City Snapshot #2: Distillery & Canary Districts
posted by Allyson Scott
As many of you know, Jody grew up in Caledon Village and purchased her first home in Mississauga. For her, High Park represented the east end of her world for many years! That all changed when she began working in real estate in 2004, and then moved to the east side of Toronto in 2008. Since then, we’ve both passionately promoted investing in the east end, as it was more affordable in many instances than its west-end counterparts, yet experienced similar gains in value.
The east end has not been immune to the condo explosion, and the city has also made densification efforts through repurposing commercial and industrial buildings in Corktown and the Distillery District. Several new projects were built to create the Athletes Village for the 2015 Pan Am Games, which were then converted to condos.
Jody sold her first condo in the Distillery on Mill Street in 2012, when prices were around the $400/sq ft range. It felt like a gamble for her clients at the time, but prices in the area have soared, reaching over $1,100/sq ft in some buildings in 2022.
The Distillery not only includes outstanding restaurants (like Pure Spirits, El Catrin and Cluny to name a few), fantastic shopping, theatre, and skilled artisans, but it’s all now even more accessible with the addition in 2016 of the Distillery Loop to the King St streetcar line. Union Station is an 8-minute Uber ride, a 15-minute streetcar ride, or a 30-minute walk away. This also helps with the rentability of units purchased as investment properties, as the leasing market is also booming in the area.
You’ll even find access to some green space on the other side of Parliament Street at Parliament Square Park…which happens to be right across from our absolutely wonderful chiropractor, Dr. Crystal Draper at Balanced Body Active Health Centre (shout out!).
The Distillery blends right into the new developments in the Canary District, which seems to be expanding by the week! An amazing variety of mid-rise buildings are in various stations of progress, with ground-level retail stores, restaurants, and services up and running.
On the edge of all of this mixed-use development is the new Corktown Common Park, an enormous green space with paths that connect to the Lower Don River trail system. It’s an easy and beautiful cycle down to one of my favourite dog parks in the city at Cherry Beach (where they also have several parking lots if you need to go by car). The entertainment complex at Polson Pier is also nearby, offering activities like a driving range and go-karting, if you’re the type of person who’s into that sort of thing.
We love what the city managed to create just west of there at Sugar Beach, and a new district called Quayside has been in the planning stages for many years. It will be exciting to see what the rest of the waterfront could look like in the not-too-distant future!