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Living in Harbourfront

The Harbourfront neighbourhood incorporates a unique blend of residential, cultural, recreational, and commercial uses, all within the same community. Harbourfront is Toronto’s playground by the lake. It is enjoyed by all Toronto residents, as well as being a popular destination point for tourists. The Harbourfront neighbourhood stretches along the Toronto waterfront form Bathurst to Jarvis Street. Queens Quay is the main arterial east-west road that runs through this neighbourhood. Queens Quay has a dedicated streetcar line, along with dedicated car lanes and bicycle lanes which usher residents and tourists along its busy streetscape. Some of the neighbourhood landmarks include: Queens Quay Terminal, Jack Layton Ferry terminal, Harbour Square, Redpath Sugar, Harbourfront Centre, HTO Park, Toronto Music Garden, Waterfront Community Centre and City School.


History of Harbourfront

Toronto’s Harbourfront district was created from landfill in the early 1800’s. It quickly developed into a tangled web of industry that included shipping facilities, warehouses, railway tracks, grain silos, and factories, all dotting the shoreline. Unfortunately, these physical barriers cut Harbourfront off from the rest of Toronto. It wasn’t until 1972, with the creation of the federally sponsored Harbourfront Corporation, that Toronto citizens began to reclaim their waterfront. Harbourfront has been undergoing a renaissance ever since. A shining example of Harbourfront’s transformation is the Queens Quay Terminal. This building was one of the largest warehouses in North America when it opened in 1927. The Terminal was remodelled in 1980, and today includes a successful mix of high end residential, commercial, and retail space all under one roof.


Homes in Harbourfront

Harbourfront has the highest concentration of luxury condominium apartment buildings in the City of Toronto. Most of Harbourfront’s condominiums were built in the 1980’s. At present, a number of new condominiums are being built with an emphasis on making sure every unit has at least a partial lake view and a balcony. Harbourfront also has a handful of Marinas that provide seasonal moorings on a rental basis for local and out of town boaters. Many of these hearty souls make Harbourfront their summer home.


Lifestyle in Harbourfront

Harbourfront’s main shopping district is located along Queens Quay West. The shopping here is mixed, being geared towards both the local residents and tourists. Queens Quay West is anchored by the Queens Quay Terminal, located at the foot of York Street. The terminal is open seven days a week, and features two floors of shops, galleries, and restaurants. The Harbourfront is conveniently located within walking distance of the St. Lawrence Market, Toronto’s oldest and largest food market.


The St. Lawrence Market offers a cornucopia of culinary delights, including farm fresh eggs, exotic herbs, organic chicken, and an assortment of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, deli meats, and seafood. A recent addition to Toronto’s Harbourfront is the giant Loblaws food and retail centre located on Queens Quay at the foot of Jarvis Street. In addition to groceries and a pharmacy this three storey complex features a variety of retailers, a popular restaurant, and a community meeting place were workshops, cooking classes and public meetings are held.


Recreation in Harbourfront

Harbourfront has more recreational opportunities than any other Toronto neighbourhood. The vast Harbourfront Centre lines an expansive area of our waterfront, offering visitors a multitude of ways to spend a memorable day by the Lake. In the winter the Natrel Rink is home to learn to skate lessons, recreational skate and even DJ Skate night parties.  The March and Summer camp offers children 45 diverse mini camps with everything from cooking, circus and sports, to sailing, kayaking and digital photography. Summer in the city could be the best choice yet, with a chance for your children to enjoy these reasonable, educational and fun-filled programs.


Sail and motor boat rentals and short or long term Sailing Club memberships, are available at a surprisingly affordable rate. In addition the Harbourfront Centre is home to many theatrical events, with artists in residence and unique art exhibits all open to the public. The Air Canada Centre, Skydome, C.N. Tower, and the Harbourfront Antique Market are all located within this neighbourhood. The Canadian National Exhibition, the Marine Museum, and Old Fort York are all just minutes from Harbourfront, while the Toronto Islands are ten minutes away by ferry boat. The social, cultural, and recreational hub of the neighbourhood is the Harbourfront Centre, located at the York Quay at 235 Queens Quay West. This popular lakeside venue hosts close to 4,000 events per year, ranging from craft workshops and sailing lessons to jazz festivals and food fairs.


Transportation in Harbourfront

Queens Quay West has both express and regular bus service, with connections to Union Station. From Union Station you can ride Toronto Transit or Go Transit lines to just about anywhere in Metropolitan Toronto. Motorists also have easy access in and out of the City via the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard.

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