Community focus — Downtown Toronto
by Laryssa Stolarskyj – New Dreamhomes & Condominiums Magazine
Thereâ€™s something matchless about the city core that makes it a prime location to live. Downtown Toronto, loosely defined as the area from Lake Ontario to Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue to Sherbourne Street, is an urbaniteâ€™s dream. Having access to any modern convenience, virtually on your doorstep, is a luxury that only bustling city centres can offer.
Toronto is distinctive in that its downtown isnâ€™t just a business and commercial centre, but is also home to numerous residents. Many are lured by being in close proximity to work and having a base from which they can access the rest of the city, so itâ€™s not surprising that the majority of its inhabitants are working age (25-64) with more non-family than family households.
The mixed-use planning concept incorporates a high concentration of restaurants, bars, clubs, concert and sporting venues, arts facilities, libraries, schools, and shops, all of which are accessible by foot, bike, or public transit. The juxtaposition of historic and new avant-garde buildingsâ€”the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) or the new Crystal addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, for exampleâ€”is compelling and debate-worthy. Toronto is also recognized as being the third-largest theatre centre in the English-speaking world, has more than 50 dance companies, six opera companies, and five professional sports teams, and, of course, still upholds its reputation as Hollywood North.
Downtown is fittingly abuzz with activities, festivals, and parades in all seasons. Many of the sights that attract out-of-town visitors are a stoneâ€™s throw away, such as the Harbourfront Centre, Chinatown (Chinese is the most spoken language after English in this area), Queen Street West, and the world-famous CN Tower. If you need a time out from all the bustle, an afternoon getaway to peaceful Toronto Islands is a swift ferry ride away.
The options for traversing downtown are plentiful. The TTC operates select 24-hour streetcar and bus routes in addition to its regular subway service. Cycling is a practical alternative, especially in the warm weather, and you can plan your route with free cycling maps, join the Bicycle User Group, and even request bike posts and rings for your neighbourhood. Or if you support pedestrian power over pedal power, the PATH system offers 27 kilometres of underground walkwayâ€”the largest underground retail venue in the worldâ€”that connects shopping, entertainment, services, and transit.
With an abundance of new condo developments that span the entire downtown core, each with their own offerings of amenities, itâ€™s easy to get swept up in the bustle of activities. Consult the list of resources below to make the most of living in the city.
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