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The Entertainment District

The Entertainment District – prestigious destination on the rise

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The Entertainment District – prestigious destination on the rise

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

Indeed, if you haven’t been to the Entertainment District lately, you’re in for quite the surprise. You might not even recognize this booming neighbourhood.

Play, eat and live

Yes, the same Entertainment District punctuated by landmarks such 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.

With big name developers such as Great Gulf, Empire Communities and Plaza building signature projects in the area, the neighbourhood is alive with redevelopment. Population growth is on the rise, not just from new residents, but also from new businesses and an expanding bar and restaurant scene.

Born in the 1990s essentially 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, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 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 Nobu Residences, being built by Madison Group, and you have an expanding array of notable residential opportunities.

Then there’s Wahlburgers (of the Wahlburgers restaurant chain and famed brothers Donny and Mark Wahlburg), and the popular Loose Moose and other hot spots… all of it a stone’s throw from the Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena, Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower and Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Transition to excellence

And more is on the way. Great Gulf is proposing Mirvish+Gehry, a two-tower condo project atop two six-storey stepped podiums with 85,000 sq. ft. of multi-level retail space. And CentreCourt is building No. 55 Mercer at the corner of Mercer Street and Blue Jays Way, the site of Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant.

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
  • Princess of Wales Theatre
  • TIFF Bell Lightbox
  • Rogers Centre
  • Wahlburgers

Select housing developments

101 Spadina by Great Gulf

101 Spadina by Devron Developments

Bungalow on Mercer by Kalovida

Central • 38 Widmer by Concord Adex

Empire Maverick by Empire Communities

Encore at Theatre District by Plaza

Four Eleven King Condominiums by Great Gulf

Four Eleven King Condominiums by Terracap

No 55 Mercer by CentreCourt


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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.

NEIGHBOURHOOD EVOLUTION

“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.”

Vihant
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.

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS

“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.

RELATED STORIES

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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