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Long Branch/Lakeshore Village

Lenska

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Hi all,
Does anyone have any opinions on the Longbranch/Lakeshore Village area? It seems many people on here are only interested in downtown Toronto, but I'd love some feedback on this stretch of Lakeshore and its potential.
Thanks!
 

ahumphreys

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Of the three Lakeshore communities, I happen to like Mimico the best, followed by New Toronto. Don't think that I dislike Longbranch, however it's the least urban of the three communities, and the furthest away from Toronto's downtown.

The Lakeshore communities are really quite lucky. To start with, they have Lake Shore Blvd. as their main street; not many streets in the former suburbs still have streetcars. In addition, they have two GO transit stations.

Being close to the lake is quite nice, too; but the parks are great and are being improved. I was at the Waterfront Toronto board meeting to show my support when MP Michael Ignatieff, MPP Laurel Broten, and Councillor Mark Grimes were literally holding hands asking that Phase II of Mimico Linear Park be a priority for funding. Mimico Creek is slated to get a new Multi-use path. Colonel Samuel Smith Park is a beautiful park year-round, especially now that it has a new outdoor ice trail. And Marie Curtis Park is in final planning stages for improvements.

For me, the biggest downers are the lack of a good biking connection between Norris Parklawn and First street, the lack of North-South bicycle connections, and that so much of my shopping has to occur on The Queensway because it's not yet available on Lakeshore. The large amounts of vacant brownlands discourages some, but excites others; there is space in the community for new industries to take root, and some are starting to show interest. Being in former Etobicoke, there is still a suburban mindset, but there are quite a few new urbansist to temper that tendency; the car is still king, but a tentative king, and is hoping to be a benign king.

The other big issue is the streetcar service. The TTC does not run enough service through the area as it short-turns the 509s and 501s to improve service in the core at the expense of having enough service on it's ends (The beaches also suffer on this). In addition, seeing streetcars clumped together is not a rare sight. I have personally suffered gaps of over two-and-a-half hours between streetcars, and it's still a weekly occurrence for my foreign student to be late for school travelling from my house in Eastern Mimico to Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School because of the streetcar. However, most of the North-South busses run quite frequently, and can be counted on to take you to the Bloor Subway line quite quickly.

Besides improvements to the parks, there is always ongoing development happening in the area. The city's planning department is working on the Mimico 20/20 plan. The Lakeshore Planning Council meets once a month at LAMP and reacts to various planning issues in the area. And, as I mentioned earlier, there is now more interest by industry in using the vacant brownlands.

Overall rating 6.5-7/10, with its potential 8-8.5/10

Hopefully this helps you.
 

Lenska

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Thank you, ahumphreys, for your lengthy and thoughtful reply - I really appreciate it!

I agree with you about Mimico; it's my first choice too but unfortunately already out of my price range given that its 'next trendy neighbourhood' status has been out of the bag for some time. If the price is right, the house usually needs to be gutted or requires at least $50K in renos.

My question for you is what do you mean exactly by "industry" being interested in the vacant brownlands? Do you mean new industrial or just new businesses in general? I know at least one large tract of land on the north side of Lakeshore has an application for mixed use residential and retail, which bodes well for the stretch. I too like that there are many parks, proximity to water, transit options and also highway access.Hopefully the Lakeshore communities continue to get funding and the BIAs will ensure the street scape has an attractive, vibrant 'village' feel to it...I do believe this will happen as soon as the new residential starts moving in...
 

sodapop

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i went to school there for years at seventh street school, and i never really liked the neighborhood (new toronto that is) i hang out in mimico alot and quite like it,projects like 11 superior need to become more common in the area though. but for me long branch wins its really turning around and i love that part of the lakeshore plus i really like the burrito boys there
 

ahumphreys

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My question for you is what do you mean exactly by "industry" being interested in the vacant brownlands? Do you mean new industrial or just new businesses in general? I know at least one large tract of land on the north side of Lakeshore has an application for mixed use residential and retail, which bodes well for the stretch.

Almost all of the storefronts on Lake Shore are occupied, albeit there are many who complain that too many of these are dollar stores and nail salons. But at least they are occupied. Retail is still suffering on Lake Shore, which is why many in the community feel the need to shop on The Queensway. However, there are a few interesting, and new, restaurants in Long Branch that I hope you will enjoy. Lake Shore Blvd has not yet become a "destination" by any stretch. In part, this is because Lake Shore is seen by many as a 'Road,' and not a 'Street,' and it does not help that it also operates more as a 'Road' than as a 'Street'. For instance, through most of Mimico, one cannot walk beside (or pass) a stroller/wheelchair because the sidewalks are too narrow; next to you, however, you find there are six lanes of roadway.

The vacant brownfields I was referring to are the large empty lots off of Birmingham and New Toronto Streets. These once were host to manufacturing industries, and were the main employment for the area. What industry remains are primarily logistics (ie trucking) and food related. More food related industry is interested in occupying these lands, and relatively recently the Toronto Police opened up their new training facility on Birmingham.

The local community fought hard to keep the brownfields reserved for industry after they were vacated, despite strong pressures to convert these into residential developments. That is because the community wants to retain the mixed use of lands, and not be merely a bedroom community. I happen to agree with this wisdom.

North of the train tracks, besides the Mimico Correctional facility (now being upgraded) the industrial lands are primarily used by warehouses and wholesalers who supply, primarily, retail. And many of these are, again, food related. This was largely due to the close location of the Ontario Food Terminal at The Queensway and Park Lawn, and partly that clustering related industry makes synergy possible and practical.
 

johnt

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I have 2 assignments for key west condos at park lawn and lakeshore on the 23rd floor facing SOUTH unit 2301 1bedroom +Media 595+75sqft balcony includes parking and locker with cap on levies for $329,900 and another unit beside it 2302 1 bedroom + Den 630+80sqft balcony parking and locker included for $353,900 levies capped 9ft ceilings, all stainless steel appliances ,granite counter tops etc.. email me if you are interested we can about price and can send pictures of what the area is going to look like with a good view of the lake jptelesca@rogers.com
 

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