It was speculated for several years that Indigo Books & Music would shutter their The World's Biggest Bookstore location on Edward Street, an assumption which became a fact in November 2013. The huge bookstore dominated Edward Street for over 30 years, becoming a landmark in the Downtown Yonge shopping area. The store's closing was bad news for book lovers but great news for developers as this valuable site lies steps away from Canada's busiest intersection at Yonge and Dundas Streets. A bidding war ensued, the first bid starting at $38 million, with the winning bidder Lifetime Developments buying the bookstore site for $51.5 million. No finalized plans were announced as to what the site would become. 

20 Edward Street Restaurant Row Toronto Yonge Dundas Downtown Turner Fleischer Rendering of 20 Edward Street 'Restaurant Row', courtesy of Turner Fleischer

Fast forward to now, plans have been announced to turn 20 Edward Street into Toronto's new 'Restaurant Row', at least temporarily, with the intent to add significant vitality to the street. Complimenting the row of restaurants one block to the north on Elm Street, 20 Edward Street will bring four premium two-storey restaurants to the Yonge/Dundas area. Each restaurant could feature soaring 40-foot ceilings, column free space, and enjoy multi-level patio possibilities. 

20 Edward Street Restaurant Row Toronto Yonge Dundas Downtown Turner Fleischer Rendering of 20 Edward Street storefronts, courtesy of Turner Fleischer

20 Edward Street Restaurant Row Toronto Yonge Dundas Downtown Turner Fleischer Rendering of 20 Edward Street patios, courtesy of Turner Fleischer

The new 'Restaurant Row' site is in proximity to an unbelievable amount of retailers, just steps away from Toronto Eaton Centre, Yonge-Dundas Square, and Yonge Street and the Atrium on Bay. The area itself already brings in 60 million people passing by annually, the bulk pouring out from Dundas subway station daily. With the area's impressive pull, 20 Edward has already been the focus of significant attention from potential restauranteurs. 

Architectural firm Turner Fleischer has designed a large cutting edge concept for the building that would house four restaurants. When signing on, restauranteurs will have the opportunity to customize their space by setting their own ceiling heights, patio size, and storefronts. 

20 Edward Street Restaurant Row Toronto Yonge Dundas Downtown Turner Fleischer Tentative floor plans for Ground Floor at 20 Edward Street, courtesy of Turner Fleischer

In the meantime, Lifetime Developments is pursuing a more longterm vision for the site which would involve a complete redevelopment. Plans are in the works but have not been submitted to the City yet, so no details are forthcoming currently as to how much residential and commercial space will be sought from a zoning amendment application. Lifetime have put not date on the future longterm redevelopment.

In the meantime, there are more renderings of the 20 Edward restaurant and retail plan in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to talk about it? Join the discussion in our associated Forum thread, or leave your comment in the space provided on this page.

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