Welcome to Harbourfront (Bathurst Quay):
Ultramodern tiered glass condominiums peer out over the harbour in this active, upscale neighbourhood right on the water’s edge. Steps from Toronto’s financial and entertainment districts, it’s a perfect place for those who want it all: Easy access to the rich offerings of the city and mere steps to the quiet shores of Lake Ontario and the peaceful Toronto Islands.
Harbourfront draws Torontonians who love the outdoors but spend their days working in the shadow of skyscrapers in the middle of Canada’s big smoke. Here they find a staggering array of activities to pursue on their days off, from kayaking to sailing to stand up paddle boarding. The 56-kilometre Martin Goodman Trail takes runners, cyclists and rollerbladers across the entire lakeshore and links up to the 730 kilometre Waterfront Trail that begins at Niagra-On-The-Lake and ends at the Quebec border.
The Harbourfront neighbourhood extends from the Gardiner Expressway along the northern edge to Queen’s Quay along the southern edge, and from Bathurst Street in the west to Yonge Street in the east. Folks who live here tend to be under 40 and living with a partner, and very few couples have children. Single detached homes are all but unheard of, so almost everyone who calls Harbourfront home lives a maintenance-free lifestyle in a glistening lakeside condominium. After-tax income averaged $76,000 in 2011.
A little bit of history:
The Toronto harbour has seen steady use since the first settlers arrived, first for shipping purposes and later as a base for industry. In 1972, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau expropriated the port lands and pledged to build a cultural and residential district for Torontonians. Trudeau’s harbourfront project established the parks, art galleries and trails that run along the lakeshore and laid the groundwork for the growth of the thriving residential district we see today along the water’s edge.
What you'll fall in love with:
Few neighbourhoods in the city of Toronto are home to as many cultural events as the Harbourfront. With easy access to the Rogers and Air Canada Centres, locals can walk to pro games and premier concerts year-round. The spectacular non-profit Harbourfront Centre hosts hundreds of events every year, ranging from craft fairs and dance performances to a free outdoor concert program in summer and a free outdoor ice rink in winter. Add in a lovely lakeside trail system and the fact that Bay Street is in your back yard, and you’ve got the perfect place to call home.
Locals can walk or bike to Union Station in about 10 minutes, so those who work downtown have no need to own a car. A trip up to Yonge and Bloor will take about 45 minutes on foot, 20 minutes by bike and about the same amount of time on the TTC. A car is only marginally faster, at about 15 minutes. While the area is accessible by streetcar and major roads like Spadina Avenue and Yonge Street, locals have advocated for additional roads into the area, noting that some areas are cut off by the CN railway tracks.
In the other direction, the Toronto Island Ferry departs from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal to take locals and tourists alike to the nearby islands and the Billy Bishop Airport. The cost: A cool $7.50.
There is one public elementary school in the neighbourhood, The Waterfront School, which offers an inclusive education to children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. With a variety of clubs and athletics on offer, the school ranked 7.8/10 in the 2015-16 Fraser Institute review. The local secondary school is City School, an alternative eco-school with a curriculum focused on environmental issues.
Harbourfront (Bathurst Quay) on a map
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