September 29, 2016 | condo investment
Remember when Toronto was full of parking lots? Just blocks and blocks of places to park your car.
Well, that certainly has come to an end in many parts of the city over the past ten years. We have seen parts of the city that were once neglected, vacant land and parking lots transform into densely populated neighbourhoods. Out of the new condo neighbourhoods, we saw the quick rise of Corktown as one of the strongest of the new condo neighbourhoods in the east end. Of course, Toronto has seen the transformation of new neighbourhoods as well including the Distillery District, Liberty Village, CityPlace and the the new Regent Park to name a few.
The question now becomes:
Is there anywhere else in the city to build a new neighbourhood in the future?
The truth is: There’s not much room. We could certainly add condos to already existing neighbourhoods, and that will certainly happen throughout Toronto. But is there anywhere in Toronto than could become a new condo neighbourood?
Well, Toronto may be much more strapped for available land than it used to be, but there are still locations waiting and ready for their transformation from their current ugly duckling status. Where will these tranformations take place?
- MOCA. The area around the industrial stretch north of Dundas along Sterling is going to see big changes. Currently,this portion of the Junction Triangle is mostly factory buildings and empty lots. It is easily reachable by College or Dundas streetcar lines and the Bloor Subway. The location is coveted, The Junction and High Park to the west, Little Portugal to the east, and Parkdale to the south. It has not been developed yet because the land has been largely zoned industrial. Some years ago, there was talk of developers taking of over the Hershey Factory to develop condos. This didn’t get very far since the factory workers protested this development proposal, and it fell through. There was also talk of turning the large and impressive Tower Automotive Centre into condos, but this also fell through as well, but I think the key to tranforming this neighbourhood was found in this building. This industrial neighbourhood’s turnaround will begin with MOCA. Previously located on Queen West, MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Arts) bought the Tower Automotive Centre for their new super gallery to open in 2017. Construction is already under way (see photos at the top). This huge project will be the anchor for this area to take off. And the condos are coming. Already, we have the Museum Lofts to be built near the MOCA. I’m sure there will be many more condos to come around here. Momentum has started.
- Weston. I know I go on about Weston a lot. It is pretty far away, and it does have a poor-planning side to it, but it’s less expensive and a lot less isolated than it used to be. In one stop of the UP Express line, you can arrive at Dundas Station for the Bloor Line. In two stops, you are in Union Station. Isolation is all but a memory now. There are plans for Artscape to build a 30 storey rental tower and a new public space to add to the Weston Village Farmer’s Market and create a local hub for Artscape. This will likely kick off a development bonanza if Artscape can make this a hub for artists and the community.
- Leslieville South of Eastern. First the terrain of Hell’s Angels, and the the site where the Leslieville neighbourhood rose up in revolt to block the Walmart-loving commercial developers from opening big box stores with lots of parking. Since then, this area has remained mostly undecided though the structures of the Toronto Film Studio still remain even when they left in 2008 for a different location. There has been no development on this land as of yet, though but I think it’s just a matter of time. Of course, the developers know the Leslieville neighbourhood will be watching. So, it better be well planned and suitable for the neighbourhood. Now that Leslieville has taken off, we will see this land developed soon. There is no way it won’t be. It won’t be huge condos, but it will kick start development possibly reaching south the the Port Lands.
So Toronto, your condo boom is not over yet. There are neighbourhoods that are still ready to be reborn as something better than they currently are. Let’s just make sure we do it right!