Five bold new districts could become the next hot ‘hoods in Toronto

Toronto has long been called a city of neighbourhoods. So it’s no surprise that this isn’t changing with the coming wave of residential development about to crash over the GTA. Indeed, entire new and very cool nabes are taking shape from smack dab in the middle of downtown to the far northwestern reaches. Here are five that could be the next great spots.

The Mirvish District

Not surprisingly, given the history of the Mirvish family, the new development rising from the ashes of the iconic Honest Ed’s and neighbouring Mirvish Village is going to be good times galore. In the works since 2015, Mirvish Village is Westbank’s massive redevelopment project that will be unleashed this spring, and what we’ve heard so far is pretty exciting. The large-scale project will completely transform the area and includes six residential buildings, townhomes, 21 heritage buildings pepfdpered throughout the site and a new public park. But there will also be all kinds of good times for visitors too. Like Mirvish Village before it, the development includes plans to showcase micro retailers and there is a hub in the works called the Kitchen, which will include food shops, a retail marketplace and a new live music venue with concerts throughout the year.

The Hangar District

Got a love of the cinema or just want to move into a ‘hood with all kinds of history and cache? This is the place. A shortage of studio space has been clipping the local film industry’s wings in recent years, but the first phase of a massive mixed-use redevelopment at Toronto’s Downsview Airport could help. Dubbed the Hangar District for its creative reuse of the soon-to-be decommissioned airport’s hangars, it’s the first phase of Northcrest and Canada Lands Company’s ambitious 520-acre id8 Downsview project. The inaugural phase would incorporate 1.5 million square feet of new studio space and offices in the aerospace facilities in addition to delivering 2,800 residential units. The Hangar District is just one of 10 new neighbourhoods imagined in the development proposal. If the plan is completed as envisioned, by 2051 it would encompass close to 50,000 units.

The Waterfront District

Quayside is the latest waterfront project set to create a complete community on the shore of Lake Ontario. The Quayside Development Opportunity is a 12-acre (4.9 hectare) area located at the foot of Parliament Street and Lake Shore Boulevard. According to a Waterfront Toronto, highlights of the vision include more than 800 affordable housing units, new public spaces including a two-acre forested green space, a new landmark cultural destination with a multi-use arts venue and world-class architecture featuring one of Canada’s largest residential mass timber buildings. The development will include a variety of sustainability innovations to become Canada’s first all-electric, zero-carbon master plan at a large scale. The development is a collaboration with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

The Futuristic District

The Orbit – a master-planned, cutting-edge community set to create a Smart City of up to 150,000 residents. The Orbit was approved by Innisfil Town Council unanimously and will be built near 6th Line and 20th Sideroad, south of Alcona. The Orbit isn’t built like traditional neighbourhoods on a grid, but envisions a regional transportation hub at the end of a wheel that spirals out into four districts where our small town and rural lifestyles are enhanced by the benefits and attributes of urban living. ​When complete, Innisfil is hoping to create four 15-minute neighbourhoods within the greater Orbit area where everything people need, including employment, entertainment and transportation options, is at hand with a focus on environmental sustainability, the arts, transit, innovative streets all combined with a vibrant start up energy and culture.

The Rail District

Rendering of the Rail District

Want to live in a neighbourhood everybody is going to be talking about? How about shacking up in a condo built atop a railroad corridor right downtown? The latest application for a complete district over the massive rail corridor south of Front Street between Bathurst and Peter streets was submitted to the City with community consultation underway. The plan has been updated to include fewer towers, from 11 to nine, and more park space as well as a slew of community benefits including three daycare centres. The development application includes 6,126 residential units. Currently there is a a plan afoot to surround the entire district with city-owned park space and privately owned publicly accessible (POPS) space that would connect with the surrounding neighbourhoods to the north and south of the site to make for an even larger tapestry of green woven through the concrete jungle.

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