Tag Archives: Entertainment District

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Toronto Entertainment District a condo community?

Toronto Entertainment District a booming condo community in the making

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Toronto Entertainment District a booming condo community in the making

If you haven’t been to Toronto’s Entertainment District lately, you’re in for quite the surprise.

In fact, you might not even recognize this booming neighbourhood.

Long a Toronto hot spot filled with some of the city’s best theatres and restaurants, the Entertainment District is in full-on transition mode – into also becoming one of the most prestigious condo destinations.

A place to live

The Entertainment District, a condo community?

Yes, that same area punctuated by such landmarks as Roy Thompson Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre, and Canada’s Walk of Fame, known as a place to play and eat, is now becoming known as a place to live.

“Look around at all the buildings being built and how the neighbourhood is changing and will continue to change,” Alan Vihant, senior vice-president, highrise at Great Gulf recently told Condo Life at the ground-breaking for the company’s 357 King West project. Great Gulf’s 357 King West is a 42-storey condo at the corner of King St. W. and Blue Jays Way.

This development and population growth is now leading to other expansion. “It’s not just a place to live now,” Vihant says. “A lot of offices are moving here, the bars and restaurants continue to evolve. It’s a great time to be building down here.”

Essentially born in the 1990s as an entertainment and tourist hub, with a burgeoning nightclub scene elbowing its away among the existing theatres and restaurants, the early 2000s brought the first wave of a condo boom.

More recently, SoHo Metropolitan Hotel & Residences, Festival Tower, and Bisha Hotel and Residences are among some of the notable condo projects that are up and running.

Abuzz with excitement

One key cultural attraction is TIFF Bell Lightbox, which opened in 2010 on the northwest corner of King Street and John Street. The first five floors of this 42-storey tower serve as headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival, while the Festival Tower residences sit atop. With TIFF Bell Lightbox serving as host to countless international stars and pre-screenings during the annual festival, the area is often abuzz with excitement.

Add to this more recent landmark developments such as Bisha Hotel and Residences, and Nobu Residences, and you have an expanding array of exciting residential opportunities.

Then there’s Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant at 99 Blue Jays Way, and more recently even a Wahlburgers (of the Wahlburgers restaurant chain and famed brothers Donny and Mark Wahlburg). All of it a stone’s throw from the Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower, Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Scotiabank Arena.

The team at Great Gulf breaking ground at 357 King West.
The team at Great Gulf breaking ground at 357 King West.

Transition to excellence

And more is on the way.

Great Gulf and Ed Mirvish Enterprises, for example, recently announced they have reached an agreement on the sale to Great Gulf of the site of the proposed landmark Mirvish+Gehry project in the Entertainment District.

All of it adds up to an area in transition indeed – to excitement and excellence.


Location, location, location

Bordered by Spadina Avenue, King Street West, University Avenue and Front Street

Key landmarks

  • Roy Thompson Hall
  • TIFF Bell Lightbox
  • Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant
  • Wahlburgers
  • Rogers Centre

Select existing condos

  • SoHo Metropolitan Hotel & Residences, by Mastercraft Starwood
  • Festival Tower, by Daniels
  • Bisha Hotel and Residences, by Lifetime Developments

Select upcoming condos


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Great Gulf 357 King West

Great Gulf breaks ground at 357 King West

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Great Gulf breaks ground at 357 King West

Great Gulf 357 King West
Left to right, Michael McGrath, Niall Collins, Halim Chaccour, Dani Cohen, Alan Vihant, Sheldon Levitt, Mauro Carreno.

by Wayne Karl

Fresh off a huge milestone occasion on Sept. 25 when it won 2018 Builder of the Year at the OHBA Awards of Distinction, Great Gulf had another reason to celebrate this week. On Sept. 27, the company broke ground at 357 King West – a 42-storey condo development in the heart of Toronto’s financial district at the corner of King St. W. and Blue Jays Way.

357 King West is situated in a vibrant neighbourhood with some of the best dining and entertainment options in the city. TIFF is centred in the area, and the Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena, CN tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Roy Thompson Hall are all steps away.


“With so much dynamism, we created a building that’s adaptable and reflective of this area,” says Niall Collins, president, Great Gulf Residential. “To support the free movement of transit, we’ve minimized parking spaces with one bicycle locker for every bedroom and dedicated 18 spots to car-share which supports a modern transportation strategy.”

“Look around at all the buildings being built and how the neighbourhood is changing and will continue to change,” Alan Vihant, senior vice-president, highrise at Great Gulf, told Homes Publishing. “It’s not just a place to live now. A lot of offices are moving here, the bars and restaurants continue to evolve. It’s a great time to be building down here.”

Alan Vihant, senior vice-president, highrise at Great Gulf

Designed by Quadrangle with interiors by Figure 3 and Ferris + Associates Inc. landscape architects, the 324-unit development features one to three-bedroom condo units ranging from 521 to 1,271 sq. ft. Its light-filled third floor comes equipped with a state-of-the-art fitness centre and yoga studio. With many unique features such as bike lockers, parcel pick-up service, meeting rooms and communal workspaces, 357 King West has been designed to enrich the lives of its residents.

The 42nd floor at 357 King West takes entertaining to new heights. From stylish lounges to a private dining room with a well-appointed catering kitchen, it offers a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces perfect for both formal dinners and relaxed gatherings.


“We’re really excited about this development,” says said Dani Cohen, CEO King Financial Holdings Ltd. “It was initially a challenging site that inspired us to come up with innovative solutions to create a highly desirable and successful location. This is quite an accomplishment which aligns with the City of Toronto’s vision for the future development of King St. West.”

“As we designed this building, we really thought a lot about what’s happening in the area, the King Street streetcar pilot project and how it’s changing how people move around in the city and how we think our residents would like to live,” adds Vihant.

In addition to bike storage for every unit, 357 King West also includes a dedicated bike elevator and a bike wash and repair area. “We’ve really thought a lot about the way our purchasers will live,” Vihant says.


OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

Great Gulf to acquire Mirvish+Gehry landmark project



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Theatre District Condos

Theatre District Condos

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Theatre District Condos

Phase 2 of Plaza’s blockbuster condo brings a cool urban lifestyle and international hotel to prime downtown location

Tarion’s 2018 High-Rise Builder of the Year, Plaza, is launching the sequel to the first phase of Plaza’s Theatre District Condominiums that promises to be another blockbuster in the heart of the Entertainment District.

Locations simply don’t come any better than this for urbanites who appreciate culture, entertainment, fine dining and a sophisticated lifestyle. The first phase of Theatre District Condos at 8 Widmer Street, consisting of a residential 49-storey tower and six historic townhouses, sold quickly.

The development is in the midst of some of the city’s most desirable shopping, nightlife and dining options. It’s a highly walkable neighbourhood well-served by transit and offers easy access to the PATH system.

Phase 2 at 28 Widmer, at the corner of Adelaide, will incorporate a hotel owned by the international Riu hotel chain on the first 24 floors, with a 23-storey residential condo above. While Widmer is a quiet, residential street, it’s steps from the vibrancy of the Entertainment District and the action of the annual Toronto International Film Festival.

“Riu identified the Toronto marketplace 10 years ago as a location they wanted and the Theatre District location is one of the best, if not the best, urban location in the country,” says Plaza’s Scott McLellan. “The Toronto hotel is Riu’s first venture in Canada.”

The hotel will be a separate entity from the condos, with its own entrance, elevators, and amenities. It’s expected to attract many international guests, as well as North American visitors.

McLellan says Riu urban hotels have a different concept than their all-inclusive Caribbean resorts. While the Theatre District will incorporate a bar and a restaurant that will servebreakfast and lunch, the idea is to encourage people to get out and explore the neighbourhood’s cafes and restaurants.

Buyers of the residential condos will also enjoy a sophisticated lifestyle in the heart of one of the city’s most exciting neighbourhoods. “It’s become an increasingly popular place to live,” says McLellan. “People want to be part of the energy of the area, close to great restaurants, theatres, TIFF and Billy Bishop Airport.”

The architecture of the Theatre District Condominiums, designed by Quadrangle Architects, respects the King West neighbourhood’s heritage flavour while incorporating modern elements. The materials, scale and detailing of the two towers’ 11- storey podiums pay tribute to the 1920s Art Deco-era Commodore Building immediately west of Adelaide. The towers use faceted, shaded metal panels within an elegant pattern.The hotel and condominiums of 28 Widmer are seamlessly interwoven in the tower design, and the upper level residential suites enjoy expansive downtown views. The two towers’ individual lobbies are connected internally and they share amenity spaces at the ground floor and the third floor of the podium at 8 Widmer.

Responding to feedback received from buyers in the first phase, McLellan says Phase 2 will include many larger suites, with 70 per cent of the units offered as two or three-bedroom layouts, with the remaining 30 per cent one-bedroom or one-bedroom with den. “There is a demand for larger suites and a lot of people are understanding if they are going to be living downtown in the future, they are going to want to live in space. In the first phase, the larger units sold quickly.”

Some two-bedroom units are 675 square feet with an internal second bedroom, while others are 720 square feet with all bedrooms having windows. The shape of the building has allowed Plaza to create many very nice corner units. Units will range from the low $600,000s to $1.7 million, still affordable when compared to detached home prices in the city.

Residents also benefit from a Triple A location and first-class amenities including outdoor pool, fully equipped gym and party room. They’ll also be in an amenity-rich neighbourhood that includes some of the city’s best retail stores and restaurants.

To register for Phase 2 of this exciting development visit Plaza.


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Neighbourhood Watch: Queen West & King West

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Neighbourhood Watch: Queen West & King West

Housing Options

The condo boom began in the Entertainment District when abandoned warehouses in the area began to be transformed into lofts, or were demolished to make way for condo towers. With the huge increase in residents, there has been a decrease in the number of night clubs, mostly because of the noise and traffic issues associated with those types of venues.

David Mirvish’s two-storey condo complex at the northeast corner of King and John Streets, designed by Frank Gehry, would see the addition of a huge art gallery space. The 92- storey and 82-storey towers will be developed by Great Gulf, which also has 357 King West Condos under development. As well, Robert De Niro’s Nobu Hotel started sales of their first Nobu Condos in the summer and Empire Developments will develop Maverick Condos, a 47- storey condominium at 323 King St West.

Leisure Pursuits

Do you need to ask? The area is called the Entertainment District. Live theatre rules, with the Princess of Wales Theatre, the Royal Alex, Roy Thomson Hall, the Four Seasons Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille and the Factory Theatre. But cinema is also well represented with the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the large complex of movie screens at the Scotiabank Theatre at Richmond and John Streets and the National Film Board of Canada’s home right across the street. Need a laugh? Try an evening at Second City, Yuk Yuk’s or the Forget About It Supper Club.

If you want to stroll the area, check out the stars of Canada’s Walk of Fame along King between Simcoe and John Streets, and on Simcoe south of King. This year’s inductees were Olympic sprinter Donovan Bailey, civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond, actor Anna Paquin, businessman Ted Rogers, scientist and broadcaster David Suzuki, singer/songwriter Stompin’ Tom Connor, and singer/songwriter and Shawn Hook (Allan Slaight Honour).

Parks & Rec

Clarence Square – located where Wellington Street West meets Spadina Avenue – is one of the oldest remaining parks in the downtown core. Although a small area, it is relatively quiet and shady, with many large trees, a spacious grassy area and a fenced in dog park. The Roundhouse Park is 17 acres and features the John Street Roundhouse, a preserved locomotive roundhouse that is home to the Toronto Railway Museum.

Retail Therapy

Shop until you drop into one of the fabulous restaurants, cafés or bars located throughout the district. Although there aren’t any large indoor malls in the area, stores of all kinds are plentiful and range from modest to bespoke.

Queen Street west of Spadina Avenue has some of the highest density of independent and chain stores. But if you want to stay inside, just wander through Toronto’s PATH to find an outstanding array of retail, or head on over to the Eaton Centre.

Easy Access

Subways, streetcars and all-night buses service the area. Union Station is close by, so GO Transit is readily available, as is easy access to the Gardiner Expressway and DVP.



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