Over the first three months of the year, another edition of UrbanToronto's Growth to Watch For Series has tracked the hundreds of development proposals and construction projects across the city. Moving from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, each entry our 16-part series provides a fine-grained overview of local development. With the series now complete, we bring together our 2016 editorials in an exhaustively comprehensive survey of Toronto's ongoing and upcoming development.
Kicking off our series in one of Toronto's fastest-growing development nodes, 2016 is bringing a huge influx of high-rise density to the Entertainment District. A plethora of high-rise towers are joining the neighbourhood this year, including Teeple's distinctive 39-storey Picasso, the 36-storey Tableau, and the 42-storey The Bond (seen below).
Up next, an overview of the development progress between Bathurst and High Park in the King/Queen West, Liberty Village, the Exhibition Grounds, Ronscevalles Village, and Little Portugal neighbourhoods. Like much of the city, many of these neighbourhoods are undergoing fast-paced densification, with a significant number of Southwest Toronto's projects expected to see construction progress in 2016.
Not to be forgotten, South Etobicoke's lakeside skyline is experiencing fast-paced growth in its own right, with a significant number of projects—some of which are among the tallest in all of Toronto—currently underway.
Moving northeast from our Etobicoke lakeshore coverage, the series continues with an overview of development along Toronto's Bloor West corridor. Beginning at Highway 427 in central Etobicoke, we continue to travel further east, tracking ongoing construction—and future growth—north and south of Bloor all the way to Bathurst Street, culminating with a look the massive re-development of Honest Ed's.
In between Bathurst Street and the Bloor-Yorkville area, north of the Entertainment District and as far north as the CP Rail Corridor, you'll find another bustling area of Toronto comprised of a number of neighbourhoods and massive institutions like the University of Toronto. Amongst the rising condominium towers and new university facilities you will also find new buildings specially built to house U of T students, like University Place, now rising just east of Spadina on College Street.
Shifting north into midtown Toronto, an overview of development along the St. Clair Avenue corridor is up next. Identified as an avenue in the City of Toronto's Official Plan, the area is targeted for mid-rise residential and mixed-use development aimed at creating density and urban streetscapes, while avoiding the high-rise tower typologies seen elsewhere in the city.
The Yonge & Eglinton area is one of Toronto's fastest growing neighbourhoods, with the intersection itself now transforming into one of the City's tallest clusters. Capitalizing on the impending arrival of the Crosstown LRT, developers are honing in on the area with a flurry of new development that promises to make this area one of the city's most thriving communities.
Cross the 401 on Yonge and go all the way north to Steeles, and then reverse back to Sheppard Avenue and go east all the way to Victoria Park Avenue, and you'll see building site after building site that is transforming this part of North York. The development here is clustered near subway stations and along the bus routes that feed the subway lines.
Cross the Victoria Park boundary into Scarborough, and you'll find there's a lot more going on here than just a never-ending dispute over how to improve public transit. This eastern side of Toronto is seeing its fair share of development, with new density focused along major corridors and transit hubs, while educational institutions UTSC and Centennial College are also continuing to expand and foster further nearby development.
Back on the Toronto side of Victoria Park Avenue, but down near its south end, the residential neighbourhoods east of the Don River remained among the last stalwart holdouts to Toronto's development boom, retaining an intimate low-rise character as the surrounding city transformed. Now, however, a number of adaptive reuse and infill developments are bringing measured new density to the area. Redevelopment projects like the Broadview Hotel (perhaps better known for its former use as Jilly's strip club) now garner significant attention.
Following the opening of the re-imagined Distillery District in 2003, the eastern stretches of downtown Toronto have seen rapid redevelopment. Warehouses and factories are being transformed into lofts, while new condos towers continue to sprout out of old surface lots and brown fields. This month, the former Pan Am Athletes Village is now being unveiled as the Canary District, a new mixed-use residential neighbourhood which we recently toured in advance of the grand opening. Meanwhile, the ongoing transformation of Regent Park is continuing, and was recently hailed as a 'model of inclusion' by the New York Times.
With redevelopment on the west side of Downtown having picked up steam earlier, a shortage of redevelop-able space there now means that large-scale projects are now coming en masse to the less dense neighbourhoods along Church and Jarvis. With close proximity to transit, the characteristically historic and smaller-scale east side has begun to see an influx of new development, including the much-anticapted St. Lawrence Market North.
Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood already enjoys a reputation as one of Canada's most exclusive (and high-priced) areas, with new development making the Mink Mile and its surroundings an even more prominent part of the city. With One Bloor East—Toronto's tallest building currently under-construction—now rising above the Yonge & Bloor intersection, fast-paced growth is set to continue, particularly with Mizrahi Developments' supertall The One proposed directly across the street.
In this edition, we take a tour of Downtown North, a relatively small, yet rapidly intensifying area of Toronto defined by the University, Bay, and Yonge Street corridors between Charles and Gerrard Streets. Neither as jam-packed with tourists and day-trippers as the Downtown Financial Core to the south, nor as glitzy as Bloor-Yorkville's Mink Mile to the north, Downtown North has long served a mixture of more staid urban usages. That's quickly changing.