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Buying a condo in Fort York

To call Fort York a residential neighbourhood would be misleading. Although the neighbourhood contains more than its fair share of condos, it’s also home to an abundance of green space, as well as a national historic site. Bound by the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railway lines to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, Strachan to the west, and Bathurst to the East, the amount of public space that fits into this neighbourhood is most surprising.

Current residents easily forget about Fort York’s industrial past, although thanks to its name it’s hard to overlook the area’s military history. Established in 1793, Fort York was built to protect the capital of Upper Canada from its neighbours south of the border. While the site dates back to the 18th century, most of the buildings still standing today were constructed following the War of 1812. Not only does Fort York contain some of the oldest buildings in the city, but it’s also home to the largest collection of buildings from this time period in the country.

What makes Fort York such a unique neighbourhood isn’t just its rich history, but also the attitude toward its preservation. Completed in 2005, the neighbourhood is governed by the Fort York Neighbourhood Public Realm Plan, which ensures that future developments won’t entirely alter the nature of the area. This way, buyers interested in condos for sale in Fort York can be sure that the neighbourhood won’t change too much in years to come.

Besides Fort York, which can be visited during specified hours for a small fee, other green spaces in the neighbourhood are free to explore (and open 24-hours a day), such as Garrison Common, the Gore, and June Callwood Park. Yet another free amenity in the neighbourhood is the Toronto Public Library’s Fort York branch. The 99th branch in the city, this library was completed in 2014, and contains modern facilities like 3D printers and study pods.

Condo Life in Fort York

With 17 condos spread throughout Fort York, prospective buyers interested in Toronto condos for sale in the area have plenty of choice. A couple of condos for sale in Fort York, for example, are ideal for those attracted to the neighbourhood for its proximity to the lake. The Marina Townhomes of South Beach and the Quay West at 90 Stadium Road are both situated beside the Waterfront Trail, and around the corner from the Alexandra Yacht Club and National Yacht Club.

Also sandwiched between Lake Ontario and Coronation Park is the iconic Tip Top Lofts. While some might be attracted to this building for its lakeside locale, others swoon over its historical significance and architectural rarity. Constructed in the 1920s, this former Tip Top Tailors headquarters is one of the few examples of Art Deco architecture in the city.

Those who plan to spend a lot of time at Fort York, on the other hand, can live right next door in the 240 Broadway Avenue Townhomes or the Garrison at Fort York. The latter is mid-rise building constructed by the Onni Group. The small scale of the building provides it with a more intimate feel than one might find in other large towers in the area — even if some units happen to span upwards of 5,000 square feet.

Transportation

Purchasing a Fort York condo for sale is just as wise for drivers as it is for those without cars. Drivers benefit from having the Gardiner Expressway cut through the centre of the neighbourhood. Fort York residents can use this major highway to transfer onto the 427 to the west or the Don Valley Parkway in no time. As for those heading toward destinations in the immediate area, arterial roads like Bathurst and Strachan will come in handy.

Those who rely on the TTC to get around also have a number of options. The Harbourfront streetcar makes stops along Fleet Street, and carries passengers as far east as Union Station. Anyone headed north, on the other hand, can use the Bathurst streetcar, which turns back around at Bathurst Station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.

As for travelers leaving the city altogether, it doesn’t get much more convenient than living within walking distance of an airport. The Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is located just south of Fort York, and technically sits on land that belongs to the Toronto Islands. And Pearson International may be 21 kilometres away, but it’s still fairly quick — and inexpensive — to reach thanks to the UP service that departs from Union Station.

Fort York Overview

The Locals: Urbanites who don’t want to feel like they’re living in a concrete jungle.

Code of Conduct: Midlife crises are more likely to involve sailboats than motorcycles for Fort York residents.

What You’ll Find: Some truly enviable sunset spots.

What You Won’t Find: Tree-lined streets filled with single-family homes.

The Homes: Condos, condos, and more condos.

Sealing the Deal: Living next door to a 200-year-old historic site.