Downtown Toronto is the financial and cultural nexus for the entire GTA. Located within the district of “Old Toronto”, the Downtown Core is approximately 17 square kilometres in area, with borders at Bloor Street to the north, the Don Valley to the East, Bathurst Street to the West, and the Great Lake Ontario to the south.
With a storied history and rich cultural identity, Toronto is a city that has seen incredible growth throughout the latter half of the 20th century, growth that appears to be continuing unimpeded well into the 21st.
Known for it’s Entertainment District, home of the CN tower, the Rogers Centre (AKA “Skydome”), the historic Royal York Hotel, Roy Thomson hall and countless other tourist attractions, Downtown Toronto is teeming with amenities, distractions, attractions and destinations.
Downtown is the surrounded by many other vibrant neighbourhoods, with King West Village, Trinity Bellwoods and the rest of the West End to it’s west, Leslieville and the Distillery District to the East, and the thriving Midtown to the North. To the South lie the shores of Lake Ontario, and just a short ferry ride away, the Toronto Islands, famous for it’s many parks, festivals and beaches.
Within the Downtown, many other smaller communities boast a all sorts of unique cultural identities, from the world-renowned Chinatown in the west, up Spadina to Harbord Village and Church and Wellesley on either side of the University of Toronto, to Cabbagetown, Corktown and St. Lawrence in the East.
The Financial District meanwhile, is central to the economy of Toronto, with the seventh largest stock market in the world – the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the surrounding jungle of skyscrapers and businesses.
Downtown is host to many other tourist attractions, from the Royal Ontario Museum to the Historic St. Lawrence Market. You will simply never run out of things to do in Downtown Toronto!
The most famous, and busiest road in Toronto, Yonge Street, is one of the longest streets in the world, and begins at the shore of Lake Ontario, and carries all the way north to Barrie. Other major streets in Toronto, Dundas, Bloor, Queen, King, and
University form a grid foundation for which the entire city’s transit network rests. Travelling across the GTA is simple even just from these main streets which carry off in every direction towards the eastern and western reaches of the GTA, like Scarborough, Durham Region, Etobicoke, Peel Region and Halton Region to the east and west, as well as York Region in the north.
Public Transit is robust and ever-present in downtown Toronto thanks to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), with major subway lines, streetcar lines and bus routes all converging within the downtown district, and funnelling through the hub of Union Station, in the southern end of the Entertainment District. From here, travellers, commuters and explorers alike have seemingly unlimited options. The UP Express Train connects Union to Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, the GO Transit infrastructure runs commuter rail lines across the entire GTA and beyond, and VIA Rail provides inter-city transit along the Quebec-Windsor Corridor, the most populous region in all of Canada.
Pedestrians can walk all of Downtowns beautiful, tree-laden sidewalks and pedestrian streets, but those looking to take shelter from the cold during the winter have the option of taking Toronto’s PATH Underground, a series of underground pedestrian tunnels, skyways and walkways.
Toronto is an international centre for business and finance, known the world over for it’s stock exchange and international financial institutions. All the largest banks, as well as Bell Media, Rogers, Manulife, and Hudson’s Bay all hold headquarters and towering office buildings within or very close to Downtown.
The seemingly unending wealth of tourist destinations provide countless jobs to the people of downtown and to commuters across the entire GTA. Sports stadiums like the Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Centre, and tourist must-sees like the CN Tower, the Distillery District and Ripley’s Aquarium employ thousands of the city’s students and workers, while the downtown core is also home to Canada’s largest economic district, the Financial District, marked by towering office buildings sporting insignias of some of Canada and North America’s largest brands and corporations.
Downtown Toronto is the centre of the Toronto economy, around which the entire GTA orbits and uplifts. Hundreds of thousands of people commute in and out of the Downtown core every day.
Other institutions, like the University of Toronto, employ thousands of workers in a diverse number of fields and roles, and every street in the district is lined with charming bars, restaurants, local hangouts and services from books and music stores to VR experiences and trendy Escape Rooms.
Downtown Toronto is home to three post-secondary institutions, the largest and most famous of which is the University of Toronto, along with OCAD University and Ryerson University. It also hosts one college, George Brown College, and sports easy access to a number of other institutions throughout the GTA, including York University, Seneca College, Humber College, Sheridan College in Oakville and many more.
Like many regions in Toronto, Midtown offers a wide choice of education options for new families, with Toronto Catholic District School Board making the largest and most well-known, as well as three other school boards that provide english and french education in both Catholic and secular curriculums.
The Royal Conservatory of Music operates within the Downtown Core as well.
Parks in Downtown Toronto are plentiful and large. Queen’s Park, Trinity Bellwoods, Roundhouse Park Harbour Square and many more sit comfortable amidst the core’s towering office buildings providing much-needed greenspace respites from the hustle and bustle. Just a few short minutes by ferry are the Toronto Islands, famous for their wide open park spaces, their warm sunny beaches (in the summer, anyway) and their wealth of community events throughout the year.
Average household income
The median household income in Toronto, is around $65K, this sits somewhat lower than many other areas in Toronto, but can largely be explained by a much higher frequency of single person households within the city. Median incomes are around the national average, somewhere between $44K-$70K, and in the West End, these numbers are expected to rise within the next decade.
Condo/ Housing trend
Some of the most exciting condo projects in the entire GTA are taking right in it’s core. Areas around Fort York, and St. Lawrence Market are seeing a rejuvenation as new developments break ground and try to bring more density and diversity to the core. With all the students and young professionals looking for short commutes and happening neighbourhoods, great swathes of the downtown are being lit with new youthful community energies, startups, and trendy restaurants.
Condo development boomed throughout the 2000s and 2010s as the entertainment district was filled in more densely – condos were sprouting up left, right and centre, among the district’s many tourist and entertainment hubs, and now we’re beginning to see those development priorities – community sustainability, and style, design and amenties proliferate throughout the downtown core and into surrounding neighbourhoods.
Average selling price of pre-construction condos in Toronto is at a healthy high $400K range, meaning that despite all the existing developments, the hunger for new properties is alive and well and now is still an excellent time to invest in the projects throughout Downtown. Just taking a step into one of the downtown’s many condos, and taking in the majestic views of the city’s awesome skyline is enough to make you never want to leave.