The urban setting of Toronto is changing to a vertical landscape blending amongst the existing supply of houses. As real estate prices are projected to increase across the board for single family homes and townhouses, condo living by default is becoming the housing option for those choosing to live close to downtown.
It’s a natural evolution in big cities such as New York, Paris, Tokyo and London with Toronto following in tiny footsteps that will have families and singles looking at a condo lifestyle, if they want to remain living close to the city’s core.
In addition to the often admired urban vitality found within Toronto, are the unique and flavourful neighbourhoods. There’s a shift happening with the demographics of who is found choosing to live there. Not only singles and empty-nesters but young families as well are looking at this choice as a way of having their children living a much less homogenous upbringing with community activities and schools often just steps away. Having a shorter commute to work leaves more time with the family and teenagers grow up with the confidence of getting around downtown by foot or public transportation. It’s a way of life, having culture with galleries, music and theatre only a short distance away and accessible without much planning or thought. They don’t view the city as the “scary” place that their suburban cousins might.
Another interesting change is finding that many “Gen Y’s” are choosing not to get their driver’s license, so living close to public transportation is more important than ever. They’ve been brought up during economic times with soaring tuition costs, expensive insurance and with more exposure to environmental issues than their parents. Driving the car, no longer seems like the rite of passage it was before. Many are opting for bikes, longboards and rollerblades which at the same time send a social message about their views. Another great alternative to owning a car is the popularity of the AutoShare companies that are populating urban Toronto after its’ European brainchild.
Neighbourhood lifestyle and community seems to be more important than ever for those deciding that living in the city defines who they are and what they want to experience on a day to day basis. Up and coming hoods are bringing together a blend of what is important for individuals to enjoy, from waking up and walking out the door for their local newspaper to the local café ritual that resembles what many Europeans have enjoyed for decades.
The revitalization of some areas are sparking new interest and creativity that is attracting a dazzling breed of hipsters both young and old that are feeling connected to these hoods and what they have to offer. Publications such as the New York Times are noting some of these neighbourhoods and are giving them a boost with recognition.
The Junction Triangle, a small area recently renamed, sits surrounded by three railroad tracks on the north, east and west side in Toronto's west-end. Once a rough and dull area is now beginning to attract creative types drawn to the cheaper real estate. Artists have begun to leave the Queen West area which is becoming more expensive and unattainable and begun to transform industrial and retail spaces into edgy and hip art galleries. New cafes, restaurants, retro shops and communal gardens are available for this artsy crowd that is drawn to this convenient and still affordable area. Freehold properties in the neighbourhood intermix with townhouse and condo buildings. One of Toronto’s leading heritage developers has planned to restore one of the area’s oldest high-rise buildings “The Sterling”, into authentic lofts, drawing those hip condo buyers.
This vibrant hood offers diversity, uniqueness along with ease to downtown. The local residents have public transportation options ranging from the Bloor Subway line to the Go Transit Station only steps away. No worries about having a car, when living here.
Situated amongst some of the most hip galleries in the city, this area offers those living both in condos and houses a cool choice for living as the neighbourhood blooms.