Discovery District (University of Toronto) Properties and Neighbourhood Guide

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Discovery District (University of Toronto) Properties and Neighbourhood Guide

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Discovery District (University of Toronto) Neighbourhood Guide

Welcome to Discovery District (University of Toronto):

The ultimate neighbourhood for curious minds, the Discovery District is a place where the country’s best and brightest come to learn and collaborate. Rich with history, the area is home to Canada’s renowned Hospital for Sick Children, as well as prestigious cancer and cardiac care centres, the MaRS Discovery District (one of the largest urban innovation hubs anywhere), and the University of Toronto (including the school’s Athletic Centre and the towering Robarts Library, which holds more than 4.5 million books). Those lucky enough to call this area home will be neighbours with exciting start-ups, scientists and other change-makers.

What you'll fall in love with:

There’s something remarkable about living among brilliant people who are working together to make the world a better place. The academic energy is palpable, with some of the country’s smartest students, best researchers and world-class practitioners squeezed into a few city blocks. From healthcare to green technology, education to finance, whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find it in the Discovery District.

The lifestyle:

The Discovery District is a community filled with intellectually curious people who enjoy an urban lifestyle. With easy access to the country’s preeminent research institutes and the hottest cultural events in Canada, residents will have no shortage of things to do.
The world-class innovation that takes place in this neighbourhood is driven largely by the University of Toronto and the MaRS Discovery District, a not-for-profit founded in 2000 to bring industry trailblazers together with research and technology pioneers. Emphasizing cross-disciplinary collaboration, MaRS helps launch – and grow – Canadian start-ups.
Locals also enjoy easy access to Queen’s Park, the seat of the Ontario government and a canopied urban park that offers a peaceful respite from the busy city. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is right in the neighbourhood, too. The largest museum in Canada – and one of the largest in the world – the ROM is home to more than 6 million artifacts and 40 galleries, attracting more than 1 million visitors every year. The Art Gallery of Ontario, also one of Canada’s biggest galleries, is on the very southern edge of the neighbourhood and boasts the largest collection of Canadian art in the world.
Locals into health and fitness can become members of the University of Toronto’s Athletic Centre, which offers an Olympic-sized pool, an indoor track, tennis and squash courts, and a well-equipped weight room. Shopping is limited in the neighbourhood itself, but nearby Yorkville offers the world’s toniest brands and remarkable dining experiences for all tastes, while the Eaton Centre is easily walkable.

A little bit of history:

The seeds for the Discovery District were sown in the late 1700s when large “park lots” were created north of Queen Street and given to powerful, affluent families. One owner, Chief Justice John Elmsley, built a house that later became the Lieutenant-Governor’s house; it was also the site of the province’s first agricultural fair. Later, the family converted to Catholicism, and in 1853 donated land to the French Basilian Fathers, who built St. Michael’s College. Another of the park lots became University Park and, later, the University of Toronto.
The third of these park lots was opened to residential development and became known as “the Ward,” a crowded slum that was home to wave after wave of immigrants. In the early 20th century, the Ward was slowly demolished as developers started constructing office towers and hotels in the area.
For decades thereafter what is now known as the Discovery District was exclusively home to business, schools and hospitals, but now some lucky Torontonians have the opportunity to live in new condominiums here.

Local Schools:

From the first day of kindergarten to the last day of a doctorate, it’s possible to receive a world-class education without ever leaving the boundaries of Toronto’s Discovery District. The private Rosedale Day School and Cornerstone Montessori Prep School offer schooling for youngsters, while the well-regarded Orde Street Junior Public School received an 8/10 on the Fraser Institute’s 2015-16 review. The neighbourhood is also home to The Abelard School and Braemar College, both prestigious private secondary schools. The University of Toronto, one of the best universities in Canada, is right in your backyard. Parents still wanting more private school options can find some of the country’s very best just a few blocks north of this neighbourhood: St. Michael’s College School, The Bishop Strachan School, Upper Canada College and Branksome Hall, some of the very best private schools in the country.


The Discovery District is bounded on the north side by Bloor Street, on the south side by Elm Street, on the west by Spadina Avenue and on the east by Bay Street. Thousands of University of Toronto students live here or nearby, giving the neighbourhood a bright, youthful energy. Census records show most people are living with a partner, and about one-third of all couples have children. Average after-tax annual income hovers around $64,000. Most of the homes in the area are in exclusive new condominiums that have been constructed in recent years, like the Urban Townhouse Collection, with suites starting around $2.5 million. The average price in the area is about $900,000.

The commute:

What commute? The Discovery District is eminently walkable and home to many folks who don’t own cars at all. You can walk to Yonge and Bloor in under five minutes, and a trip down to the financial district near Union Station will take about 10 minutes by car, transit or bike, and about 40 minutes on foot.

What you Won't find:

There are plenty of urban green spaces, but don’t expect to find a home with a yard or room for a vegetable garden – just about everyone who lives in the Discovery District is in a new condominium.


Condominium prices range from $338,000 to $2.9 million, with an average price of about $900,000.

House style:

Primarily new condos, including some ultra-exclusive, luxury options.

Discovery District (University of Toronto) on a map