Toronto’s Entertainment District is the vibrant downtown core of our city; busy and bustling with restaurants, night clubs, and, at least in the last decade, a plethora of new condominiums. Not only is it centrally located and thus steps to everything the city has to offer, it’s now considered a living-friendly neighbourhood as evidenced by the hundreds of condo dwellers who live in the area. With all of this action happening in the Entertainment District, there’s also been a lot of talk about revamping the area.
The Toronto Entertainment District BIA recently unveiled their “Master Plan” to redevelop much of this section of the downtown core. From Queen to the Gardiner, and from Spadina to Union Station, the BIA states their large transformation will be guided by several main principles, including the preservation of historic buildings, the promotion of local businesses and tourism, and the enhancement of streetscapes, open areas, and livable pedestrian environments.
Councillor Adam Vaughan explained that the project will be an ongoing one, and that funding will likely come from a variety of sources over time. This “master plan” effort, along with returning Adelaide and Richmond streets back to two-way traffic, will restore the creativity and economic vibrancy that once characterized this part of the city.
The Master Plan:
- Emphasizes pedestrian friendly plazas, hinting at the following locations:
• The south terminus of the proposed John Street Promenade.
• The north side of Rogers Centre and the base of the CN Tower.
• Along Bremner Boulevard between Navy Wharf Court and the Rogers Centre.
• At the north and south entrances to Union Station.
• At the north-west and south-west corners of Metro Square
• Two potential small-scaled plazas associated with new developments at the north-west corner of John and Front Streets and on Nelson Street between Duncan and Simcoe Streets.
- The plan also refers to the importance of maintaining height restrictions, improving street furniture, installing a significant amount of public art, and emphasizing sustainable design practices.
- Returning Adelaide and Richmond back to two-way traffic is also an upcoming debate in the future of TED.
- Perhaps the most recent and most controversial plan for the area is the proposal for a car-free King Street to speed up the morning streetcar commute. TTC commissioners are examining the prospect of making King Street car free during set hours in the morning. The King. streetcar line is the TTC’s busiest surface route with 56,700 riders a day — more than the Sheppard subway line’s ridership. The proposal is still in the very early stages and is in no way final, but it is certainly a serious plan to keep an eye on. The TTC Commissioner said they “could reasonably pilot something” in the next year in and a half.
Condos in the Entertainment District:
- The Bond
- Cinema Tower
- The Element
- Festival Tower
- The King Charlotte
- Peter Street
- Ritz Carlton Residences
- Studio and Studio2
- Theatre Park
- 300 Front