Downtown Toronto is where it all happens. Not only is this area the densest part of the city, but it’s also home to the largest concentration of skyscrapers in the country. And it’s just those skyscrapers that form the Toronto skyline that Canadians know and love.
One part of the skyline that can’t help but stand out is City Centre, thanks to a couple of unique architectural features. The first thing that likely comes to mind is the CN Tower, and although it’s no longer the tallest free-standing structure in the world (it soars to just over 550 metres high), there’s nothing taller in North or South America.
Toronto’s most iconic structure may have originally been built by the Canadian National Railway as a broadcasting tower, but today it’s used for an entirely different purpose. After ownership was transferred to the Canadian government in 1995, the CN Tower became an attraction for Torontonians and tourists alike. Today, visitors can ride the elevator to the glass floor and outdoor observation deck. Alternatively, those daring enough can even strap themselves in and lean back over the city thanks to the new EdgeWalk activity, which also happens to be the highest hands-free walk of its kind in the world.
Plenty of other significant venues are situated in the area around the base of the CN Tower as well. Yet another structure visible from the skyline is the Rogers Centre — or as older generations may still call it, the Sky Dome. The stadium holds upwards of 50,000 visitors during sporting events and concerts, and its retractable roof makes events all the more enjoyable on sunny summer days.
Downtown Toronto comprises more than just City Centre, though: it covers around 14 square kilometres in total. The area reaches as far east as the Don River and as far west as Dovercourt Road, with portions of Dupont, Davenport, and Rosedale Valley Road acting as the northernmost border. Downtown condos for sale also reside within posh neighbourhoods like Yorkville and King West, or eccentric neighbourhoods such as The Village and the Distillery District.
Knowing how popular condo living is these days, it’s shocking to hear that until the late 1960s, the concept was basically unthinkable. Condos for sale in Downtown were created as a solution to rising house prices in the 1960s, with the government even subsidizing their construction for many years. By 1973 condos were being built all over downtown core, so much so that the municipal government was forced to impose a moratorium on condo development. Since then, Toronto has experienced a number of condo ‘booms,’ and today Downtown condos for sale are more desirable than ever.
Whether they’re attracted to the area for its commercial offerings, its historical charm, or its dense, metropolitan atmosphere, prospective residents in search of Downtown condos for sale have plenty of choice when it comes to style, size, and location. City Centre is the perfect neighbourhood for anyone in search of a conveniently-located high rise, while some of the oldest loft conversions in the city can be found in St. Lawrence. And thanks to efforts to increase density in the city centre, brand new Downtown condos for sale seem to be popping up left, right, and centre.
Thanks to the constant influx of condos in recent years, Toronto is now home to many innovative buildings, architecturally speaking. Pier 27, for example, was designed by Architects Alliance and built in 2015, and the buildings that make up the complex are surprisingly longer than they are tall — a nice change of pace for downtown condos for sale. Situated right where Yonge Street meets Lake Ontario, the focal points at Pier 27 are the two enclosed walkways that each connects a pair of buildings. And with units that start at 500 and reach to around 2,800 square feet, Pier 27 is ideal for single professionals, families, and everyone in between.
Prospective residents who won’t settle for anything less than a tower designed by a celebrity architect can opt for a unit in the L Tower. Located at 8 the Esplanade in St. Lawrence, the 57-storey tower contains suites that reach to a staggering 11,400 square feet. And anyone who knows anything about architecture will know what it means when residents say they live in a building that was designed by Daniel Libeskind.
Yet another factor that draws prospective residents toward Downtown condos for sale is the transportation infrastructure that services the area. While traffic can become quite congested — especially during rush hour — many Downtown residents forgo driving altogether.
The Yonge-University-Spadina line, for one, allows passengers to travel north and south throughout the city. Those planning a trip into the east or west end, on the other hand, can use buses and streetcars travelling along major arterial roads in order to do so. For example, a trip all the way from the Eaton Centre to The Beaches takes less than 30 minutes via the Queen Streetcar.
Downtown residents heading out of town have many convenient options as well. Union Station, Toronto’s foremost transportation hub, is situated in City Centre, and from here travellers have access to GO buses and trains, VIA Rail trains, and the UP Express train to Pearson International Airport. There’s also an airport right in the city centre: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is situated just south of Bathurst and Lake Shore Boulevard.
Last but not least, those who prefer to drive have a number of options for preventing traffic-induced fits of rage. For one, the Gardiner Expressway helps those heading east and west, as this major highway hugs the shore of Lake Ontario. From here, drivers can head east in order to transfer onto the Don Valley Parkway, or west to reach the 427. And anyone driving around the immediate area will quickly learn the tricks of the trade, including using one-way streets and avoiding roadways that are heavily trafficked with streetcars and buses.
The Locals: They won’t settle for anything less than the busiest area in the largest city in Canada.
Code of Conduct: Patience is key here, whether driving, riding the streetcar, or even walking on the sidewalk.
What You’ll Find: More skyscrapers than anywhere else in the city — let alone the entire country.
What You Won’t Find: Tranquility.
The Homes: Everything from single-family, Victorian-era detached houses to pre-confederation lofts and 21st century condos.
Sealing the Deal: Living in the centre of all the action.