Toronto's Lower Don Lands have moved away from their recent past as vacant former industrial sites and are developing together into one of the Toronto's newest neighbourhoods, the Canary District. The neighbourhood is named after the now shuttered Canary restaurant at Cherry and Front Streets, a longtime greasy spoon that became a local legend. Whether the Canary will ever open again is not known yet, but the area known as the West Don Lands under the stewardship of Waterfront Toronto is transitioning into another lively city district, made more notable by the historical importance it is already being assigned.
Before becoming home to thousands of new residents, the Canary District will first be the home to the Athlete's Village for the 2015 Pan Am Games. After the Parapan Am Games finish in August 2015, developer DundeeKilmer will spend an 8-month period refitting the buildings to create completed condominium suites, ready for occupancy in Spring and Summer 2016, under the names Canary District Condos and Canary Park Condos. This transition from athlete's village to condos will not only benefit those who decide to live here at this $514 million development. The entire West Don Lands is expected to return an increased incremental property tax assessment value of $3.7 billion, with property taxes for the area expected to deliver over $30 million annually to the City of Toronto.
It was the Canary District Condos which were launched and sold first (some suites remain available), and now it's time for the public launch of the Canary Park Condos. The presentation centre at 398 Front Street East and Cherry Street will open at noon this Saturday, August 9.
The Canary District development is a mixed-use community that will boast a variety of different housing options. Canary Park itself is made up of two mid-rise buildings, one at 12 and the other 16 storeys, along with loft units and townhomes, totalling 437 units. All of the buildings in the Canary District have been designed to reach LEED Gold Standards and will feature green roofs. Altogether when the District initially opens in 2016, there will be 808 market units, 253 units will be designated as affordable housing. There will be a George Brown College residence as well, connected to the Cooper Koo Family YMCA, the city's newest fully outfitted recreation centre and to which the Canary District residents will have close access. Retail will be found at ground level along the district's central spine, and pedestrian friendly 30 to 40 foot wide granite paved walkways along Front Street will connect the neighbourhood to the 18 acre Corktown Commons, which itself connects to more than 1800 km bicycle and pedestrian trails extending through Toronto and across Southern Ontario.
The more tech-minded buyer will be excited to hear that Canary Park will boast access to Canada's first open-access ultra-high-speed broadband community network, ranking among the world's top 7. This network, which will feature the latest fibre-optic technologies will provide the neighbourhood with wifi and unlimited service, and will make the network 4 times faster than than that of a typical residential area.
There is also entertainment just beyond the bounds of Canary Park in the adjacent Distillery District and the St. Lawrence Market just down the road. As a nod to those neighbouring areas, the project architects, KPMB, decided to use masonry at the street level to recall the bricks, leaving room for a glass-inspired modern aesthetic on the condo's upper levels. Inside, Canary Park's comfortable lobby lounge also bridges rustic and modern with a design by Munge Leung, reflecting the area's heritage with natural materials but polishing them for todays' aesthetic. A suite of similarly inspired amenities including party rooms, a fitness centre and a pool overlooking Corktown Common can be found throughout the development.
We will keep you up-to-date as this building and the entirety of the Canary District project develops up to and after the Pan Am Games. In the meantime, you can check out our dataBase files for more information and renderings, linked below. Have a comment? Post it in an associated Forum thread, or use the space provided on this page.