If you ask most Torontonians to pick the centre axis of the city, they’d probably respond “Yonge and Bloor Streets”. Serving as the gateway to chic Bloor Street retailers, as well as the central pivot point of the Yonge and Bloor subway lines, no location in the city stands out as being the centrepoint by which all else radiates. Is this really true? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ But what does this have to do with real estate?
As top producing realtors selling throughout the City, spanning from The Beach to Bloor West, and Harbourfront north to Hogg’s Hollow, the starting point by which we help people choose their next residence often starts with this centre axis. Not only is it an identifiable departure point by which to gauge distance and location of properties to the centre core, but we often find people inherently delineate their personal comfort zone as being either north or south of Bloor Street, and east or west of Yonge. It’s an interesting phenomenon that defies explanation, but overall we find people generally have a decided attraction and comfort level to one or two of these four quadrants.
Although the city’s commerce historically evolved along the Harbourfront in the mid-19th century and developed northward, by the mid 1960s the completion of both the Bloor and Yonge Street subway lines made this intersection the defining centre point for the City. Toronto, already rich in its multi-cultural make-up of village neighbourhoods, began to shift from one of pockets of cultural affiliation to one centred on demographics. Historically, a buyer’s housing choice was once determined principally on ethnicity. Those who were Greek resided east along the Danforth, the Italians and Portuguese lived south west along Dundas and College, Eastern Europeans located on Bloor Street West, while the Jewish community expanded from Kensington Market northwest along Bathurst as the English migrated north up Yonge Street. While these dominant cultural groups retained their strong imprint in the residential differentiation of the city, by the mid 1960s a generation of swinging singles of every culture began postponing marriage and child-rearing and instead located in the vibrant downtown core where a massive building boom of high-rise rental housing began sprouting. It was with this demographic shift in housing choice that the ‘bright lights big city’ love affair of downtown living began.
Since the 1980s, the makeup and character of the downtown core has continued to grow with the arrival of condominium housing. Growing amidst a fabric of low-density houses and mid- to high-density rental apartments, the condo high-rise began offering an affordable equity building urban alternative to those delaying, or dismissing, the need for a conventional family property. Today, the ongoing intensification of Toronto with this modem housing form offers singles and couples a vibrant lifestyle that has contributed to the success of this city, touted for its unique livability for all walks of life. And in the original vintage downtown housing stock, family life continues to foster a new generation of Torontonians, making this city one of the globe’s most socially and demographically well-integrated urban centres.
But what of these four quadrants radiating from Yonge and Bloor Streets? With all the cultural history that retains its indelible imprint in the fabric of the city, and a mix of housing forms ranging from traditional to contemporary, low density to high, most buyers today inherently feel an affinity to one or two of the four quadrants over the others. While the nuances of each are hardly discernible to the naked eye, a flavour persists that attracts us to one location over another. Whether it be subtle architectural merits, a social milieu, an emotional familiarity, or practical necessity, one ultimately identifies with particular quadrants over the others.
At urbaneer.com, we spend as much time focusing on how you want to live as much as what you might buy. With a comprehensive understanding of Toronto’s 42 village neighbourhoods, and an acute awareness of how our built environment influences personal satisfaction, we pride ourselves on being one of the city’s more personable real estate boutique services. Offering a pressure-free hasslefree
approach to real estate sales and marketing, log on to urbaneer.com to learn more about us or just pick up the phone and call us for an introductory package.
Thinking of selling? Our business is as much about promoting properties for sale as placing buyers. When you list with urbaneer.com, your property is featured on the back panel of our HomeWatch newsletters which are delivered to the mailboxes of over 25,000 households every month!
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage