King West is one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in all of Toronto. Over the last twenty years, King West has been at the forefront of Toronto’s condominium boom with new high-rise towers going up each year. The vibrant neighbourhood is known for its active nightlife, wonderful selection of restaurants, and unique community feel. The King West area has become especially popular with young professionals and has often been compared to the trendy SoHo neighbourhood in New York.
Where is King West?
King West’s unofficial boundaries stretch along King Street West from Dufferin Street to Spadina Avenue. The area between Atlantic Avenue and Strachan Avenue just north of the Gardiner Expressway is commonly referred to as “King West Village” and is a distinct subsection of the larger King West neighbourhood. The area along King Street West between Bathurst and Spadina Avenue is known as the “Fashion District,” named after the large number of old textile factories and warehouses that now hold fabric stores, clothing boutiques, artists’ studios, offices, and condos.
Getting around King West
King West is an extremely pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood. You can step out your front door and be at the CN Tower or the waterfront in less than ten minutes. As for public transit, the TTC has several streetcar routes that run along Bathurst Street, King Street West, and Spadina Avenue, which can connect passengers to either the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line or the Bloor subway line. The King West neighbourhood is also located just north of the Gardiner Expressway, which can connect motorists to every major highway coming in and out of the city.
A brief history of King West
The King West area was originally part of the Military Reserves of the City of Toronto. Victoria Memorial Square was one of Toronto’s first military cemetery. In the 1830s, the military reserves were auctioned off and a “New Town” development was created for this area. In the 1850s, with the arrival of the railway in Toronto, King West would evolve into a busy industrial and manufacturing centre. In the early 20th century, numerous textile and fabric factories and warehouses were built in King West due to the proximity and easy access to shipping and rail lines. This is how the neighbourhood became known as the Garment or Fashion District.
King West would continue to be a prominent industrial area for most of the 20th century but by the 1990s most of the manufacturing had moved out from King West and the area had become run down and the buildings neglected. In 1996, the City of Toronto enacted the King-Spadina Plan to attract new investment to revitalize the area. The plan was successful as developers quickly began to build new condominiums in the area. New restaurants and nightclubs also opened in the neighbourhood making it a popular destination for young professionals looking to live in a fun and exciting area close to the city centre.
The types of homes in King West
The residential space along King Street West is brimming with newly constructed boutique condominium high-rises and townhomes that have all the latest amenities. These are perfect options for young professionals looking to rent in an exciting and lively area close to Downtown Toronto. In the last two decades there have been numerous condo developments in the neighbourhood with more underway each year. There are a handful of authentic hard loft buildings in the neighbourhood, that are characterized by their red brick exterior, large windows, and architectural accents. These loft units may have features such as concrete floors, exposed wood beams, and exposed brick. While most of the housing in King West is made up of condos, there are a few pockets of semi-detached homes and townhomes that provide some diversity to the housing options.
Upcoming condominium developments in King West
King West is a neighbourhood that is constantly growing and evolving. There are several exciting new condominium developments in the area. One of the most ambitious condo developments in King West is The Well Condominium Complex on Front Street West. The Well Condos will be a master-planned community with a total of six mixed-use buildings. The community will include an office tower, condo towers, restaurants, retail spaces, an open-air public promenade, green spaces, and many other resort-style amenities. The Well Condos are scheduled to be completed in 2023.
One of the most exciting developments coming to the city is - King Toronto, which unsurprisingly will be situated in the King West neighbourhood. The project is designed by the renowned architect Bjarke Ingels and features 600,000 square feet of mixed-use development including an inner-courtyard overlooked by stepped, terraced apartments with glass-brick façades covered in vertical gardens - making the mid-rise buildings resemble a mountain range.
Another exciting condo development is underway on the corner of Richmond Street West and Maud Street. The Waterworks Condos is an ongoing condominium complex overlooking St. Andrew's Market and Playground. The Waterworks Condos will have all the latest amenities and will be located near the new 54,000-square-foot McDonald Family YMCA. Right across the street from the Waterworks Condos is the Rush Condos, another large mixed-use condominium complex in the heart of King West.
Making the move to King West
King West is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in all of Toronto and the prices reflect that demand. The condo market in King West is incredibly competitive, so if you are looking to move to the King West neighbourhood, you should act as soon as possible. While the many of the building along King Street West are newly built and have a slew of amenities, one of the downsides to living in a condo is a possible lack of storage space, which is where renting a self-storage unit can be extremely helpful.
Currently, Storwell Self Storage is offering our clients an exclusive offer of 4 week of free self-storage at any of their facilities. Storwell has locations across the GTA in Mississauga, Scarborough, and one location near Kipling and the Gardiner Expressway which is less than a twenty-minute drive from King West. If you need self-storage to declutter your space and help organize your home, you can call a Storwell Representative or visit a facility to demo a unit.
Health and fitness in King West
The residents of King West put an emphasis on physical fitness and because of this, several high-end fitness facilities have opened in the King West area. On the corner of King Street West and Blue Jay Way you will find Fit Factory Fitness, which is a fitness shop and gym with two training rooms, a state-of-the-art training studio, and host to over 300 monthly classes for people of all fitness levels.
The Altea Active Toronto Centre is currently under construction in King West Village on Ordnance Street. Once complete, Altea will be a complete social wellness club with several fitness studios, a boxing gym, Himalayan salt lounge, anti-gravity fitness centre, meditation pods, an indoor pool, and many other health and wellness amenities. The centre will also be a hub of entertainment with a bowling alley, billiards room, and Top Golf swing suites.
The best restaurants in King West
King West is known for its excellent selection of restaurants. The neighbourhood has some of the most highly rated restaurants in the city. Lee on Portland Street is Susur Lee’s flagship restaurant. The stylish eatery is serving up creative Asian and French-influenced dishes meant for sharing. Rodney’s Oyster House is a local favourite serving up some of the freshest seafood and oysters in the city.
King West’s diverse multicultural community is reflected in the eclectic mix of dining options available in the neighbourhood. Tut’s Egyptian Street Food is a compact counter-serve eatery specializing in made-to-order Egyptian sandwiches and sides. Anejo is a haunt decorated restaurant with folk art serving authentic Mexican staples along with a long and varied tequila list. Rosina Restaurant on Tecumseth Street is one of the best Italian restaurants in all of Toronto serving up traditional pastas, stone-baked pizzas, plus wine and beer.
Pennies is one of King West’s best kept secrets. Located on the corner of Adelaide Street and Strachan Avenue, Pennies is a vibrant bar with a colourful yellow exterior and outdoor patio serving local beers, drinks, and sliders. For dessert you can head over to the corner of King Street West and Spadina Avenue and visit SOMA Chocolatemaker. SOMA is a high-end chocolatier known for its small-batch sweets, gelato, decadent drinking chocolate, and cookies.
Parks and recreation in King West
You would not expect to see a lot of greenery around King West considering its proximity to a major metropolitan center, but you would be wrong. Trinity Bellwoods Park is located between Crawford Street and Gorevale Avenue just north of King Street West. The park gives King West residents access to a large swath of green space and the ability to reconnect with nature while still being in the heart of the city. Trinity Bellwoods Park has several amenities including a large dog park, eight well-maintained public tennis courts, three baseball diamonds, and an outdoor hockey rink. The park is also home to the Trinity Community Recreation Centre, which has a dance studio, an indoor pool, a gymnasium, and runs numerous programs available to the King West community.
Stanley Park is another wonderful green space that sits right in the heart of the King West neighbourhood. Bisected by King Street West, Stanley Park has several great features including a full-sized baseball diamond, an off-leash dog park, two tennis courts, a splash pad, an outdoor pool, and a basketball court.
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