Almost impossible to define, the sprawling neighbourhood of Waterfront communities, located south of Queen Street between Bathurst and York, encompasses the sub-areas of the King West Theatre District, The Club District, The Fashion District, and Harbourfront. This neighbourhood includes mostly mid and high-rise condominium buildings with a handful of newer townhouses. While most contain smaller one or two bedroom suites and are less than 1500 square feet, there are some older buildings containing larger, more expansive units with large terraces and balconies and premium lake views. In fact, Harbourfront has the highest concentration of luxury condominium apartment buildings in Toronto. The area continues to build a number of new condominiums with an emphasis on making sure every unit has at least a partial lake view and a balcony.
Waterfront revitalization has been a hot topic of debate for decades but in the fall of 2001, all levels of government established the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation, to lead and manage a comprehensive renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. It is currently one of the largest urban redevelopment projects underway in North America. Full revitalization is projected to take 25 to 30 years and an estimated $17 billion in public and private funds to complete.
The social, cultural, and recreational hub of the neighbourhood is the Harbourfront Centre. This venue hosts close to 4,000 events per year, ranging from craft workshops and sailing lessons to jazz festivals, outdoor performances and food fairs. The March and summer camp offers children 45 diverse mini camps with everything from cooking, circus and sports, to sailing and kayaking. In the winter there is a free open-air ice rink. The Harbourfront of today is a network of parks, open spaces and trails that allow residents and visitors to get close to the water.
For an interesting retail experience head to Queen’s Quay Terminal located next to Harbourfront Centre. This is a former warehouse converted into a mixed-use building including a shopping centre designed for high-end retailers, commercial office space, and a residential condominium development.
The Air Canada Centre, Skydome, C.N. Tower, and the Harbourfront Antique Market are all located within this neighbourhood. The Canadian National Exhibition, the Marine Museum, and Old Fort York are all just minutes from Harbourfront, while the Toronto Islands are ten minutes away by ferry boat.