St. Lawrence has a noteworthy past: it was the earliest industrial area in York around the turn of the 19th century. Sitting in a spot that was once below the shoreline of Lake Ontario, the neighbourhood was artificially filled in to afford more land to the shipping industry.
Today St. Lawrence features two defining elements: The Esplanade and the St. Lawrence Market. While The Esplanade boasts shops, restaurants, hotels, and plenty of green space, the Market is certainly the neighbourhood’s pièce de résistance.
Today, Toronto is bursting with summertime farmer’s markets, although few know that this trend dates all the way back to 1803. The tradition continues with Saturday markets held in the north end of St. Lawrence Market building, as well as in various parks around the city. The market is also open Tuesday through Saturday, when shoppers can visit permanent vendors such as St. Urbain Bagels, Carousel Bakery (whose peameal sandwich is a must try), as well as those specializing in artisan meat and cheese, and fresh produce.
Like its easterly neighbour, the Distillery District, St. Lawrence also advocates for the arts: the St. Lawrence centre for the Arts and the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts both reside in the area. Between cultural institutions, amenities, parks, and the market itself, St. Lawrence is a family-friendly neighbourhood that appeals to a range of incomes and cultural backgrounds.
St. Lawrence condos also attract an assortment of different types — career driven professionals who work in the Financial District, artists, students, and empty nesters who are yearning for the downtown experience.
Following deindustrialization, the city subsidized the neighbourhood’s development. With some projects completed as late as the 1990’s, the St. Lawrence neighbourhood is now celebrated as a triumph in urban planning, and an exemplar for future endeavours in the field.
Thanks to such efforts by the municipal government, the neighbourhood still offers a combination of reasonably priced rentals, co-ops, private homes, lofts, and St. Lawrence condos. Along Front Street, original 19th century homes showcase the red and yellow brick popular in Georgian style constructions. Hard lofts retain similar qualities — the red brick exterior of the St Lawrence Market Lofts, for example, dates back to 1837, while the Imperial Lofts is situated in a converted 1930’s yellow brick optical warehouse.
Because the neighbourhood caters to such a wide demographic, St. Lawrence condos for sale follow suit, and are available in a range of different price points, with varying amenities and finishes.
Thanks to its location directly east of the Financial District, the St. Lawrence neighbourhood is within walking distance of countless restaurants, shops, attractions, and of course transportation hubs.
King Station takes less than 10 minutes to reach on foot from the centre of the neighbourhood, and from there, passengers can catch subway trains heading north or south along the Yonge line. Just one stop south of King is Union Station, where those heading out of the city can access VIA Rail trains, GO buses and trains, and UP Express trains that carry travelers to Pearson International Airport.
While most residents of St. Lawrence might prefer to the leave the car at home, the Gardiner Expressway is just south of the neighbourhood for fast travel around the city.
The Locals: A diverse crowd predominantly made up of young professionals and budding families
Code of Conduct: Locals take advantage by visiting the market during off-peak hours.
What You’ll Find: Antiques, architecture, and artisanal treats.
What You Won’t Find: Vast open spaces — green or otherwise.
The Homes: Everything under the sun: subsidized rentals, condos, private homes, and lofts both hard and soft.
Sealing the Deal: Living within arm’s reach of more attractions than you can possibly keep track of.