Downtown Toronto

Downtown is downtown, right? Wrong! When it comes to downtown Toronto, it's just too large an area to deal with all at once. Hundreds of thousands of people live in that one neighbourhood known as downtown. To try and take in both it's residents and it's myriad of real estate options all at the same time would make a person's head spin. Therefore, we subdivide the district into manageable pieces, not just for the sake of real estate agents trying to juggle everything from Queen West condos to High Park homes, but also for the sake of the people who live there. Can you imagine having a block party with 300,000 of your neighbours?

For our purposes, we'll talk only about buying a Toronto condo in a small part of downtown. The section of downtown we'll be dealing with in this series of articles is an area we will call the downtown of downtown, or central downtown. Central downtown is bounded by Dufferin Street in the west and the Don Valley Parkway in the east. In the south, central downtown begins at the shores of Lake Ontario and continues north until it terminates at Bloor Street. Enclosed in this area are such important fixtures as Union Station, the main campus of the University of Toronto, and the famous Eaton Center shopping mall.

Central downtown is rarely known as central downtown in tourist or real estate literature, and is more commonly referred to by the individual neighbourhoods that it consists of. Each developed in its own special way and has a unique character. This character often manifests itself as differences in the architectural style of buildings even one block away from each other, and as variations in the type of real estate available. For instance, while the Irish influence brings us Corktown Lofts, Toronto University gives us hip student housing in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.

Some portions of central downtown, like the financial district and entertainment district, are completely devoid of the single family detached homes most people think of when Windsor homes are mentioned. This is due to the extreme popularity of land in these areas, which stems from the financial headquarters offices, arenas, and fancy shopping. Meanwhile, in other parts of central downtown, the high rise condo towers and office buildings give way to huge old houses, row houses or small apartment buildings like in Koreatown or Cabbagetown.

The availability of views in this area of downtown is somewhat limited unless you want to have a view of other buildings, and even then you'd have to have a tip top loft at the apex of a building to see anything other than a wall several meters away. However, there are some parkland views available near Trinity-Bellwoods Park, Coronation Park and Riverdale Park, and some neighbourhoods that actually have room for trees along the streets. As far as water views go, you're limited to the shoreline of Lake Ontario, a large part of which is taken up by industrial lands.





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Tuesday, March 26, 2019