With its wealth of amenities and great walkability, Toronto Downtown East is an up and coming neighbourhood
As the Old Town Toronto website describes it, the neighbourhood that sits between Yonge St. and the Don River, south of Queen St. to Lakeshore Blvd. is a blend of hip and historic.
And with a Walk Score of 97, Downtown Toronto East also is one of the most pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods in the city with a wealth of shops, services, eateries and entertainment easy accessible on foot.
It’s little wonder some developers have started turning their attention to the area and contemporary structures are being erected alongside historic buildings. On Adelaide St., you’ll find Toronto’s first post office across from George Brown College, while just a few blocks away is the modern SAS Canada Building, the first commercial building in Canada to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
“We definitely see it as emerging neighbourhood in Toronto. There are such cool things in the area and a lot of amenities,” says Lino Pellicano, vice president of highrise for Greenpark. “It’s comparable to Liberty Village on the west side, as when it first started emerging it had great deals and is a great place for people to live. We tend to look at emerging areas. What drew us to this area is that it’s an uncharted jewel.”
Greenpark has partnered with Fieldgate Homes for Axiom (www.axiomcondos.ca), a new condominium development at the corner of Adelaide and Ontario Sts. , that will consist of two towers that will have 525 units in all and have shopping and restaurants at street level.
“We looked at the area and wanted to respect the historical feel of the neighbourhood and the warehouse environment,” says Mr. Pellicano. “It has a modern look with a glass and precast mix but reflects the historical flair of the neighbourhood.”
The towers are designed by Kirkor Architects, with interior design by Greenpark’s own Jack Chelli along with the Hudson Kruse firm.
A project’s walkability is definitely on condo buyers’ minds, says Mr. Pellicano.
“People are choosing to live downtown because they don’t have to have a car,” he sats. “BIXI Bikes has been a great success and the car share facilities are great, but generally in downtown you don’t need a car day to day.”
One of the most recognized landmarks within the neighbourhood, and just south of Axiom, is the historic St. Lawrence Market, recently ranked as the World’s Best Market by National Geographic, for its lively mix of specialty food vendors that sell fresh meats and fish, seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisan cheese and delectable baked goods.
Axiom will also be minutes on foot from other popular city destinations: the financial district to the west, the historic Distillery District with its mix of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants to the east, the waterfront and the new urban beach and park at Sugar Beach to the south, the Queen St. streetcar and the King St. Design District with its collection of home decor and design stores to the north.
Residents will also be able to stroll to the new 18-acre Don River Park, which will offer a pavilion, programming and green spaces on a former brownfield.
Greenpark and Fieldgate are enhancing the walkable nature of the neighbourhood with a landscaped promenade at Axiom’s main entrance on Adelaide St. E. that will feature a modern art wall, luminous glass canopy and water feature. The tree- lined environment will include shops and dining establishments and provide an inviting place to meet.
“There are not many pedestrian landmarks in the immediate area and this will be a place where people will gather and there will be retail that will spill onto the street,” says Mr. Pellicano.
Axiom (which means self-evident truth) will feature a hotel-type environment for its residents with amenities such as 24-hour concierge, sports lounge, fitness studio, boardroom, pet grooming room, second floor outdoor terrace and rooftop sky deck.
The blend of location and amenities is generating considerable interest, says Mr. Pellicano.
“People love the neighbourhood and love the walkability,” says Mr. Pellicano. “There is a lot of buzz and we see people who want to be close to downtown, but not in the heart of it.”