Dundas & Jarvis – Is This The Next Big “Condo Corner?”

Try and picture “Dundas and Jarvis” in your mind’s eye, and something tells me you’ll cringe just a wee bit.

It’s not a great corner.  In fact, it’s not a great area.

But both the southeast and northeast corners are being demolished as we speak to make room for 50-storey towers.

Here’s a video I shot on Thursday, asking if the area would eventually become a bit less rough.  So excuse my frazzled and scattered nature because I had two dudes harassing me the whole time…

I had high hopes for this video.

But that video was actually my second take.

During the first, I had this squeegee guy, who I’ve seen out there a hundred times before (I drive by here twice a day), asking me for change through two minutes of my video.  He’s always high out of his mind on drugs, running into the middle of the street.  Although I’m flattered that he centered me out and wanted to hang with me for a few minutes while I shot my first take.

I had to delete that take, and then in the second one, I had another guy shouting at me, “I don’t want my photo taken” over and over, finally saying, “I’m gonna break that F******* camera.”

I managed to finish the take, but I fumbled through the last thirty seconds or so, and messed up at the end when I said, “Show me a corner with less development,” when I meant more.

Anyways, that’s a microcosm of what this area is all about.

As I said in the video, my wife is a social worker, and she’s familiar with each and every shelter, mission, and low-income apartment building in the area.  There are a lot of them.

So it’s somewhat ironic that condominiums are being built at three of the four corners of this intersection, which will be bought by people with money.

What does the future hold for this area?

Does new real estate and an influx of capital automatically clean up the area?

Or is it just lipstick on a pig?

The bottom line is: those shelters aren’t going anywhere, and one block east, at Sherbourne & Dundas, you’ve got an even worse corner.

I make no promises, and no predictions.

Alright, fine, one prediction: most of the condos in those two developments will be bought by speculators, many of them overseas.  Go to Google Maps, type “downtown Toronto,” and see where Jarvis & Dundas lays.  This looks like a fantastic area, on a map.  But in practice, it’s not.

That’s what’s unique about Toronto – every great area is just a couple blocks away from a bad one…

5 Comments

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  1. Clark Blair says:

    I think it will take time for the area to change, and likely will never completely change. I live in Leslieville and, it’s a great neighbourhood where houses now frequently sell for $1 million +, but it’s not Lawrence Park. The homeless, drug addicts and methadone patients are all around, esp on warm summer days. The clinic for supervised drug injection which is coming soon is a sure sign that such people are not moving out and will always be part of the neighbourhood. The same surely goes for Dundas and Jarvis.

  2. Kyle says:

    Ryerson is also putting up new buildings in this area. I’m old enough to remember when Regent Park, Parkdale, Trinity Bellwoods, Leslieville and The Junction were all really “bad areas”. Each of these neighbourhoods have transformed themselves dramatically. Some of them took decades and are still transitioning (e.g. Parkdale), because it’s graudally happening through turnover. Other hoods have transformed overnight (e.g. Regent Park), because of a sudden influx of new higher income residents buying into the condos. Condos are catalysts for gentrification. They quickly introduce a new mix of income levels to an area. I think the influx of new residents and new students to Jarvis and Dundas will have the same affect within the next 5 years.

  3. CB says:

    Rough areas as a general rule don’t bother me and living in a city like Toronto we all have to accept all who call the city home. I live in a fairly ‘up and coming area’ with lots of crime. HOWEVER, the last time I walked through this area I was really, really uncomfortable. Went to the Dollarama and the security guards (guards not guard) for the Dollarama had their hands full with strung out, aggressive individuals. I’m not in that area often and I was pretty shocked at how bad it is. I would not feel comfortable walking to and from my condo at night living there. Also would not feel comfortable being in a public area like a parking garage.

    1. Appraiser says:

      As a point of comparison regarding crime, safety and sketchy neighbourhoods, Chicago had 65 homicides in July alone, for a total of 400 year to date. Toronto has had 44 homicides this year.

      https://www.torontopolice.on.ca/statistics/ytd_stats.php

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-weekend-shootings-chicago-violence-20160801-story.html

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