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Neighbourhood Watch: South Core

South Core is lively, lakefront, prized and prestigious

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South Core is lively, lakefront, prized and prestigious

If a lively and active downtown lifestyle is what you’re after, check out Toronto’s South Core. It might also help if you work in the nearby financial district, as residency in this prestigious neighbourhood has its price.

So-called for its proximity to the downtown core but, obviously south… from the railway lands to Lake Ontario, and bounded on the west by Lower Simcoe Street and on the east by Lower Jarvis Street.

Indeed, Toronto is blessed with a prized waterfront location, which in recent years has seen billions of dollars in development, from public spaces to new residences to new commercial and retail opportunities. And the South Core is a prime example of this growth.

Looking northwest from the common terrace at Menkes' Harbour Plaza.
Looking northwest from the common terrace at Menkes’ Harbour Plaza.

Sustainable and connected

Consider, for instance, the Southcore Financial Centre (SFC), a major mixeduse, sustainable complex. Designed to exceed the expectations of today’s globally connected businesses and sophisticated urban travelers, SFC comprises two striking LEED Gold certified office towers totaling 1.4 million sq. ft. and The Delta Toronto – a premium four-star, 560- room, next generation hotel.

Or One York Street by Menkes Developments, a 35-floor, 800,000- sq.-ft. Class AAA building at York and Harbour targeting LEED Platinum certification.

The sustainability and connectivity of these projects typify the redevelopment underway in the South Core. Both buildings boast direct and enclosed access to the PATH to Union Station for TTC, GO Transit the UP Express and more, and beyond through Toronto’s underground network. Within easy walking distance are landmarks such as Scotiabank Arena, the Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, world class restaurants and the city’s Entertainment and Theatre districts.

Then there’s Maple Leaf Square, a multi-use complex and public square next to Scotiabank Arena, with a newly expanded video screen for live outdoor public broadcasts of Leaf and Raptors games, and home to Real Sports Bar & Grill, one of North America’s largest sports bars.

Residential opportunities

But the South Core isn’t all about office towers and commerce, as residential opportunities are also part of the development. New condominiums have sprouted up, along with the office towers, including Harbour Plaza by Menkes Developments, located at 88 Harbour St. and 100 Harbour St. Here, along with similar connectivity to the underground PATH, residents enjoy a 30,000-sq.-ft. health club, outdoor terrace with tanning deck and other top-drawer amenities.

Also nearby, slightly to the west at Spadina, is CityPlace by Concord Adex, one of the first major condo developments in the area.

Now that the west and central portions of the waterfront are well along in development, and you can’t go any further south into the lake, condo growth is spreading east. Menkes has Sugar Wharf Condominiums at Sugar Beach, and Tridel is building Aqualuna at Bayside, at Merchants Wharf and Queens Quay East.

And then, a little further east and perhaps a few years down the road, there’s the proposal for Sidewalk Labs, the 12-acre, smart-city site at Quayside, which is planned to include a mix of housing types, public spaces and other high tech amenities.

Location, location, location

South from the railway lands to Lake Ontario, bounded on the west by Lower Simcoe Street and on the east by Lower Jarvis Street

Key landmarks

  • Harbourfront
  • Maple Leaf Square
  • Queen’s Quay Terminal
  • Redpath Sugar Refinery
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Scotiabank Arena
  • Southcore Financial Centre
  • The Power Plant Art Gallery

Select condo projects

162 Queens Quay by Empire Communities

Aqualuna at Bayside by Tridel

Harbour Plaza by Menkes Developments

One Yonge Condos by Pinnacle International

Sugar Wharf by Menkes Developments

Ten York by Tridel


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NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: South Core

South Core, one of Toronto’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods

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South Core, one of Toronto’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods

By Gale Beeby

Harbourfront and Fort York – the area known as the South Core – is one of downtown Toronto’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods. It reaches south of the railway tracks to Lake Ontario, and from Yonge Street to Bathurst Street. Perhaps it all started when Concord Adex started developing CityPlace, or when Menkes built the Telus office tower, but the area has blossomed. Move a little farther west, from Bathurst Street to Strachan Avenue, and you’ll find the pocket known as Fort York.

Housing Options

Most of the major players have a piece of the action here. Add in the condo corridor along Harbourfront and the ongoing development of the Fort York neighbourhood, there are units for every taste and budget.

Leisure Pursuits

With both the Rogers Centre and the Air Canada Centre located in the South Core, it’s a sports fans’ wonderland with baseball, basketball, hockey and football – along with the musical treats those venues host – all within walking distance. Toronto’s newest attraction, Ripley’s Aquarium, has become a huge draw, as is the CN Tower.

Parks & Rec

The Harbourfront area is home to a number of marinas, boat charter companies and the Empire Sandy, Toronto’s best-known sailing ship. The Harbourfront Centre holds a number of events throughout the year and has an outdoor winter skating rink. The Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre holds classes for every level, including the newest craze, stand-up paddleboarding.

Canoe Landing Park, 20 acres of parkland developed by Concord Adex in CityPlace, is host to a number of events, including summer movie nights and the Terry Fox Miracle Mile run. The park gets its name from a large red canoe – big enough for people to stand in and see over the Gardiner to Lake Ontario – designed by Douglas Coupland.

Access to the Martin Goodman Trail, which is the Toronto portion of the 730-kilometre Waterfront Trail around Lake Ontario, can be made at a number of points in the area. For those who enjoy sailing, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the Island Yacht Club and the Toronto Island sailing club are located just across the harbour on the Toronto islands.

The Fort York National Historic Site – built in 1793 and the location where the Battle of York came to an end during the War of 1812 – was the home of a military garrison until the 1930s.

The Music Garden is one of the best-kept secrets in Toronto. Located at the foot of Spadina Avenue, the park offers live music in the summers and has an incredible garden. Just west, at the foot of Bathurst Street, you’ll find Ireland Park, which was opened in 2007 as a memorial to the more than 38,000 Irish immigrants who took refuge from the famine in Toronto in 1847.

Retail Therapy

There are grocery stores in the South Core and Maple Leaf Square, where there is also a LCBO, is connected to the city’s transit and the PATH System, a 27-kilometre underground network of shopping, services and dining outlets. Loblaws is in the process of converting its former warehouse at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West into a new retail centre, including a Joe Fresh and an LCBO.

Easy Access

Maple Leaf Square is connected to Union Station – with TTC and GO Transit connections – through a variety of inter-connected walkways and the PATH System. For those who live along Harbourfront or in the Fort York district, the LRT line along Queens Quay makes access to Union Station a breeze. CityPlace residents can connect to Union Station by the Spadina streetcar or an easy stroll along Front Street. And for those who need to travel farther afield, Toronto Billy Bishop Airport gives residents access to Porter and Air Canada flights to Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, New York, Boston and Chicago, to name a few destinations.

BY THE NUMBERS

WALK SCORES

South Core: 95
Fort York: 89

Toronto motto: Diversity: Our Strength

Toronto.ca


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