in the city, both to visit and to live in. Other major attractions in the area include the Ripley’s Aquarium, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Scotiabank Arena, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Design Exchange.

While malls evoke visions of suburbia for some, there’s absolutely nothing suburban about the Eaton Centre. Thanks to the subway line that runs underneath, as well as its connection to the PATH, more individuals visit this mall each day than any other mall in North America.

Just outside the mall is Yonge-Dundas Square, whose billboards and screens make this public space resemble Time’s Square — albeit a slightly smaller version. Public events and concerts are held here regularly, and while the buildings directly surrounding the square are commercial and corporate in nature, there’s plenty of Toronto condos for sale for those who want to live within reach of all the action.

Condo Life in City Centre

The array of condos for sale in City Centre may vary in terms of style and size, but anyone looking for a home in the clouds is guaranteed to find what they’re looking for here: this neighbourhood is home to some of the tallest towers in the city. And for the best views in the city, prospective buyers can opt for buildings made (almost) entirely of glass.

With Toronto being as diverse as it is, it’s not surprising to hear that all people from all walks of life live in the City Centre neighbourhood. City Centre condos for sale range from luxury buildings, like the Shangri-La, to low-key ones, such as the King Plaza. The former consists of opulent condos situated above the Shangri-La Hotel, while the latter is a 17-storey building constructed in 1991.

City Centre caters to tourists as much as it does to locals, and as a result hotels are aplenty in this neighbourhood. Yet another hotel-affiliated condo is the One King West Hotel & Residence, with the largest of its 575 units spanning an impressive 5,600 square feet. Better yet, the condos were built atop the Dominion Bank Building, a heritage building that dates back to 1914. While current residents of 1 King West live in contemporary condos, they can still enjoy the Beaux Arts architecture of the original building below, and they can even host party in the preserved bank vault.

Those hoping to live within a piece of Toronto history can also look to the Graphic Arts Building at 73 Richmond Street West. Constructed in 1913, the building’s limestone façade is just about as impressive as its age. With only 64 units, however, interested prospective buyers should be prepared to act fast should one of the suites in the building appear on the market. As for those glass-glad skyscrapers, the Ice Condos, Maple Leaf Square, 18 Yonge, and Spire won’t disappoint prospective buyers who prefer their homes come hand in hand with striking vistas of the city below.

There’s always reason to expect news of a new building going up in this dynamic neighbourhood. Mirvish + Gehry Toronto is currently in the works, a massive multi-use complex designed by beloved architect Frank Gehry (the same Gehry behind the Art Gallery of Ontario’s 2008 redesign). In addition to a huge number of downtown condos for sale, the complex at 150 King Street West will house the Mirvish Collection art gallery, as well as a brand new campus for the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Transportation

Purchasing a condo for sale in City Centre means having access to much more than just the immediate area. With its central locale and its bustling atmosphere, it’s no wonder City Centre is home to the city’s most significant transportation hub: Union Station. Those leaving the city altogether can visit Union Station in order to connect onto VIA Rail trains, GO Transit trains or buses, or the UP service to Pearson International Airport.

Union Station also has a subway running directly underneath it, and happens to be the station where the University-Spadina and Yonge lines meet. Some residents of the City Centre neighbourhood might live closer to Queen, King, Dundas, St. Patrick, Osgoode, or St. Andrew Station, on the other hand. Regardless, this small area is highly walkable, and the abundance of subway stations means locals can travel toward different parts of the city with ease.

Subways and trains might not be unique to Toronto, but the PATH certainly is. This subterranean, shop-lined network of paths spans 30 kilometres, making it the world’s largest underground shopping mall. While some see the PATH as a place to shop, others use it solely for the connection it offers between various office towers and condos. Knowing how nasty Toronto winters can get, the ability to walk around the neighbourhood without going outside might be an important factor when choosing a home.

Last but not least, drivers interested in condos for sale in City Centre can rest assured that they’ll be able get around with ease, especially thanks to the Gardiner Expressway. This highway runs east and west along the southern edge of the city, and offers connections onto the 427 to the west, as well as the Don Valley Parkway to the east.

City Centre Overview

The Locals: Anyone who understands the phrase “fear of missing out.”

Code of Conduct: Tourists asking for directions is commonplace here.

What You’ll Find: Offices inside skyscrapers, hotels inside skyscrapers, and condos inside skyscrapers.

What You Won’t Find: Quiet, tree-lined streets where kids play ball hockey.

The Homes: In this dense neighbourhood, it’s much easier to find a condo than a single-family home.

Sealing the Deal: Living within walking distance of Toronto’s most popular attractions.